"The non-somersaulting benefits of trampoline is one of the best kept secrets in the world. Rebounding will exercise and strengthen every muscle, organ, and cell in your body. Trampoline is not only fun but will enhance overall coordination, strength, flexibility, timing and balance," writes Michael Brook, owner of High Performance Productions in Arvada, Colorado and 25-year national veteran of high performance, and a Colorado State Trampoline Champion, a Member of the Great American High Diving Team and a premier professional freestyle snow skier in the aerial acrobatic event. Studies by NASA scientists show that rebounding is 68% more effective than jogging, and yet requires less effort! You can also develop both upper and lower body strength just as effectively as weight lifting--without the strain or threat of pulled or torn muscles. Rebounding has been shown to out perform swimming as an all round exercise. Apart from being great fun, bouncing on a trampoline brings a number of very real health and wellbeing benefits including:
- Balance – trying to bounce in one place on a trampoline means you have to develop a keen sense of balance and awareness of how your body’s balance can be adjusted (or compromised) by small movements at the body’s extremities.
- Bilateral motor skills – the action of bouncing whilst trying to maintain balance and coordinate bodily extremities calls on both sides of the body and, indeed, the brain to become engaged which is quite different to many ground based sports where one side can often be favoured (most notably in football for example).
- Rhythm – again closely related but distinct is the need to bounce in tune with the trampoline to achieve optimum height for least effort.
- Self-confidence – even those least confident with sports will find it possible to make some progress on the relatively forgiving surface of a trampoline and this progress will help boost confidence.
- Cardiovascular fitness – bouncing on a trampoline increases the pulse rate and strengthens muscle groups essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Bone Density – bouncing repeatedly puts bones under small amounts of stress sufficient to help them build themselves up to cope with that stress. This in turn reduces the risk of factures and osteoporosis.
- Improved lymphatic circulation – probably not quite as good as detoxing entirely but the short periods of weightlessness between periods of higher than average G forces that occur whilst bouncing actually helps the body get rid of toxins; physical activity and gravity effects are essential to the lymphatic system achieving this and both are more actively engaged when trampolining than with almost any other sport.
- Low impact – although bouncing is an impact sport the period of acceleration and deceleration is much longer than with activities such as jogging where the surface used has no give at all. Although we have not seen this with Wayne Rooney in this World Cup, it was notable that during the build up to the World Cup in 2002 David Beckham was seen building up fitness and ball skills whilst using a mini-rebounder for this very reason.