Trampolines are primarily purchased to be used as a family-time activity. Along with providing the family with loads of entertainment, trampolines also provide a huge health benefit: exercise! In a time of every child owning a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, etc fitting in much needed exercise in a developing child’s routine can be a challenge. It is much easier to sit on the couch and play playstation, Xbox or whatever the latest and greatest video gaming console is. The beauty behind a trampoline is kids (and adults) get a tremendous amount of aerobic exercise without even realizing it. Exercise is no longer a drag, no sit up or sprints, just pure jumping fun.
For those who are looking to take their fitness on a trampoline to the next level, we have outlined a few best trampoline exercises below.
Most of you likely remember the “shuttle run” in physical education class. This is a standard for assessment of speed & acceleration, particularly when being evaluated for health reasons or better yet competitive sports. Shuttle Jumps utilize the same theory, in that you are jumping from one side of the trampoline towards the middle. Through maintaining a sideways positions as you jump and land, the oblique muscles, which are all too often ignored in most workout routines, are utilized heavily. This will help to trim down those “love handles.”
Knee Raises: Knee raises are exactly as the name implies. As you jump and reach the apex of your jump raise knees upward towards chest. Make sure to keep your head straight and up in an effort to not collide head with knees. Knee raises are very similar to that of the vertical knee raise chair often seen in many gyms. This exercise will work your abdominal muscles as well as hip flexers. Alternating one leg and two legs will also target different areas of the abdominal muscles.
Jumping Jacks: If you hadn’t heard of the shuttle run in gym class, surely you have seen jumping jacks. Jumping Jacks are the standard in almost every physical education “warmup routine.” The same principle applies on the trampoline, but you will surely gain more airtime on the trampoline compared to on the ground. This is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories.
Straddle Jump: Straddle jumps are are like a modified jumping jacks, and all the cheerleaders out there should know this one. As you reach the apex of your jump point your legs out to the side (as if it were a jumping jack) but raise your legs as high as you can. The goal being your legs become perfectly parallel with the ground, as your arms reach down to touch your toes. This exercise might take some time to perfect, not to mention some increased flexibility!
Pike Jump: With Staddle jumps, legs are going out to the side; with the pike jump legs should go straight out in front of you. Again, the goal is to have your legs parallel to the ground and your arms should reach down to touch toes. As with the straddle jump, this will take some practice and flexibility.
Ski Jump: Certainty you won’t be using your trampoline in wintertime (as long as it is not an indoor trampoline). Take this time to practice your ski moves in preparation for the winter. Alternate legs from front to back, mimicking the motions of a cross country skier. This is another great exercise to work out those hip flexer muscles.
Squats: Just as the name implies, and as the exercise is carried out in the gym, feet should be shoulder width apart and proceed to squat. Your squat should reach 90 degree bend in your knees. Because the trampoline is a bouncy/stretchy surface, squating will utilize many stabilizer muscles otherwise not used as if done on the ground.
Pencil Jump: Just like all those days at the diving board, the pencil jump is a favorite amongst the kids. Keeping legs together throughout the jump, reach hands high above the head as to form a pencil shape.
Trampoline Exercise Benefits
These are just a few of an assortment of exercise which can be carried out on the trampoline. More and more athletes are turning to trampoline not only for exercise but to perfect their sport during the offseason or when not in their particular element. Snowboarders and wake boarders for example can practice their grabs, flips and turns many times over without falling on the hard snow or having to get back up on a wakeboard. Utilizing a trampoline also allows for coaching of these moves from a bystander. As you can see, the trampoline can have many other uses in addition to being the centerpiece of many quality family-time events.