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Trampolining for both adults and children is not only exciting, it also provides many health benefits and has been used for a whole range of other sports and activities from NASA, and the Armed Forces to Physiotherapist.
Balance for trampolining is essential if we are to stay on the cross or in the middle of the trampoline. To achieve balance for straight bouncing, the vertical force of the trampoline bed must be directed through the centre of the bodies centre of mass.(see trampolining biomechanics) Warm up and conditioning exercises can be practiced to develop core stability for trampolining, and the more you practice the easier it will be to achieve balance.
Bilateral motor skills
The action of bouncing whilst trying to maintain balance and coordinate the bodies actions and movements causes the brain to be engaged on both sides of the brain. Both sides of the body have to perform equally well throughout a skill unlike cricket or football where one side is dominent for example holding a tennis table bat in the right hand, or using the left foot to kick a football.
Bouncing up and down on the trampoline puts small amounts of stress on the bones. The bones react by building up bone minerals which increases bone density. Having a good bone density will help reduce the risk of bone fractures and brittle bones. Trampolining is a great sport for building bone density due to the repetitive nature of bouncing up and down.
Trampolining increases your fitness levels and muscle strength. Bouncing on a trampoline increases circulation pushing oxygen thorugh the body for optimal function.
Trampoline skills require a great degree of coordination. Moving the limbs and engaging muscles at the right time in the right order as well as forming shapes and twisting and rotating in various directions is a complex affair.
It's near on impossible not to enjoy trampolining, its exciting, exhilerating and makes you smile. Because you are having so much fun and you are more likely to exercise for longer periods in comparision to say running, swimming or skipping without even realising it. Plus most people do not think of trampolining as a means of keeping fit and healthy, its time to play. The health benefits are just a perk of trampolining.
Improved lymphatic circulation
When at the bottom of a bounce, NASA states that gravity is 1-
Increased Metabolism & Weight loss
Improving muscle strength combined with cario activity helps improve the metabolic rate in turn aiding weight loss. Trampolining will give you more benefit in less time that any other activity and NASA states that '10 minutes on a trampoline is better than 33 minutes running and also 68% more effective' (Study by NASA in 1980)
Continually stretching the muscles through bouncing up and down on a trampoline lengthens muscles, improving flexibility.
Trampolining is a low impact sport. There is a long period of no contact, hence no impact, then when you land on the trampoline bed it stretches, absorbing most of the impact. Compared to running or skipping, where there is very little 'air time' between each contact and the feet constantly hit a hard surface.
All the muscle groups have to engage to hold the body in the right position and counter act forces such as gravity and/or the force of the bed. Bouncing while holding the arms or legs in certain postions or shapes can alter the amount of effort required by each muscle group and while a work out can be tailored to target certain muscle groups, you will find you get an all over body workout.
Mental Well Being
Repeatative bouncing improves circulation and increases the intake of oxygen to the brain. Production of natural 'feel good' hormones will make you feel happier and content. It is very difficult to feel down when you are trampolining, it's way too much fun.
Rhythm & Timing
Bouncing up and down on a trampolines does not come naturally to everyone. Understanding and having a feeling for Rhythm and Timing can make all the difference to your trampolining performance. Knowing when you are at the top of a bounce and when you're just about to hit the bed again (first contact) are cruitial if you are to engage the muscles to push out of the bed again for your next skill. The timing of the push needs to be correct to maximise the forces of the trampoline bed with the least amount of effort needed to perform the required trampoline skill. Of course, the higher you bounce the longer you have to wait before you reach the top of the bounce and return to the bed. If you try to push off the bed too soon or not soon enough the bed will not react to your best advantage and the skill will be compremised by a poor take off.
Trampolining will assist you in developing spatial awareness skills, relating your own body to people, objects and the space arount it is a complex cognitive skill linked to cognitive behaviour. Trampolining is an excellent activity for anyone who has difficulty with spatial awareness. You will develop an awareness of your body and how it moves and effects the space around you through the repetitive movements required to practice of trampolining skills
The feel good factor of trampolining can boost the confidence of even the most shy and arkward person. With a little encouragement and support anyone regardless of experience or skill level can benefit from the confident boost experienced upon learning a new progression, nailing a new skill or getting that new somersault into a routine.
Trampolining with friends at home or a club can be very rewarding and challenging. It helps build social skills from such as making friends and taking turns to dealing with conflict resolution
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Author: J. Kissane (All rights reserved)