Though the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and various organizations do not recommend trampolines for recreational use at home, trampoline jumping can be a lot of fun and a good form of exercise if adequate levels of safety measures and precautions are taken, such as using enclosures to prevent falling, safety pads, and safety harnesses etc.
There are two main types of trampoline – recreational and competitive. Both these types may be circular, octagonal or rectangular in shape. Since recreational trampolines are designed for home use, they are typically less strongly built than competitive types. That is why extra care should be taken when using recreational trampolines, such as regular maintenance and repair for tears, rust, and detachments.
Brief History of Trampoline Jumping:
In the early 20th century, “bouncing beds” were used by certain stage acts to entertain audiences, which is considered as the first known trampoline jumping in history, because the “beds” they used were strikingly similar to the trampoline we know today. Eskimos are also known to have used Walrus skin to toss each other up into the air before the modern trampoline was born.
George Nissen, a gymnast and competitive diver, and a friend, Larry Griswold designed and built the first modern trampoline in 1934. Inspired by circus trapeze artists, they manufactured the first prototype – a stretched piece of canvas, with grommets inserted along each side, to an angle iron frame by means of coiled springs. It was a great success and “trampoline” became a household word soon after.
The trampoline has now been used not only for recreational or competitive purposes but also for training in variable body positions in flight to pilots and astronauts.
Trampoline Jumping as a Sport:
Trampolining is a competitive gymnastic sport that was incorporated in the Olympic Games in 2000. The main objective of the sport is to perform acrobatics while bouncing or jumping on a trampoline. Points are awarded to the competitors for feats such as jumps in the pike, tuck or straddle position to more complex combinations of forward or backward somersaults and twists. Trampolining includes competitions such as Individual Trampoline, Synchronized Trampoline and Double Mini-trampoline.
Trampoline Jumping as an Exercise:
The trampoline, if safely used, can be a great fitness tool for activities such as Rebound Exercise, which is a therapeutic movement on a mini-trampoline. Since every part of the body is in motion while jumping on a trampoline, some doctors consider this to be a good activity for therapies such as stimulating the lymphatic system or white blood system. It is further said that rebounding exercise helps remove toxins, and in delivery and absorption of nutrients at the cellular level where it is converted into energy.
Trampoline Jumping and Extreme Sports:
One of the latest innovations to trampoline jumping is the introduction of Bungee trampolines by the world of “extreme” sports. In this gravity-defying sport, the jumper has an adjustable harness attached to the waist, connected to bungee ropes on both sides. This allows various types of somersaults and other airborne aerobics as the jumper is catapulted up to 12 to 20 meters in the air. Bungee trampoline jumping is considered safer than the traditional trampoline by many people because the harness attached to the waist firmly holds the participant, which prevents injuries sustained from falls.