Who knew that a piece of fabric stretched over a few hunks of metal could be so much fun? Kids, of course! A widely popular backyard pastime, bouncing on a trampoline has provided children, teens and even adults with endless hours of pure, aerial fun. Though in addition to recreational fun, trampolines are known to serve other purposes as well.
Bouncing for Sport
The first trampoline came to fruition as the brainchild of George Neilson, a student at the University of Iowa. After observing the way trapeze artists bounced onto the safety net after performing, he figured out that trampolines would make a good training tool for athletes.
In the years following, trampoline jumping gained popularity and, eventually, sporting credibility, culminating in the debut of Trampoline as an official sport in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The sport has been played in each summer Olympics since.
Those looking to tone up and lose weight have also turned to the trampoline for exercise. Jumping on a trampoline (typically a mini trampoline) is known to burn calories and tone leg and core muscles, as well as improve balance and agility.
How it Works
The material that one bounces on, known as the bounce mat, is made from woven canvas or polypropylene material. The elasticity of the trampoline comes from the coiled springs that are strategically placed around the edge of the trampoline’s steel frame; they provide the rebounding force that creates the jump. The Propel 15’ Trampoline, one of the genre’s best sellers, has 108 springs on its trampoline, 20% more than other leading brands.
The safest trampolines have a net surrounding the outside of the frame known as an enclosure, which protects jumpers from potential falls. At peak bounce, a fall could mean coming down from as high as 12 feet. All Propel Trampolines come with enclosures, as well as an anchor kit, which holds the trampoline in place no matter the intensity of the bounce or weather. Propel Trampolines, also recommends that all bouncers have a spotter nearby and that only one person jump at a time.
The most important thing to remember about trampolines is that they were built for fun! As long as precautions are taken and safety guidelines heeded, trampoline users can bounce to their heart’s desire, be it for exercise, sport or pure recreational joy. Be safe and bounce on!