Posted by: Jumper | 2009-04-14

Trampoline - exercise

Hi Doc

I bought a mini trampoline on Saturday and I just absolutely love the thing! I spent an hour jumping yesterday whilst listening to music... My whole body is (pleasantly) sore! I am quite the gym junkie but just wanted to try something new and fun that I can do at home.

I would just like to know a bit about which muscles are exercised when jumping on the trampoline (feels like every single one in my body!!!) and how this cardio exercise compares to other cardio workouts...?

Thanks :-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

HI there

The use of a trampoline for fitness and weight loss is a topic that came up recently in another question as well, and I'll stick by my answer to that one, which is that I am not convinced that trampolining ALONE will offer a very effective form of cardio training to become fit or to lose weight.

I believe that the intensity that you get from trampolining is very difficult to raise to the sorts of levels you could easily to in running, cycling etc. and for that reason, I don't believe it is as effective a weight loss or fitness tool as these activities. That said, the fact that you're sore today, after using it, shows that it is activating muscles. The reason for the soreness is that these muscles are being activated more than usual, or differently. When you land, the muscle has to slow you down - without getting too technical, this kind of muscle contraction, which has a special name (eccentric contractions) often cause muscle soreness the day after. So to answer your question, it's using all the muscles in a very specific way, because they're helping you control your landing and the deceleration when you hit the elastic trampoline. Over time, once the muscles adapt to that, it will stop being as sore. And then it's at that stage that the effectiveness might diminish a little.

Not that I mean to play down the value of the exercise - I do believe that trampolining could be part of a well balanced exercise routine, because it offers basically no impact and certain exercises that are good for balance, flexibility and to a lesser extent fitness. However, I do think that you should consider making trampolining PART of, rather than the the focus of training. One of the benefits is actually that the loading on the joints is LOWER than for something than running, so that's actually a good thing.

If you do decide this, then I would suggest that you check out the fitness page of the site, then click on programmes and then choose any of these as you see fit.

Good luck

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