Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

February 24, 2021

Jumping & Trampoline Exercise

By: Josh Scribben, DPT

SAFETY FIRST!

Many parents are skeptical of allowing their children to play on a trampoline secondary to the possibility of injury. The recent popularity of trampoline parks has dramatically increased the number of trampoline injuries; therefore, increasing the number of parents hesitant to use trampolines. Injury is a major drawback for trampoline utilization and must be considered when deciding to allow a child to partake in trampoline activities. Safety can be increased with a few simple guidelines and rules.

  1. Closely monitor children. (The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends children under six years of age do not use the trampoline. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no children should use trampoline secondary to risk of injury).
  2. Read, understand and incorporate the safety information provided in the user manual.
  3. Ensure that the trampoline is constructed in the correct manner, following the instructions exactly as provided by manufacture.
  4. Place the trampoline on an even surface.
  5. Only 1 person at a time on the trampoline.
  6. Use all safety nets and padding over springs.
  7. If a ladder is needed to access the trampoline, ensure ladder is removed after all play sessions.
  8. No flips or somersaults

Jumping on the trampoline can have many benefits for developing children and allows for a fun way to increase multiple aspects of physical fitness and health.

Cardiorespiratory Health

  • Jumping on the trampoline is a good way to engage large muscle groups in a rhythmic pattern; resulting in an increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption.
  • Try: rhythmic jumping for prolonged periods or short bouts of jumping at moderate-vigorous intensity.

Lower Extremity, Core Strengthening & Stability

  • Jumping on the trampoline overloads the muscles in the legs used for jumping and landing. These muscles include, the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Jumping on the trampoline makes kiddos use their stomach and back muscles to remain upright and stable while jumping.  So this is not just a great activity for the strengthening the legs, but also the hips and core!
  • Try: deep squat jumping, jumping while wearing a weighted vest, bouncing on knees and landing on feet, planks, push-ups or sit-ups. You can incorporate these jumps into a game on the trampoline too! Playing “Simon Says” works well for this.

Balance

  • Jumping on the trampoline engages the three systems of balance including vision, proprioception and vestibular.
  • Try: standing with eyes closed then open, small hops with eyes closed then open, jumping with shoes off, standing or walking heel-toe, spinning while jumping, standing on one leg or hopping on one leg.

Coordination

  • Jumping on the trampoline assists in developing coordinated movements of both the lower and upper extremities.
  • Try: jumping jacks, scissor jumps, catching ball while standing, catching ball while jumping, jumping and twisting legs in one direction and the upper body in the opposite direction.

Agility

  • Changing direction and speed while on the trampoline can improve agility.
  • Try: jumping forward, sideways or backwards.  Try to jump at different heights like jumping low, medium or high. You can also try changing direction while walking, quick twists or spins and bear crawling or crab walking in different directions.

Many parents are skeptical of allowing their children to play on a trampoline secondary to the possibility of injury. The recent popularity of trampoline parks has dramatically increased the number of trampoline injuries, increasing parental fear of trampoline usage. Injury is a major drawback for trampoline utilization and must be considered when deciding to allow a child to partake in trampoline activities. Safety can be increased with a few simple guidelines and rules.

  • Closely monitor children. (The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends children under six years of age do not use the trampoline. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no children should use trampoline secondary to risk of injury).
  • Read, understand and incorporate the safety information provided in the user manual.
  • Ensure that the trampoline is constructed in the correct manner, following the instructions exactly as provided by manufacture.
  • Place the trampoline on an even surface.
  • Only 1 person at a time on the trampoline.
  • Use all safety nets and padding over springs.
  • If a ladder is needed to access, ensure ladder is removed after all play sessions.
  • No flips or somersaults

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