An Indoor Trampoline Guide for Bouncy, Safe Jumps
The neighborhood kid with the trampoline makes friends quick, seeing as how every other kid on the block wants to hang out in their backyard. But the rise of the indoor trampoline park leveled the springy playing field—no tricked-out backyard required.
We spoke with Susan Jacobson, the program director of Trampoline and Tumbling at USA Gymnastics, to find out what you should know before your first visit to the trampoline parks near me. She clued us in on everything from trampoline safety to the activity's surprising health benefits.
First lesson: Trampolining is for all ages.
When you think trampoline park, you might immediately think "kids' birthday party." But trampolining is actually a great cardio workout for all ages.
"If you think about jumping rope, and how hard it is to jump rope for even 30 seconds, trampolining provides that same environment," Jacobson says. And what's better: unlike jumping rope, trampoline fitness is a low-impact activity that's gentle on the joints.
Before you start jumping, learn to stop.
Jacobson says stopping is the very first skill students actually learn. Particularly when kids trampoline, it's important they know how to avoid bouncing toward the edge.
"With our tiniest preschoolers," Jacobson says, "we call it '1, 2, 3, grab your knees.'" That's the best way to get yourself back to a safe place on the trampoline and avoid having the springs push you off.
Practice trampolining on the ground.
When Jacobson works with kids, she usually teaches them moves on the ground before they climb onto the trampoline. Not only is this safer, but it also gives them a way to channel all that energy (read: impatience) while waiting their turn.
Grownups can use this advice, too, to familiarize themselves with the moves before ever stepping into an trampoline park. Here's how:
- Squat down from a standing position and grab your shoes.
- Let go of your shoes and perform a "touch jump" (touch the floor, then spring into standing position).
- Repeat until sweaty.
Your body's getting used to the motions of trampoline fitness, and you're keeping your heart rate up too.
Expect a solid workout.
With Jacobson's top-tier athletes, their bodies are usually going 6 to 9 Gs when they're at the bottom of the trampoline. This means that during trampoline fitness, your average jumper can expect to be working something in the neighborhood of two to three times their body weight. "If you think about that," Jacobson says, "a guy that's 150 pounds is suddenly doing a 450-pound squat."
Beginners shouldn't try to flip.
When trampolining, your first instinct might be to try to flip. Fight that instinct—Jacobson insists flips are for experienced trampoliners. "The risk of injury increases any time you go upside-down," Jacobson says. "There are over 100 things you should learn" before you try out that front aerial" ...just another excuse to put in more hours at the trampoline park.
Watch what to expect in our indoor trampoline park video:
How to Find Trampoline Parks Near MeNow it's time to find a trampoline. If you're searching for the nearest, bestest trampoline park, we've got you covered. Find your city below and click the link to browse deals for trampoline parks near me.