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Trampoline parks improve strength and balance

Going to trampoline parks can offer more than just fun! In Singapore, a study on 26 young adults showed that six weeks of training at a trampoline park can effectively improve leg strength and dynamic balance. Over 12 sessions, complete beginners were taught progressively how to jump, twist, and do tricks like the seat drop. At the end of the intervention, the improvements resulting from trampoline training were as good as working out in a gym. Individuals who enjoy recreational trampolining can consider trampoline training as another means of exercise to improve strength and balance.

Jumping on a trampoline can be a fun, enjoyable, and attractive activity for many. This may be why trampoline parks are becoming very popular around the world, providing recreational facilities for children and adults to enjoy jumping. While there have been safety concerns related to accidents and injuries occurring at trampoline parks, there is growing evidence of the beneficial effects of trampoline-related exercises such as improving strength, aerobic fitness, and reducing body fat percentage. Most studies on trampoline exercises focused on children, individuals with disabilities, patients, or older adults. Less is known regarding the effectiveness of trampoline training on healthy, young adults. In addition, previous studies used mini-trampolines which are less bouncy and smaller in size than the trampoline beds typically seen in trampoline parks.

Seeing the gaps in previous research, Mr TAY Zhong Ming, a Sport Science and Management student at the Nanyang Technological University, decided to focus his Final Year Project on a trampoline park in Singapore. He conducted a six-week (12 sessions) intervention study on 26 young men and women under the supervision of Associate Professor KONG Pui Wah (Veni). In the study, half of the participants underwent classical resistance training in the gym using exercises such as leg press and lunges. The other half received trampoline training at a local trampoline park, learning how to jump, form shapes, twist, and perform moves such as the seat drop. All of them were complete beginners with no trampoline- or gymnastics-related background prior to the study.

Before and after the intervention, all participants were assessed on their knee muscle strength and balance ability. Interestingly, individuals receiving trampoline training improved their leg strength and dynamic balance to a similar extent as those performing classical resistance training at the gym. Throughout the study period, no injuries or accidents occurred across the 156 sessions of trampoline training (13 participants undertaking 12 sessions each). It is reassuring that for adult beginners with no related background, a trampoline training programme can be successfully implemented in a very safe manner.

Another observation is that trampoline activity was performed at a lower perceived exertion level (average 6.9 out of 10) than resistance training (average 7.3 out of 10). Being perceived as easier or less exertive, trampoline jumping may be more attractive to some individuals when it comes to promoting exercise adherence. Thus, trampoline training has good potential to promote good health in a fun and enjoyable way.

In conclusion, six weeks of trampoline training can be as effective as resistance training for improving knee muscle strength and dynamic balance in young men and women. Individuals who enjoy going to trampoline parks can consider trampoline training as another means of improving neuromuscular function. Bearing in mind that many incidents have occurred at trampoline parks, caution should be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of trampoline park users.

References

1. Tay et al. Trampoline versus resistance training in young adults – Effects on knee muscles strength and balance. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 2019. DOI: 10.1080/02701367.2019.1616045
2. Budzynski-Seymour et al. Heart rate, energy expenditure, and affective responses from children participating in trampoline park sessions compared with traditional extra-curricular sports clubs. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09351-9.
3. Giagazoglou et al. Effects of a trampoline exercise intervention on motor performance and balance ability of children with intellectual disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities 2013:34 2701-2707.
4. Hahn et al. The effect of modified trampoline training on balance, gait, and falls efficacy of stroke patients. Journal of Physical Therapy Science 2015:27 3351-3354.

Written By

KONG Pui Wah (Veni)
Nanyang Technological University

Contact Details

Email: puiwah.kong@nie.edu.sg
Telephone:
+6562196213

Address:
Physical Education and Sports Science Academic Group
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
637616

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