Olympics 2012: how to get involved in trampolining


Probably the only sport in which sitting down well is rewarded. This bouncy branch of gymnastics was invented when a woman in 19th-century London jumped from a burning building on to a stretched-out bedsheet, only to provoke spontaneous applause from onlookers when she accidentally performed a half-twist leading into a pike. And that is a fact.

The basics

A routine consists of 10 contacts with the "bed", starting and finishing on the feet, with participants allowed one bounce to control themselves before landing at the end and remaining stationary for three seconds. Three postures are recognised during jumps – tucked (knees clasped to chest), piked (arms and legs straight, body bent) and straight – and you can land on your bum, feet, front and back.

Beginners won't be concerned with any of this. The best thing about trampolining is that it's easy to start – see kids, bouncy castles – and doesn't require any special clobber. Just the big bouncy thing in the gym.

Health benefits

Trampolining improves balance, flexibility and co-ordination, as well as strengthening the leg muscles. As a low-impact sport it carries minimal risk of wear-and-tear-based injuries (unless you regularly fall off). Rebounding subjects you to twice the usual force of gravity, which can help prevent osteoporosis by working the musculoskeletal system – and there's even evidence to suggest it boosts your lymphatic function.

Equipment, costs and practicalities

Unless you want to buy your own trampoline (this one, for instance, costs £120, has a safety net and can be used by adults and kids), your best bet is to inquire at your local sports hall for classes, or to use this club finder. Riverside Ice and Leisure in Chelmsford, for instance, charges £84 for a 12-week adults' course.

Training can be performed in any non-flapping sports garments.

Trendiness rating: 5/10

Trampolinists jump up to 10m in the air. Beat that, basketball.

Inside line

Vera Atkinson, British Gymnastics: "From early civilisations until the present day, this sport can be seen as a reflection of man's desire to defy gravity! At recreational level it is a source of great fun. The most modern trampoline can project a gymnast to such heights that the top stars can touch 10m-high ceilings and perform multiple somersaults with ease. As well as being a sport in its own right, it is widely recognised as a training tool for many other sports such as gymnastics, diving and freestyle skiing. It is also used by the Royal Air Force and by space agencies to acclimatise their pilots and astronauts to aerial activity."

Find out more

trampolining-online.co.uk – an online resource with a club finder, competitions, coaches and retail section.

You may also like

Diving, gymnastics.

You might hate

Fencing, football.

Over to you

Are you a trampolinist? Help us build up this resource by sharing tips, videos, links to clubs and anything else that beginners might find useful.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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