Trampolines might be considered kids toys by some, but they can provide a good cardiovascular workout. They can also improve balance, strength, endurance and coordination. In fact, trampolining was introduced as an Olympic sport in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. For those who want to begin a trampoline-based fitness program, choosing a trampoline may be like exploring foreign territory. If you want to learn how to pick the right fitness trampoline we’ve put together this article as a guide.
Springs or Springless?
Traditionally, trampolines were made with coiled metal springs to provide the bounce. The problem with these types of trampolines is that they can be very dangerous if the user happens to fall into the springs. Not only can the metal be very unforgiving but landing in the spaces between the springs can lead to further injuries. Springless trampolines became popular in the 90s. Rather than the traditional coiled metal springs, they rely on fibreglass rods that are placed underneath the jumping surface. The metal frame that typically surrounds a traditional trampoline is also placed beneath the jumping surface further reducing the chances of injury. If safety is a priority, springless trampolines are the better choice.
Size and Shape
Trampolines exist in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. You can get small, round, indoor trampolines for low bounce, individual workouts or you can get large, rectangular, competition sized trampolines that allow for higher jumping by more than one person at a time. The size and shape of your trampoline will really depend on the space you have available, who will be using the trampoline and what it will be mainly used for. A single apartment dweller who wants something to jog on while watching TV will need a much smaller model than a large family with competitive aspirations.
Safety enclosures were first used on traditional trampolines to prevent the user from falling off the trampoline and onto the springs, the surrounding metal frame or the ground below. They’ve also subsequently been used on springless trampolines mainly to prevent the user from landing on the ground. When choosing a safety enclosure, you should look for one with a tight weave and a heavier weight. This will ensure that it can actually deflect the trampoline user without tearing or giving way. You’ll also want to check the secureness of the doorway. This is often the weakest point of the enclosure, so you want one that can be closed securely. It’s also worthwhile to invest in netting that’s resistant to ultraviolet (UV) rays. When such a thin material is exposed to sunlight, it doesn’t take long to break down if it doesn’t have UV protection. Paying for that protection will allow it to last many more seasons.
Inground Versus Above Ground
Inground trampolines are very popular for aesthetic reasons. They create a more streamlined look and can be a very attractive addition to a backyard. It might be easy to believe that inground trampolines are safer or don’t require a safety enclosure, but that’s not necessarily true. Although the height from which you would hit the ground were you to fall off an inground trampoline might be less than if you were on an above ground model, inground trampolines typically have to be surrounded by some sort of hard surfaced retaining wall. Therefore, a safety enclosure is still recommended for an inground trampoline. Inground trampolines also incur higher installation costs while making it more difficult to inspect and repair any below ground components. Unless your need for an aesthetically pleasing installation is greater than the size of your pocketbook and your resourcefulness when it comes to maintenance, an above ground trampoline will be a much less complicated proposition.
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