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Are you looking for something super fun for the whole family? Well, I have the perfect solution for stir-crazy kids and frustrated parents: trampoline parks!
What?? A park full of trampolines??
Sounds fun, right?
You bet it is!
And believe it or not, it’s also really healthy for you and your whole family. You’ll have so much fun that you won’t even notice that you’re getting a great workout.
If you’ve never been to a trampoline park, I’m going to explain everything that you need to know before you try it out.
Stick with me until the end because I’m going to show you some super fun moves that you can teach your kids to do on the trampoline.
Let’s get started!
So What Exactly Are Trampoline Parks?
Seriously, what’s more fun than a trampoline?
Now imagine a giant room filled with side by side trampolines, trampolines going up the wall, trapezes, a foam pit to flip into, killer tunes, trampoline basketball, rock climbing wall, and all sorts of jumping games to play. How fun does that sound?
Well, that’s what you’ll find at trampoline parks!
Trampoline parks offer an incredible indoor adventure for the entire family. They’re ideal for kids of all ages. Yes, even you!
And the best part?
Jumping on the trampoline is excellent for your health and fitness! It’s an incredible exercise for both children and adults. So skip the gym this weekend and jump with your kids on the trampoline.
You’ll have so much fun that you won’t even notice the killer workout that you’re getting.
An adult jumping on the trampoline for one hour will burn over 300 calories.
The kids will also burn off some of that energy as they get stronger and learn things like balance and spatial awareness. And they will love seeing you out there having fun too.
NASA uses the trampoline in several ways to prepare astronauts for spaceflight and help them recover. In addition to the usual health benefits, trampolining is perfect prep for all of the bouncing around that occurs moment-to-moment during space travel, because it trains you to control your center of gravity.
Then, when astronauts return from space, trampolines are a great way to rehabilitate them by helping them rebuild their bone mass and strengthen their joints in a low-impact routine.
Why Trampolining? Why Not Trampolining!
I have been teaching gymnastics for over 20 years, and I can tell you that kids love jumping on the trampoline. It’s always the most popular activity in the gym.
And one thing that I can tell you for sure is that when kids learn to love physical fitness at an early age, they are far more likely to stick with it through adulthood.
One excellent way to get them started is to introduce them to trampolining.
The Benefits of Bringing the Whole Family to a Trampoline Park
Trampoline Parks Are for Kids of All Ages!
Image by Pixabay
In gymnastics, we start kids on the trampoline as early as age two. Different trampoline parks have different rules, so you should check with your local park on their specific weight and age limits.
But generally speaking, trampoline parks allow kids aged 2 through 102. Yes, really!
The little kids under the age of six will have their own section of the park so you won’t have to worry about them getting trampled by the big kids.
All kids under 18 must have a parent present to sign the release forms. You can leave the older kids at the park alone after you sign the waiver, but children under the age of six should never be left alone at a trampoline park.
How much does it cost to go to a trampoline park?
One of the great things about trampoline parks is that they’re relatively inexpensive and you don’t have to buy any special equipment.
You should contact your local park to get exact prices.
But on the average, it will cost around $10 to $15 per person to jump for one hour. Jumping for two hours will cost about $20 to $25 per person.
Trampolines are a part of all sorts of unexpected training. Divers practice their ability to target a landing spot by trampolining and freestyle skiers practice moves and tune up their balance on trampolines.
Even cooler, during WW2, during World War II, the US military used trampolines in Flight School to train pilots in developing their sense of mid-air spatial orientation and concentration.
Here’s What You Should Wear
Remember how I said that you don’t have to buy special equipment for the trampoline park?
Well, you also don’t need special clothing.
Basically, you just want to wear something comfortable. Shorts and a t-shirt are perfect. You could also wear sweats or leggings.
Stay away from wearing jeans or any kind of sharp belt buckle.
So what about shoes?
You can wear any shoes you want to get in and out of the park. But once you’re inside you will be taking those shoes off. There are no shoes allowed on the trampolines.
Socks? Or no socks?
One thing that all trampoline parks have in common is that they don’t let you wear shoes on the trampolines. Socks, on the other hand, well, there are differing opinions on that one.
Image by Pixabay
When I’m teaching gymnastics, I prefer to have the kids barefoot when they jump on the trampoline. Trampoline parks are divided. Some require bare feet to jump while others insist on socks.
You can call your local park to find out if they require socks or not. If they do, they want you to wear socks that have grippers on the bottom so that they’re not slippery.
If you don’t have gripper socks, no worries, most trampoline parks sell them for a couple of bucks. Once you buy them, you can bring them with you every time you go back.
Trampolining, according to NASA, is better than jogging (we have to agree) and apparently only 10 minutes on a trampolines burns as many calories as a 30-minute jog, but with less stress on your joints and ligaments.
Now Let’s Talk About Trampoline Park Safety
After you watch the video above, please show it to your kids too.
It is essential that you go over the safety rules with your kids before they get on a trampoline at a park. The rules are there to avoid injury.
It is true that trampoline parks can be dangerous. But the vast majority of injuries on the trampoline happen when kids aren’t following the rules.
Before you or your family jumps, be sure to take off all jewelry and empty your pockets.
There should only be one person at a time on each trampoline. Also, you should avoid jumping or landing on the padding between trampolines.
Trampolining is not a contact sport. No one should ever touch or jump on another person.
Focus on catching air, not catching each other.
Trampoline Safety Rules
- Every person who jumps must have a signed waiver
- Kids 18 and under must have a parent present to sign the waiver before jumping
- Do not jump if you are pregnant or have other health limitations
- Do not sit or lie down or rest on the trampolines
- Pushing, wrestling, tackling, running, racing, playing tag, and horseplay of any kind is strictly forbidden
- Do not jump on or land on the padding between trampolines
- Only one person may jump on each trampoline at one time
- Do not dive head first into the foam pit, always land feet first
- Only one person may be in the foam pit at a time
- Always jump and land with two feet or on your butt, never jump onto your head
- Double bouncing is strictly forbidden
- When bouncing or flipping onto the side wall, be sure that you land on the side wall adjoining your trampoline
- No spitting or profanity
- Absolutely no gum
- No shoes on the trampolines
- You cannot bring cell phones or cameras onto the trampolines
- Always jump in the center of the trampoline
About the waiver
There is some risk involved with jumping on a trampoline. They are tons of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules.
Because of that, anyone who jumps at a trampoline park must have a signed waiver. The waiver releases the park from liability if you get hurt.
All kids 18 years old or younger must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver for them. Some parks will allow you to fill out the form online before you go, but a parent or guardian will still have to present photo id when you show up at the park.
The current record for the most backflips on a trampoline is 49. That works out to almost one flip per second. I don’t even want to think about how queasy those stomachs must have been after all those flips!
Some Fun Skills to Practice at the Trampoline Park
Now let’s get to the fun stuff!
The entire family can do all of these super fun beginner moves. Even you!
The first move that you can practice at trampoline parks is the seat drop. A seat drop is basically a bounce on your butt.
See? I told you this was going to be fun!
The video below will show you what it looks like to do a seat drop. It’s a simple, super fun move that you can do at any age. My two-year-old students love this one. And it’s just as much fun when you’re an adult.
Practice landing in the seated position with your legs straight and fingers and toes pointed forward.
Once you get the technique, you should try to bounce from the seat drop back to your feet.
Now, who’s ready for some seat drop wars?
To play this game, you should bounce from your butt to your feet over and over again. Don’t do any extra jumps in between the seat drops; just go directly from butt to feet to butt to feet.
How many can you do in a row?
This is a great game to challenge your kids. See who can do the most in a row.
Do you need more of a challenge? No problem!
Try adding a half turn before or after the seat drop. In a minute I’m going to teach you another more advanced move that builds off of the seat drop.
Next, we’re going to try some toe touches or straddle jumps.
Start by jumping high with a few big bounces. Then bring your legs up to hip height in the air and reach for your toes.
If your kid is involved in gymnastics or cheerleading, practicing this jump on the trampoline will make them much better at doing them from the ground.
Try doing more than one of them in a row. You can even challenge each other to see who can do the most in a row without extra bounces.
If you want an extra challenge, try adding a half turn before or after your toe touch.
Since the year 2000, trampolining has officially become a bonafide Olympic event for men and women! Olympic trampoline jumpers can reach dizzying heights up to 33 feet (8 meters) in the air while performing tricks and twists that would make your head spin many many times in a row.
Swivel hips are another super fun move that you can practice at trampoline parks.
Remember when I told you that we were going to build on the seat drop. Well, here we go.
Make sure that before you try these swivel hips that you can do a seat drop correctly.
The basic move is bouncing on your butt, doing a half turn in the air, and then landing on your butt again facing the other direction.
Start by catching some air. Do several big jumps before you do your seat drop. You want to get a big enough bounce off of your butt that you can twist in the air.
The video below will show you the correct form.
The tricky thing about the swivel hips is that you don’t bounce to your feet in between them. They look easy, but they’re not, at least not at first.
Once you and your kids can do one of them, try to do as many in a row as you can. They are so much fun that you won’t even notice that you are working your core and waistline.
If you have older kids, who can do this move easily, have them practice twisting in both directions.
The next move that you can practice at trampoline parks is the donkey kick.
In this move, you are going to be bouncing between your knees and your hands.
When you do the donkey kick, you will be supporting your weight on your hands while your legs kick up toward the ceiling. It’s an excellent way to teach kids handstands.
At no time should your head ever touch the trampoline. You’re not aiming for a headstand.
Remember what I said about never bouncing on your head? Instead, you want to keep your arms straight. No spaghetti arms!
This video below will walk you through the technique.
Back drops are another super fun move you can do at trampoline parks.
The video below will show you how to do it, starting with the cockroach.
The cockroach?? Yes, there really is a move called the cockroach! It might sound gross, but it’s so much fun!
Remember when I told you that trampoline parks have side walls that you can bounce on too? Well, the trampolines on the walls are perfect for back drops.
Is your head supposed to touch the trampoline when you do back drops?
There are some differing opinions on whether or not you should let your head touch the trampoline when you do back drops.
When I teach young kids at the gym, I have them bounce on their upper backs, without letting their heads touch. The point is that they keep their head and neck muscles in control while they do the movement.
Without that, the head can get sort of floppy, and it can be easy to give yourself whiplash.
Other instructors say it’s okay to let your head touch, as long as it hits the trampoline bed at the same time as your back.
If you notice that your child’s head is hitting after their back, then tell them to tuck their chin.
Brothers Sean, Eric and TJ Kennedy set the Guinness World Record in New York in 2014 for the highest trampoline bounce by a team, ever. They managed to reach a height of 22 feet, 1 inch.
And, believe it or not, but the world record for the most front flips in a row is 3,333! This record belongs to Brian Hudson, a Brit in Gillingham on September 18, 2003.
Okay, now that you know how to do the back drop, we’re going to build on that and learn a beginner flip.
You will see a lot of flips at the trampoline parks. The video below will show you one of the easiest ways to learn to flip.
I told you earlier that all of the tricks we are introducing today are safe for the whole family. It’s true. Yes, even the flip!
The front flip to back drop is the easiest flip to learn. Don’t be afraid of this one. Your kids will love it. And so will you once you get the hang of it.
Start with just the front flip, back drop, to feet. Do that over and over until you feel comfortable with it before you take the feet out.
Helpful Tips for Trampoline Parks
- Read and fill out the waiver form ahead of time.
- Don’t pay full price. Check with places like Groupon for discounts. It’s also cheaper to visit trampoline parks during the week or in off-peak times.
- Avoid peak hours. Trampoline parks can get crowded on school holidays and weekends. That means longer wait times.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
- Find out ahead of time if you need to get gripper socks.
- Bring a water bottle!
- Arrive a few minutes after the hour or after the half hour. If you get there a few minutes late, you will get extra jumping time. For example, if you arrive at one of the trampoline parks at 4:10 p.m., you will get to jump until 5:30 p.m. If you get there right at 4:00 p.m., you will only be able to play until 5:00 p.m.
- Adults can jump too!
- Keep children under age six in their designated area.
- There are also places to sit and watch at trampoline parks if you don’t want to jump.
- Call your local trampoline parks ahead of time to find out if they offer special sessions or classes for toddlers.
Now, Who’s Ready to Start Jumping?
Well, there you have it! Now you’re ready to hit those trampoline parks like a pro.
Another great thing about trampoline parks is that they offer super fun birthday parties. Most of them have separate rooms where you can have a birthday cake or pizza. But good luck keeping the kids off of the trampolines!
An hour jumping on the trampoline will wear out even the most energetic kids. It will give you a killer workout too.
However, most parks offer so much more than just jumping that it might be worth it to buy the hour and a half or two-hour packages.
Besides jumping, you can also participate in slam dunk basketball, trampoline dodge ball, obstacle courses, trapeze swinging, rock climbing, zip lining, and so much more.
With all of that, you can imagine that the hour or 90 minutes will fly by.
Now we would love to hear from you! Tell us in the comments section below about your experience with trampoline parks. Did you jump too? How was it? We’d also love to hear feedback from the kids.