Trampolines, whether backyard or mini rebounder style, provide an amazing form of work-out when you jump on them. But sometimes, you (or the kids) can finish a session on the trampoline, and just feel tired all over. Which begs the question, “Why does a trampoline make you feel so tired?”
Jumping on a trampoline makes you feel tired as you get a full body workout. Trampolining is three times more effective at running or cardio, as well as being low-impact on your joints. The G-forces make your heart work harder. It also works your core, giving you better co-ordination and balance.
Most people will feel tired after just 10 minutes of bouncing, although this does depend on your level of fitness. Let’s have a closer look at the reasons why you feel so tired jumping on a trampoline.
Greater Workout Than Running
Trampolines give you a great effective workout, which is what makes you feel tired.
As you make the first jump in the air, your feet push down into the mat. The mat goes down because the springs stretch. The springs then recoil, which shoots you up in the air.
The better the springs, the better the bounce, which is why more expensive trampolines are often worth it.
Trampolines and NASA – early research
The space agency NASA does a great deal of research around how to better prepare their astronauts for going to space and then returning to Earth. The changes between gravity and a zero gravity environment and back again changes fitness levels, bone density and health, and even co-ordination when trying to walk or move.
Back in 1980, researchers Bhattacharya, McCutcheon, Shvartz and Greenleaf were trying to understand how they could help astronauts return to regular walking in the Earth’s gravitational conditions. Specifically, they wanted to help astronauts exercise the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.
In addition to increasing metabolism, they wanted to understand how upright exercise using the interactions between gravitational-potential energy (bouncing) and kinetic energy (movement), as well as the energy storage and release from the muscles, could help adapt back to walking and other upright activity. They compared running on a treadmill compared to bouncing on a trampoline rebounder.
The study found “The results indicate that, for similar levels of heart rate and rates of oxygen uptake, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a trampoline than with running.”
Trampolines Use Acceleration, Deceleration and Gravity
As well as the amount of physical work you need to do to jump up in the air, your balance and co-ordination system is working overtime AND the amount of G-force you are exposed to can make you feel tired.
Trampolines and Your Balancing System Make You Tired
Your body has its own inertial measuring unit built in called the vestibular system. This sits within your ears, and helps your body understand when it is accelerating, decelerating, and which direction it is moving in. It is critical for balance.
When you are changing direction constantly (that is, as you go up, and then down, and then up again), you are working your vestibular system. As it is in overdrive, this will make you tired quicker. In fact, people with vestibular problems often find that they are tired as their central nervous system needs to work that much harder to process the huge amounts of information.
Trampolines and Gravitational G-Forces Make You Tired
When you bounce on a trampoline, you go faster as you take off from the mat. As you go up in the air, gravity slows you down until you are stationary up in the air, and begin to fall down again. You accelerate again until you are stopped by the mat.
A group of researchers at UTS Australia wrote a conference paper (2014) to try to understand what makes the trampoline so much fun, and found that it all comes down to gravity. As you jump up, this forces the blood away from the brain, and down towards the feet. Your body then has to work harder to get the blood pumping back up to the brain. You can experience up to 4-Gs jumping on a trampoline, even if it only lasts for a few split seconds at a time.
The body tries to increase the heart rate as you are accelerating vertically up, and then decrease the heart rate as you are falling. This change in cardiovascular activity, change in velocity, as well as the momentary lapse of oxygen in the brain all combine to make you tired.
Why Exercise In General Makes You Tired
All exercise has the potential to make you tired.
Exercise Uses Your Energy Up
When you are exercising, your central nervous system has to actively work to make sure it sends electrical stimuli to your muscles. The signal transmitters go from one nerve to another, and tell the muscles to contract.
In order for muscles to contract, the muscles use adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy workhorse of your body.
After you’ve been working out for a while, your reserves of ATP get depleted. This means that you just don’t have as much energy left, and you are now experiencing peripheral fatigue.
Trampolines Make You Feel More Tired Than Regular Exercise
Trampolines, in particular, can make you feel tired after bouncing they work you harder than say running or lifting weights. This is because trampolines give a much more complete total body workout.
The best part about a total body workout on a trampoline is that it is low-impact on your joints. The trampoline mat absorbs the impact of landing. This means that you can work out harder than running on a pavement, without stressing your joints.
Trampolines Works Your Cardiovascular System
Trampolines give your cardiovascular system a real workout. Your muscles are working like crazy to jump, balance and land.
Nintendo Wii Adds A Trampoline To Make You Work Harder
Nintendo Wii has a exercise game called Free Run, where the player does free running. This has been shown to give a moderate-vigorous workout. However, a recent 2018 study showed that including a mini-trampoline as part of the game increased the heartrate from 67% of Max Heart Rate to 77% of Max Heart Rate after just 8 minutes. This takes the impact of the mini-trampoline well into the vigorous level of exercise.
The researchers have a theory that this increase is due to the instability of the trampoline surface whilst jumping. This makes your body work harder just to jump and also to keep balance.
Trampolines Work Your Bones and Muscles
As a result of the harder cardiovascular work, your muscles are working harder. Another study of women comparing doing aerobic dance on a hard wooden floor compared to aerobic dance on a trampoline showed remarkable physical results.
After 12 weeks of training, both mini-trampoline and hard wooden surface aerobic dance training subjects biochemical bone markers decreased in bone resorption (β-CrossLaps) but increased in boneformation (P1NP), and this was significant when compared to the control group.
Additionally, for the group doing aerobic dance on mini-trampoline showed that leg muscular strength, balance and foot plantar pressure were significantly better than the aerobic dance on hard wooden surface.
This implies that when you are jumping on a trampoline, you are doing a significant physical workout, which is likely to make you tired.
You are likely to feel tired after you go on a trampoline because your body experiences a fully physical workout. Your muscles work harder to make you jump, and your cardiovascular system needs to get blood to the muscles, as well as counteract the G-forces experienced.