Bouncing on a trampoline can be more than just kid's play. In fact, a daily trampoline routine can result in better fitness for adults, too. If you're considering purchasing a trampoline for yourself, you might wonder whether it's best to buy a mini or a big trampoline. There are pros and cons to both, and important safety considerations to keep in mind before choosing the one that is right for you.
Mini Trampoline Pros
For the average adult, smaller trampolines are more effective. The shorter, tighter springs pull your body downward, creating more resistance and resulting in a strenuous workout. Mini trampoline bouncing -- also known as rebounding -- has multiple health benefits, such as stronger muscles, organs, bones and tendons, and lower risk of some cancers and heart disease. A 10-minute jumping session can be as good for you as a 25- or 30-minute jog, but without the strain on the bones and joints. Another great advantage of rebounders is that nearly every healthy adult can jump.
Big Trampoline Pros
Large trampolines are usually better suited for experienced athletes such as gymnasts and cheerleaders, because the bigger surface area allows for more intricate jumps, flips and twists. Advanced gymnasts practice new skills on trampolines to develop a better air sense. Many athletes also use the larger trampolines because the landings are much softer than on mini trampolines and spring floors, reducing the risk of injury and putting less strain on the bones and joints.
Mini Trampoline Cons
Watch out for defective or low quality mini trampolines. Bouncing on a bad rebounder can result in serious injury. Folding mini trampolines are particularly dangerous, because a spring could become loose during the folding and unfolding process and hurt you, potentially even requiring medical attention. If possible, attend a rebounding class at the gym to learn under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
Big Trampoline Cons
Large trampolines don't create as much resistance as mini trampolines, so you'll build less strength with a regular jumping workout. They are also notorious for causing injuries -- as many as 246,875 a year. MayoClinic.com recommends only using large trampolines at certified facilities, such as a gymnastics center. If you do use one at home, install safety nets and pads, place the trampoline on level ground and always keep an eye on children.
- MayoClinic.com: Trampoline Jumping: Safe For Kids?
- Healing Daily: Why Rebounding Is So Beneficial
- Foundation For Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure: Trampoline Injuries
- CBS News: Exercise On The Rebound
- USA Gymnastics: Trampoline Drills: Building Air Sense for Dismounts & Landings
- Consumer Product Safety Commission: Stamina Products to Pay $105,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to Report Defects with Mini-Trampolines
Debbie Lechtman is a writer living in Hartford, Conn. She has a degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. In the past, she has worked for major national publications, specializing in fitness and wellness. Currently, she works as a writer and copywriter and is awaiting the upcoming publication of two short stories in literary magazines.