Trampolines are definitely not just for kids, as Stephanie Brodie and Sarah Walter discovered. The two friends are on a trampoline dodgeball team and play at a big sportsplex, where the trampoline surface is divided into a grid and each player gets a square to bounce on while, yes, dodging balls. ‘You forget you’re working out, and just have fun!’ says Sarah, a highschool teacher. ‘It’s relaxing, challenging and exhausting all at once.’
Trampoline centres are opening up across the country, perhaps thanks to interest fuelled by Canada’s Rosie MacLennan, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics. You can do aerobic classes, play team sports like dodgeball or basketball, or simply bounce around. As well, gymnastic centres often offer adult trampoline classes, and some gyms have aerobics classes on individual minitrampolines (sometimes called ‘rebounders’).
Steph, 23, and Sarah, 25, both live in Mississauga, Ont. They met several years ago through Connection in Motion (CIM), a recreational athletic club for adults with type 1 diabetes. They hit it off, and Steph invited Sarah to join her coed trampoline dodgeball league (which isn’t part of CIM), where they played for an hour once a week with up to 10 other teammates. They also play in an annual CIM trampoline dodgeball tournament that Steph helps to organize.
‘I think we initially bonded because we both had type 1 diabetes; we’d take a break during a game to check our bloodsugar levels,’ says Steph. ‘Now Sarah is one of my best friends and we hang out all the time.’ They both love the game’s social aspect, too. As Steph puts it, ‘It’s fun and exciting’and different from the usual activities we grownups do.’
‘Trampolining offers a great cardio workout and improves your core strength because you’re working to maintain stability,’ says krista Popowych, a certified fitness trainer in vancouver who teaches classes with mini-trampolines. ‘it’s also low impact.’
How to get started
To find a facility, do an online search. if you’re looking for an instructor, ensure he or she is a certified fitness trainer or certified by Gymnastics Canada.
What to wear
Wear regular gym clothes; footwear depends on the venue and activity. for just jumping around, some facilities may require some special one-use non-slip socks (available with your entry fee).