Trampolining is a versatile way to get the cardiovascular exercise you need, but unlike running, jumping rope and other high-impact aerobics, trampolining doesn't put as much stress on the joints. When you run, you might feel pain and pressure in your ankles and knees, but trampolining transfers the impact of jumping to the trampoline itself rather than to sensitive joints. However, a trampoline workout does exercise your joints, which can make it an ideal choice for people with joint injuries who need to keep their joints mobile and their muscles strong.
Your ankle is actually composed of three different joints: the talocrural joint, the subtalar joint and the inferior tibiofibular joint. These joints are used to bend your foot as you jump upward and then to cushion the impact and flatten your foot when you land. While some forms of aerobic exercise can cause injuries if you have a weak ankle, most trampoline-based exercises prevent ankle injuries and instability because the trampoline itself cushions the impact.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and includes several ligaments which join the tibia, fibula, patella and femur together and play a significant role in jumping. When you jump up, you must use your entire lower body to propel your motion upward, and the knee joint bends your legs to enable this. As you land, your knee helps bend your legs slightly to cushion the impact. The knee is the most commonly injured joint, and people with knee injuries often find that jumping on a trampoline hurts less than other activities.
Your hips are partially involved in jumping on a trampoline as you bend your legs and move your hips to jump up and down. If you do trampoline tricks, such as flips, cartwheels or jumping with your legs spread out, your hips play a significant role in flexing and bending your thighs and stabilizing your body as you jump.
A trampoline has the potential to exercise virttually every joint in the body. Your shoulders and elbows, for example, are involved in bending your arms as you jump up, and your wrists flex your hands when you move. Your neck stabilizes your head and gets a workout if you're doing flips or somersalts, and even the joints of your toes may get some exercise. Generally speaking, the more intense your trampoline workout, the more joints you will work.