In Grand Rapids, Iowa in 1936, George Nissen invented the trampoline—a device originally intended for gymnasts to perform moves that couldn’t be done before. Little did George know his creation would decades later be responsible for a new Olympic event (He was 86 years old when trampolining was officially recognized at the 2000 Sydney Olympic games).

You can imagine George’s delight when his invention led to what many modern, enlightened physicians and fitness professionals call the perfect exercise: mini-trampoline rebounding.

THE RISE

The first “mini” trampoline was created by Ed Russell way back in 1938. But it wasn’t patented until 1975 by Victor Green. The major breakthrough came when wrestler/gymnast, Albert Carter formed a professional performing trampolining team. Their performances thrilled hundreds of thousands of spectators. Then Carter began to wonder if his superior strength and his family’s extraordinary health came from jumping on the trampoline. With much perseverance he fulfilled his quest to discover why bouncing on a trampoline was so wonderful for the human body.

In 1980 NASA published a research study which revealed great benefits of trampoline exercise in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Albert Carter was finally armed with the scientific proof he needed. And he coined the term, “rebounding”—exercising on a mini-trampoline.

Keep in mind that rebounders are not designed for gymnastic moves… they’re for simple, safe, easy and effective exercise that anybody to do—at home, on the road, or at the office.

THE FALL

Between 1981 and 1984 rebounders were “selling like hotcakes.” Over 70 billion dollars were spent on them. But practically overnight, they became “dinosaurs”—another “flash-in-the-pan” exercise fad “gadget” come and gone. The reason: more than 100 manufacturers (in the United States alone) began pumping out rebounders at warp speed. Then third-world countries jumped on the “rebounder bandwagon.” And the competition became fierce. Price wars resulted in the manufacturing of pitiful quality junk. People used these little trampolines for a short time and quit.

THE RESURRECTION

The fact that these mini-trampolines more or less became extinct turned out to actually be a good thing—because these cheap pieces of garbage (which were basically overpriced “toys”) created more problems than they helped, like back pain, foot pain, knee pain and hip pain! This was not what Albert Carter had in mind. He knew that a properly constructed rebounder would be fantastic. Even though the 80’s fad had fizzled fast, an “underground” movement stayed alive, supported by various professionals and celebrities.

If you’re a die-hard jogger or runner, what I’m about to tell you may make you think twice about lacing up those running sneakers and pounding the pavement. Exercise doesn’t have to be “rocket science,” but apparently it couldn’t hurt. Here’s the story:

Albert Carter, the “father of rebounding” was determined to figure out exactly why bouncing on a trampoline was such a magnificent exercise. He was certain that rebound exercise was “the most efficient, effective form of exercise.” His research led him to various libraries. At the University of Washington’s library, he was shocked when he dug up a trampoline research study conducted by NASA.

It turned out that NASA was considering using trampoline exercises to help counteract astronauts’ loss of bone mass and weakness caused by space flight. They wanted to see if there would be something superior to running. Treadmills have long been used for health and fitness research. But trampolines had never been researched before.

The study was conducted by the Biomechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, with the Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory of the University of Kentucky, Lexington. The scientists compared various measurements on 8 young men performing running on a treadmill, as well as jumping on a trampoline. Using various examinations and medical technology, they tested their: Pulse – before and after exercising… Oxygen intake during exercise… and G-Forces at their ankles, lower back and forehead

The scientists were stunned by the results of the study…

The NASA Scientists Discovered Trampoline Exercise Was 2-4 Times More Efficient Than Treadmill Running!

What this means in plain English, is that when you jump on the very forgiving surface of a properly constructed trampoline, your entire body shares the G-force impact. This is the critical and unique benefit of rebounding, that the NASA study confirmed… When you rebound, the up and down movements to the cushioning surface, the forces of acceleration, deceleration and gravity are lined up in one plane of movement, all at the same time. This is quite a contrast from running—where your feet, ankles and legs bear most of the force and fatigue.

In the NASA study, the G-force on the ankles was more than twice than on the back and forehead. NASA also found that the rate of oxygen consumption was twice as efficient as treadmill running! This is a very good thing because every cell of your entire body gets quality exercise stress to build strength…without trauma to any one part of the body.

In other words… the intense, pounding trauma of running can cause injuries to the feet, legs, knees, hips and back… and this is ELIMINATED with rebounding.

To sum it up, their study revealed that bouncing on a trampolining was an extraordinarily efficient form of exercise—significantly better than running, to counteract some of the negative effects of space travel on astronauts. Their findings also helped us understand why rebounding is an outstanding exercise for the elderly and even some handicapped people: low impact, efficient, safe and great for building cellular strength.

No Pain… No Gain?

This is one of the biggest myths people believe when they begin an exercise program. Fitness gurus and sports coaches love to tell you, “No pain, No Gain.” But once you begin a fast, easy and fun rebounding exercise program, you’ll know from firsthand experience that… It’s Dead Wrong!

There’s just no need for exercise to hurt. You’ve probably heard the term, “low-impact.” Right? Well, there’s no better low-impact exercise solution than a properly constructed rebounder… But it is critical that your rebounder is well-built. Bouncing on a cheap rebounder will likely cause many of the same high-impact problems of running. If you do it right, your exercise efforts will energize you… and it will feel good to exercise!

Reference by Donald K. Liebell