How Do Trampolines Work?

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Have you ever wondered how do trampolines work? The answer may be as simple as the springs returning the force you exert.

Instead of a boring textbook approach, I believe that relating the scientific principles with practical questions will make the information here more easy to understand.

The best thing about knowing how they work is that you can level up your enjoyment with your trampoline, allowing you to literally reach new heights.

How Do Trampolines Work?

A diver jumps from a springboard and performs a series of flips and twists before landing cleanly on the water. A batter is having the time of his life being tossed in the air after a successful home run. Children joyfully jumping on the bed. All of these are very much in common with a trampoline.

They allow us to float in the air for a few seconds. To seemingly fly, even for just a few seconds, without contraptions.

But divers get to experience it only once every time they dive, the victory tosses only until the tossers get tired, or the bed until you catch your kids. A trampoline is created to experience this sensation of floating over and over again.

Traditionally, or more commonly, trampolines make use of springs to propel jumpers up high in the air. The springs expand or extend as you sink on the mat. When the springs recoil to return to their original state, you are tossed upwards.

These days, some trampoline modes make use of elastic bands or mat rods like the ones from Springfree, to eliminate the risks of getting accidents from springs. Trampoline companies that still use springs have different ways of covering them to help ensure that the jumpers are safe.

There is a much better way of learning how a trampoline actually works. On the next section, we will be using a more scientific approach to its mechanics.

You may also like: How to Do a Backflip on a Trampoline

The Science Behind Trampolines

Learning the science behind how a trampoline works will not only help you answer more questions related to it, but it will help you improve your form and your bounce in a more scientific way. The knowledge you gain can help to indirectly avoid possible injuries.

Trampoline physics adheres to Newton’s Basic Laws of Motion. It is a cohesive and practical application of the three laws of motion.

  • The Law Of Inertia. Unless you exert force by jumping on a trampoline, it will not make you bounce at all.
  • The Law Of Acceleration. The upward acceleration is produced by a force acting on an object or mass.
  • The Law Of Interaction. This is the most obvious one we see and experience with a trampoline. As we exert force downwards, and equivalent force is generated upwards which launches us to the air.

The questions will help you further understand how these laws are applied when bouncing on a trampoline.

Why Do We Seem To Hang In The Air?

Have you ever noticed the actual speed involved when a person jumps or down on a trampoline? The upward motion is a lot slower than the downward motion.

As a matter fact, there is a specific point in time when a jumper seemed to hang in the air, even for less than a second.

This is because the jumping mat and the springs (or mat rods) gives a near elastic collision to the person jumping. By extending the time of the collision, it reduces not only the amount of force needed for each bounce but also the acceleration & deceleration.

Why Are Children Able To Naturally Jump Higher?

Following Newton’s second law of motion, a heavier or larger object requires more force to move. The amount of force required to accelerate an object is inversely proportional to the mass.

With children weighing a lot less than adults, it is very easy for them to jump higher than adults. You may see yourself higher up in the air when you jump at the same time with your child. However, in relation to each of your own height, your child becomes the sure winner.

Why Do Some Trampolines Make Jumping Effortless

You can definitely add more height to your jump by exerting more muscle force. The force should be exerted at the bottom of the bounce to make it more effective.

It doesn’t have to be with the leg muscles all the time, though. Rotating your arms at the right time can generate a considerable amount of kinetic energy, even without having to bend your legs.

The secret to jumping higher effortlessly lies more in the elastic force generated by a trampoline. This is not the same for every trampoline though, and unfortunately, there is no clear way to measure it yet. Spring-based trampolines remain to be the best choice if you want to achieve this.

Wrapping It Up

Knowledge of how do trampolines work will make you enjoy your bounce session even more. Aside from the fact that it’s beneficial to your health, the science behind it makes it more natural and opens up a whole new approach in enriching the experience.

Whether you want a trampoline with a firmer bounce or one that makes you jump higher, I recommend checking our guide of the best trampoline models to buy this year.

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