For years I’ve been hearing the whispered confessions of adults who occasionally, ‘hop on the kids’ trampolines’ or ‘have a sneaky jump on the first communion bouncy castle.’ Grown-ups like to bounce, and now business is paying attention as indoor trampoline venues, catering for adults, take off around Ireland.
The trend began in Dublin, but this year indoor trampoline venues have opened in Cork and Limerick with another planned for Galway .
“The concept of an indoor trampoline park originated in the States, we cater for kids here but some of our regulars would be right up to age 60,” says owner of www. jumpzone.ie , Paul Quinn.
Quinn, who with his partner, Daniel Begley, owns trampoline venues in Sandyford and Santry in Dublin, says it didn’t take any effort to entice adults onto trampolines. “We’ve had businesses in like Google and Facebook who hire the venue for team building events; you can also play dodgeball and basketball at Jumpzone. We’ve also had to add extra adult fitness classes. Currently we’re running at 10 classes a week, which are attended by mostly women of all ages,” Quinn explains.
Indoor trampoline venues are essentially a patchwork or grid of inter connecting trampoline spaces where each person has their own jump area sectioned off from the next user. A major advantage of indoor trampolining is that you can’t fall off as the sides are padded with the major attraction for adults being that each hour long class can burn up to 1,000 calories.
Rebound instructor, Eileen Mooney, who originally specialised in small trampoline workouts, developed the exercise programme for Jumpzone in Dublin.
“I’m 50 years old myself and love these classes. The jumping is done to music, we work on abs, we do cardio, you can work hard or take it more slowly and I can modify an exercise for people or give them an alternative exercise if needs be. The good thing with trampolining is there’s no force on joints. What we do here is fun, exercise doesn’t have to be boring.”
Eileen also assures the burning of 1,000 calories an hour is definitely possible. “I’ve worked with people who were very overweight and seen the weight drop off them,” she says.
In Cork, trampolining venue Bounce Zone has been open less than a year and while they also cater for all ages, fitness classes for those aged 16 plus are popular. Again, the majority of fitness customers are women. For owner, engineer Brian Walsh and his wife Niamh the venue has been doubly important as it has meant they were able to shelve their emigration plans.
“We were in Melbourne in 2012 and we were planning on making the move over with our kids and were staying with cousins at the time. One day the cousins said they were going to this bounce place so we went along too. When we arrived at this indoor trampolining venue Niamh just looked at me and we both knew we had to bring something similar back to Cork,” says Brian.
Trampolining caters not only for the unpredictable Irish weather but has many health benefits, Brian adds. “Nasa says 10 minutes of bouncing is a better workout than 33 minutes of running and is the most efficient form of exercise devised by man. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Myself and the wife get on the trampolines regularly,” he adds.
Diane O’Mahony is a 41 year old mother of three from Carrigaline, Co Cork who got bored of running, aerobics and the gym.
“First thing, the Fitzone classes are way harder than what you’d think and it’s not all bouncing. Only a very small part is bouncing like during ‘jumping jacks’.
“There’s a lot of repetition and aerobics type exercises and doing things like a ‘skiing motion’ repeatedly.
“You are sore while exercising but once you step off the trampoline you don’t have pain afterwards because of the trampoline supporting you,” says Diane. She says she “toned up without realising it” at the classes.
Specialist registrar in orthopaedic surgery at Galway University Hospital, Derek Cawley, of www.myorthoclinic.com is familiar with garden trampoline injuries and while, ‘not endorsing’ indoor parks, Dr Cawley says a trampoline you can’t fall off is probably an advantage.
“An active lifestyle is also better than being a couch potato”,” he said,