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Trampolines and the Military

Posted on
Jun 17, 2011
Read time
4 mins

Everyone knows that trampolines provide hours of backyard fun for kids and adults of all ages, but many people are unaware of their long, detailed history within the military.

In fact, one might be surprised to discover that these exciting exercise tools were not always synonymous with feeling joyful and carefree. Before any athletic or competition-based applications were used, trampolines were used to train pilots for the rigorous challenges of combat starting during the Second World War. The demand for manufactured trampolines exploded during World War II, giving rise to one of the greatest military training tools in modern history. These incredible devices provided an unparalleled advantage to those in active duty and were frequently used by the Allied powers.

Throughout the World War II years, trampolines were a fundamental component of the physical training program for the United States Naval Aviation cadets. They were immediately noted for their versatile uses and were invaluable for the intense mental and physical conditioning that the soldiers had to endure. Thousands of cadets were involved in trampoline training at the three Naval Pre-Flight Schools that were located throughout the nation. High-ranking officers discovered that trampolines were a fantastic way to keep their soldiers in shape, and it was quickly discovered that trampoline training offered as many mental benefits as they did physical. This was especially crucial in times of battle, as the life of a soldier requires a solid, fit body and a sharp mind.

Trampolines provided a supreme advantage to those in active duty, and their rewards were well-known and documented. First, trampolines were very effective in reducing fear in pilots. Many generals were encountering young men who were afraid of being upside down, of falling, and of revolving in mid-air. These skills were crucial for a pilot's survival, as the infamous dog fights were a common occurrence. Pilots had to fearlessly manoeuvre their crafts in order for the troops to gain military advantage, and fear was not part of the equation. Trampolines were a welcomed solution when it was discovered that they were a fantastic way to desensitise pilots to the flips and turns that they needed to perfect in fierce battle.

Another key advantage to trampoline training was that it increased the pilot's ability to sense relocation after the body had stopped revolving. A strong sense of physical orientation and direction was mandatory to the pilots' endurance, but was hard to recreate these events when confined to the ground. The generals had to come up with a strategy that would allow the pilots to simulate the feeling of being in the air without wasting valuable fuel, damaging aircrafts, or risking lives. The solution was simple: by training pilots to become comfortable revolving in air during their trampoline training sessions, the generals could easily promote the feelings of mid-air assurance. Self-confidence in the air was the centre of all of the training, whether in the cockpit or in the training gym. Without the self-confidence that the trampolines provided, the casualties would have been even more staggering.

Another vital skill that pilots learned from trampoline training was the increased balance and body control while in the air. This awareness was critical in air-based battles, and countless lives were saved as a result of intense trampoline training. Pilots could more easily focus on the mission at hand without paying as much attention to their own experience within the cockpit. Being so in-tune with the natural movement of the plane allowed the pilots to be more integrated with it; essentially, they had to be one with the aircraft.


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Trampolines provided soldiers with an excellent exercise program, as well. Rebounding on the training trampolines developed the leg muscles in ways that generals had never expected. These powerful leg muscles were extremely important for the pilots' survival, especially if they would have to survive on their own after a crash landing. Leg muscles were crucial for getting in and out of the aircrafts and were needed to complete other activities in their pre-battle training.

Trampolines transformed thin, wiry young men into the strapping, muscular warriors that were needed to defeat the enemy forces. In addition to the amplification of every muscle, tissue, and organ in pilots' bodies, the continuous muscle tension needed to control the body while in the air reinforced the arms, bulked up the shoulders, solidified the trunks, and hardened the abdomens. As an added bonus, the flexibility gained by motions prepared them for the physical challenges that lay ahead.

Perhaps the most critical physical advantage that trampolines provided was the strengthening of all of the vital organs in one motion. Generals quickly realised that trampolines amplified their men from the inside out. Because rebounding produces a natural gravitational pull on all of the organs inside of the body, the organs become stronger and more resilient. This quality increased fatigue-recovery ability, making the pilots more efficient than ever before.

There were also many mental benefits to trampoline training. The motion of bouncing on a trampoline also released adrenaline, a natural substance that makes users get a natural high. Adrenaline stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and makes the body feel more alert and aware of surroundings. As a result, the heart beats faster and stronger and uses more oxygen. It stimulates the body's “fight or flight" response and gives the users a rush that is frequently not present in other sports or activities. Pilots had to become accustomed and to the rush in order to become more stable fighters and more strategic marksmen. Without the usage of trampolines, the mid-air experience would have been much more intense.

As if that is not enough, rebounding on a trampoline releases dopamine, which made the soldiers more alert to follow orders. It also plays a crucial role in learning and memory retention. The ability to think clearly under pressure was imperative in order to complete missions. Similar to adrenaline, dopamine influences brain processes that control the body's movement, respond to outside stimulation, and create the ability to experience both plain and pleasure. Without prior trampoline training, Allied pilots would have not experienced the mental clarity needed for success.

Whether used for fitness or fun, trampolines are an excellent exercise tool for the whole family. Vuly provides a wide array of top-quality trampolines and safety accessories. Check out our stock today!

Victor Volynski
Article by
Victor Volynski
Content marketer with expertise in innovative play equipment, Vic is always following the latest trends and developments in this area and trying to find the best options for maximum fun! Vic is also an ex-gymnast with 20 years of experience and holds a science degree, making him an authority on trampolines, monkey bars, and swing sets.
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