A mini-trampoline, also called a trampette, is a smaller version of its larger counterpart, the trampoline. The miniature version does not have as much give and is situated lower to the ground. It is often used in exercise programs that focus on cardiac health because its use produces a high heart rate even as it reduces stress on the leg joints.
A trampoline is a piece of canvas that is stretched taut within a frame and attached to it with metal springs. The canvas is inelastic, and it is the springs allow the trampoline to rebound. There are two types of regular trampoline — the competitive, which is made of strong materials and is very durable and the recreational, which is not as hardy as the competitive model and is made for occasional use.
The construction of most mini-trampolines is similar to that of a regular-sized recreational trampoline. The mini's canvas is fairly durable and is attached to springs, usually steel, that connect it to a metal frame. Its most distinguishing characteristic is its small size of only 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.
Its size makes a mini-trampoline well suited to indoor activities. At only 12 inches (30 cm) from the ground, a mini-trampoline cannot exert enough rebound, the upward force exerted on the person jumping on it, to cause the user to jump extremely high. It is, however, designed to have enough give and flex to reduce any impact that could damage the knees and leg joints after jumping or a similar activity.
Many fitness routines employ a mini-trampoline in order to reduce stress on joints, making it suitable for people with joint problems. Since it is relatively small, it can be used in the privacy of one's home or transported to a different location for a workout. Some can even be folded to become even more compact.
If not used correctly a mini-trampoline, or any trampoline, can cause injury. The springs should be covered, at all times during use, with a circular pad that is attached around the edge of the frame. This will prevent a leg from slipping through or getting caught in the springs. It is not advisable to use a mini-trampoline close to other people or near other mini-trampolines. A lapse of attention could cause a collision.