THE MODERN trampoline was invented in the 1930s and developed as a training exercise for astronauts, but little did they know it would one day become an Olympic sport.

According to a study by NASA published in the Journal of Physiology it is a more efficient workout than running, jogging or swimming.

No wonder then that the Higher Energy Trampoline Club trains stuntmen, soldiers and even ski teams and snow boarders.

According to its founder, Fiona Middleton, 34, it is a “full muscular and cellular workout.”

It is a sport that is becoming popular among an increasingly diverse range of people.

Mum-of-one Ms Middleton, who founded the club in 2009, said: “We have found that since the Olympics there are more boys coming along, they have found that you can still have an amazing body doing gymnastics.

“It is amazing because all the young boys who are into free running, skating and sky diving want to learn.

“Even Olympic divers have trampolines for training on.”

Fitness is definitely part of the attraction for 13-year-old Jemma West, from Farmoor, who has been with the club for over a year.

She said: “When you do flips and somersaults it gets your adrenaline going.

“When you get to a certain height it doesn’t feel like you are on a trampoline at all.

“It is also really good at getting you fit, and it tones you.”

She said that hopefully one day, with a lot of training and hard work, she would get to the Olympics.

The Higher Energy Trampoline Club, now the largest in county, boasts 18 coaches, who teach four or five classes each day. The club operates at the Oxsrad sports centre in Marston, the Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre and Chipping Norton Leisure Centre and is starting new classes in Banbury, Faringdon and Witney.