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Benefits of Jumping Jacks and How to Do Them

Jumping jacks are a cardio exercise.

It keeps your heart rate steady, improves blood flow, controls and maintains blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, and keeps strokes and heart attacks from happening.

jumping jacks benefits

What are jumping jacks?

Jumping jacks are a great, portable total-body workout. This is jump training or plyometrics. Plyometrics combines cardio and strength training. It works on your heart, lungs, and muscles.

jumping jacks work your:

Hip flexors, glutes, quadriceps

Jumping jacks work your abs and shoulders.

What are the benefits?

Plyometric exercises help people run faster and jump higher. Plyometrics work by rapidly stretching and shortening the muscles (concentric phase).

Other examples of plyometric exercises:

  • burpees
  • squat jumps
  • box jumps
  • lunge jumps

Jumping jacks can replace treadmill or stationary bike miles. Jumping jacks move your body out of its normal plane of motion and raise your heart rate.

By taxing the muscles in this way, movement becomes more explosive, gaining strength and agility for multidirectional sports.

Jumping may help bone health. In one study, rats jumped for eight weeks (200 jumps per week compared to 40 jumps per day for five days).

Their bone density increased significantly after jumping compared to the control group. The rats kept their gains even after 24 weeks of training which was only 11% (21 jumps per week) as hard as the first test.

Regular exercise can also benefit:

  • weight management.
  • reduced blood pressure.
  • reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.
  • increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
  • cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.
  • increased insulin sensitivity.

What about calories burned?

A 150-pound person doing 100 jumping jacks for two minutes burns 19 calories. 10 minutes of jumping jacks per day burns 94 calories.

Are there any risks?

Jumping jacks and other plyometric exercises can injure the knee and ankle. As with most exercises, the risk is higher without a strong base.

Consult your doctor before starting a program if you have joint or muscle issues.

Jumping jacks are safe for most people. This includes young and older athletes.

Jumping jacks and pregnancy

In all trimesters of pregnancy, ACOG recommends 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. The ACOG says exercise helps maintain fitness, weight, and gestational diabetes risk.

The ACOG doesn’t say to do jumping jacks, but they recommend “low-impact” aerobics over high-impact sports like gymnastics. Consult your doctor about safe exercise during each trimester.

If you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and regularly did jumping jacks before becoming pregnant, consult your doctor. Pregnancy affects your joints and balance.

With a doctor’s OK, some women can exercise vigorously until delivery. Second and third-trimester exercises must be approved.

Pay attention to your body and adjust based on complications and your doctor’s advice.

How to do jumping jacks

Consult your doctor if you’re new to exercise. Start slow with short repetitions and sets. As your fitness improves, so do you.

Basic jumping jacks

  1. Start with straight legs and arms at the sides.
  2. Jump up and spread your feet wider than hip-width, bringing your arms above your head.
  3. Jump again, bringing your legs together. Backtrack.

Basic jumping jacks

Squat jack

Jumping jacks can be intensified. For squat jack:

  1. Start with jumping jacks.
  2. Then squat with legs wider than shoulder-width apart and toes out.
  3. Place your hands behind your head as you jump your feet in and out in a squat.

Squat jack

Rotational jack

You can increase the intensity with the rotational jack.

  1. Begin with your feet together and your hands on your chest.
  2. Squat after jumping. You should have wider-than-shoulder-width feet and turned-out toes.
  3. As you land in a squat, rotate at the waist and reach your left hand to the floor. Right hand to the sky
  4. Start over.
  5. One repetition is on one side.

Rotational jack

Low-impact jumping jacks

Chicago celebrity trainer Andrea Metcalf recommends low-impact jumping jacks.

  1. Start by extending your right arm and stepping out with your right foot.
  2. While your right side is out, step out with your left foot and left arm.
  3. right arm and foot in then left. repeating
  4. Alternate sides for 5 repetitions, starting with the right. left-lead again.

low-impact jumping jacks

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