Jumping Jacks

Quote: "Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it." - Josh Billings

The Jumping Jack is an exercise most of us are familiar with since our childhood.  This is a great bodyweight exercise for improving cardiovascular fitness and conditioning.  You just need your bodyweight and a small area to carry out this movement.  You can also use this exercise as part of a circuit training regime.

jumping jacks

Depending on how fit you are, you can increase intensity by performing this exercise moving your arms and legs faster over a shorter period of time, or perform a squat when the legs are spread out from the body, you can also improve your endurance by maintaining a steady rhythm over a longer period of time.

Benefits of Jumping Jacks

There are many benefits to doing the Front Plank.  These are health related benefits and performance related benefits.

Health Related Benefits:

  • Improves cardiovascular health making the heart work more efficiently and deliver more oxygen to your blood stream and muscles.
  • Help you relax by releasing endorphins that helps to relieve pain and deliver a natural high.
  • Lowers the amount of body fat by increasing the rate at which the body burns off calories.
  • Improves bone strength and density preventing osteoarthritis from occurring.

Performance Related Benefits:

  • Improves endurance and stamina in other activities such as running and swimming.
  • Increases muscular endurance and strength in the legs, calves, glutes and shoulders.

How to do Jumping Jacks

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keep your back straight and your core engaged.
  • Bend your knees slightly and jump in the air.
  • While in the air, spread your legs wide and raise your hands over your head at the same time.
  • Land with your feet on the ground and your hands over your head.
  • Jump again and bring your feet together and lower your hands to your sides.
  • Land in a slight squat.
  • Perform another repetition.

Jumping Jack Dos

  • Land on your feet followed with a slight bend in your knees to protect your knee joints.
  • Focus on technique before speed.
  • Keep your whole body straight.

Jumping Jack Don’ts

  • Don’t lock out the knees when performing the movement.
  • Do not let your back and shoulders become rounded during the movement.
  • Exercise at a high level of intensity if you do not have a good base level of cardiovascular fitness or you are coming back after a long lay off.
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