Jumping jacks are often a part of a calisthenics workout, or as a warm-up before a more intense workout, but this common exercise has a surprisingly large number of other benefits.
What are Jumping Jacks?
Jumping jacks are an aerobic exercise that simultaneously works out your legs, arms, and core, and is highly effective as a warm-up. This exercise is also extremely effective for burning calories. However, since your own weight is the only equipment, your calorie-burning ability will depend on how much you weigh. For example, a 150-pound man may burn 270 calories per half-hour of doing jumping jacks, while a 200-pound man may burn up to 360 calories in the same amount of time.
The simplicity of this exercise and the fact that it can be done anywhere is part of the reason why jumping jacks are so popular, even among young children and those who aren’t in excellent shape. While there is some negative impact involved in this exercise, due to the repetitive jumping, the benefits far outweigh the dangers.
How to Do Jumping Jacks?
Jumping jacks are very easy to perform, but maintaining good form while you do this exercise will improve its impact on your body and heart rate.
- Step 1: Stand up straight and begin the exercise by simultaneously raising your arms above your head and jumping to spread your legs out to the side, forming about a 60-degree angle.
- Step 2: In the very next movement, reverse the first step; bring your arms back down to your sides and jump lightly while bringing your feet back together.
- Step 3: Try to stay on your toes, or the balls of your feet, rather than landing flat-footed during this exercise.
- Step 4: Keep your core steady and supported.
Benefits of Jumping Jacks
There are many impressive benefits of jumping jacks, including its impact on stress levels, flexibility, stamina, heart health, and overall strength, among others.
Elevating your heart rate during exercise is one of the best ways to keep the blood flowing naturally through your circulatory system. Protect against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and coronary heart disease by performing exercises like jumping jacks.
When you elevate your heart rate, your metabolism also kicks into a higher gear, promoting more fat-burning and calorie-burning. The number of calories you burn will depend on your weight, but this exercise should definitely be included in a weight loss exercise regimen.
Exercising is a natural stress-buster, as the physical exertion will cause various chemical processes to occur, including those that release endorphins, which can make you feel energized and stress-free.
These are ideal exercises prior to a full workout session, as they get the heart rate up without exhausting the muscles.
Regularly practicing jumping jacks will eventually lead to greater flexibility and muscle support in your shoulders, arms, hips, and legs.
Jumping jacks really are a full-body workout, meaning that they are an efficient way to exercise more than one muscle group at the same time.
Jumping jacks can be exhausting, so if you find that your physical stamina is lacking, these basic exercises can help you gradually boost your lasting power.
Balance and Coordination
As your body tires, it becomes more difficult to perform this exercise, so it becomes a way to improve your balance and coordination as well!
Word of caution: Before adding intense jumping jacks into your routine, make sure you warm up and do some stretching. Check with your doctor before performing any exercise, especially if you have any disease or are pregnant.