How to do Jumping Jacks

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Difficulty: Easy

Impact Level: High

Target Body Parts: shoulders, calves, quadriceps


This is a good exercise to use as a heart raiser during your warm up and it can also be used as a cardio movement during your workouts. Before starting, make sure you are standing on a safe, flat surface and that there is space around you to jump your feet out sideways, as well as swing your arms out to the sides.

Start by standing tall with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Then jump your feet out to the sides so they are about one meter apart, at the same time, swing your arms out to the sides and up above your head. Keep a slight bend at your elbows. As soon as your feet land out to the sides, jump them back in together and swing your arms back to your sides. Repeat this syncronized movement of the legs in and out and arms swinging out sideways up and down.

Try to time the speed of your arms with the jumping of your feet so that the arms are above the head at the same point as the feet land out wide. Then again, so that the arms are by your sides as your feet land back together in the middle.

A common mistake is to get the co-ordination of the movement wrong by having your arms by your sides when your feet are out wide and visa versa. If this happens, just pause the exercise, reset yourself back to the start position and try again. After a few practises it will become second nature.

How to make Jumping Jacks easier

To make this exercise easier, try just doing the leg component of the drill for a bit, then keep your legs still and try the arm movement by itself too. Once you have mastered them on their own, try adding them together.

How to make Jumping Jacks more challenging

After warming-up, try our Star Jumps and Squat Jacks as a more intense version of this cardio exercise.

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