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Exercise Spotlight: Jumping Jacks

Leanna Olbinsky

Jumping jacks are a fun plyometric exercise, suitable for all fitness levels. Plyometrics combine aerobic exercise and resistance work, which works your heart, lungs, and muscles at the same time. Plyometric exercises like jumping jacks are primarily utilized to help people run faster and jump higher. What makes jumping jacks so efficient is that they provide a total-body workout that you can perform virtually anywhere.

How to do a Jumping Jack 

To perform a jumping jack, start by standing with your feet together, placing your arms at your side. The next step is to jump your feet out to the side, just beyond shoulder width. At the same time you perform the jump, swing your arms out to the side and up above your head. Follow this by jumping back into the starting position. You have now completed your first jumping jack. 

You can repeat this movement to perform your first set. If you are a beginner, try a set of 10-20. More advanced? Try a set of 75-100 jumping jacks. Make sure to know your limits. Never push your body beyond its capabilities. Fitness is about progress not perfection. 

When you’re performing jumping jacks, remember to synchronize the in and out movement of your legs with your arms. A common mistake with jumping jacks is to get the coordination of the movement wrong by not having your leg and arm movement in rhythm. It may take a few practice sets to get the coordination just right, but you will pick it up in no time.

Technique is definitely an important element of the jumping jack. It is important to maintain proper form to prevent injury. While technique is important, so is the surface you perform the movement on. When you are performing jumping jacks, make sure you are standing on a safe, flat surface that allows plenty of movement. Keeping safe while exercising will help you stay on track of your health and fitness goals.

What Body Parts do Jumping Jacks Target?

Jumping jacks are a great full-body exercise. They primarily target the calves, quadriceps, and shoulders. Jumping jacks are a relatively easy move to perform, but keep in mind that they are a high impact exercise. 

What are the Benefits?

Jumping jacks offer many benefits to those who perform them. They can serve as a warm-up exercise to get the heart rate up or can be integrated into any workout as a cardio movement. They not only aid in weight loss, but they also keep your heart healthy, make your bones stronger, and help to relieve stress. The exercise also helps to improve both coordination and flexibility. As a warm-up exercise or as a total body workout move, you can’t go wrong with integrating jumping jacks into your fitness routine. 

Try a Jumping Jack Variation 

Once you’ve got the standard jumping jack down, why not incorporate a jumping jack variation into your fitness routine? Some popular jumping jack variations are star jumps, squat jacks, and even plank jacks. These are more advanced movements, so be sure you are ready for the challenge before taking on these exercises. 

If you are not quite ready for the jumping jack just yet, why not try a jumping jack alternative? Before you get your first jumping jack, try a side shuffle, step touch, or chest expander. Mastering these movements will bring you one step closer to easily completing your first set.  

Overall, jumping jacks are a fantastic exercise to incorporate into any level fitness routine. They provide many benefits, from weight loss to overall health improvement. Check out Sworkit to not only learn more about incorporating our spotlight exercise moves into your fitness routine, but to learn more about health and fitness in general. Sworkit has the ability to help change your life for the better.

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