Jumping jacks are cardiovascular exercises that activate the largest muscle groups of the body, it is a bodyweight exercise that has been used as warm-up exercises in Physical Education classes, sports teams, and everyday training. Many people use the low-impact jumping jack to warm up the cardiovascular system. It is a plyometric exercise that strengthens many muscles at once.
But jumping jacks are more than just a childhood activity; they can provide a great cardiovascular and muscle-building workout. In this article, you’ll discover the many benefits of jumping jacks, and how to incorporate them into your workout routine.
What Are Jumping Jacks?
Jumping jacks, also known as star jumps, is a type of plyometric exercise. This means they involve rapid, alternating movement with both legs and arms. The basic movement is to start in a standing position with the arms and legs together and then jump outwards, extending the arms and legs apart while in the air. When you land, you bring the arms and legs back together before jumping again.
It is a great way to get your heart rate up and get an aerobic workout. They also involve some muscle work, so you’re engaging multiple parts of your body at once. Plus, you can use them to warm up for other exercises or incorporate them into a more comprehensive workout routine.
You can pair this exercise with lower-intensity exercises to help your heart rate rise throughout your workout. Adding jumping jacks to your HIIT workout is a good way to keep the body working at high intensity while pushing past that breathlessness. Doing the higher-intensity version also helps to build muscle tone, thus shaping the hips, glutes, calves, shoulders, and arms.
Jumping jacks also increase muscular endurance, boost your metabolism, and aid in weight loss. Building leg strength translates better performance in other exercises like squats, deadlifts, vertical leaps, running speeds, and the ability to climb stairs. This move mixes aerobic training with resistance, meaning that you are strengthening your muscles, your heart, and your lungs at once.
The Benefits of Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks offer a variety of health benefits, both physical and mental. Here are some of the main benefits of jumping jacks:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Jumping jacks are a great aerobic exercise that can help strengthen your heart and lungs. Doing this exercise regularly can help improve your overall cardiovascular health. In addition, it can help in improving your stamina. The more you do them, the longer you’ll be able to last during other workouts or activities. This can help you become more active and increase your overall physical fitness.
Increased Muscle Strength And Definition
The alternating movement of jumping jacks helps to engage and strengthen your muscles. Doing this move regularly can help you develop more toned muscles and improve your overall strength.
Better Balance And Muscle Coordination
Because jumping jacks involve multiple muscle groups, they can help improve your balance and coordination. This can help you stay safe and prevent injuries. It can also help in improving your bone health. The impact of your feet hitting the ground can help strengthen your bones and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Improves Mental Health
Jumping jacks can help reduce the levels of stress and anxiety in the body by releasing endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. These endorphins can help improve mood, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive functions, such as memory, concentration, and decision-making. This is thought to be due to the increased blood flow to the brain that occurs during exercise.
Burns Large Number Of Calories
Jumping jacks can be a great way to help with weight loss. They are a moderate-intensity exercise that can help you burn calories and fat. In addition, they involve multiple muscle groups, so you can get a full-body workout. However, it’s important to remember that doing it alone won’t lead to significant weight loss. You need to combine them with a healthy diet and other exercises to get the best results.
Great For Your Warm Up Routine
While jumping jacks may be a good exercise to incorporate into your longer aerobic intervals or for active rest, they can also be used as power exercises for shorter, faster bursts. As a result, it is a fantastic exercise to incorporate into a warm-up routine. This exercise can raise heart rates, and boost circulation in muscles and connective tissues to prime them for higher-demand exercises. It also serves as a form of dynamic stretching for your hips, shoulders, and back. This exercise is also known as the side-straddle jump by the U.S. military.
Step By Step Instructions
1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Keep your chest open and back straight. This is your starting position.
2. Begin by jumping your feet out to the sides, while at the same time raising your arms above your head. Your feet should land shoulder-width apart, and your arms should be fully extended.
3. Jump back to the starting position, bringing your feet together and lowering your arms back down to your sides.
4. Repeat the jumping jack movement for the desired number of repetitions.
5. For beginners, start with 10-20 repetitions of jumping jacks and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 3 sets.
Helpful Tips For Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks can be a great way to get a full-body workout. Here are some helpful tips for doing them correctly.
Keep Your Back Straight
While doing this exercise, make sure to keep your back straight. This will help you engage your core and get the most out of your workout.
Don’t Lock Your Joints
Make sure to keep your joints slightly bent throughout the movement. This will help you stay safe and prevent injuries.
Use Your Arms
Stretch Your Muscles
Before doing the exercise, it’s important to stretch your muscles. This can help prevent injuries and help you get the most out of your workout.
Jumping Jacks with Weights
If you’re looking for a more challenging workout, you can add weights to your jumping jacks. Adding weights can help increase the intensity of your workout and help you build more muscle. When using weights with this move, make sure to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight as you get used to the movement. It’s also important to keep your form correct and not lock your joints to stay safe.
Jumping jacks are a great way to get a full-body workout. They can help improve your cardiovascular health, increase your muscle strength and tone, and improve your balance and coordination. In addition, they can help improve your mental health and can be a great way to help with weight loss. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to get a great workout, give jumping jacks a try!