How To Do Jumping Jacks (With Video): Benefits, Risks, Expert Tips
Jumping Jacks is a simple, easy-to-do move, and a great way to fit in cardio anywhere and anytime! This is a calisthenics workout, which means it’s great for cardiovascular health and boosting your metabolism. Getting your heart rate up is the number one way to burn fat, and learning how to do Jumping Jacks is a great total-body exercise for accomplishing that very thing!
Use the links below to quickly navigate this guide:
- How To Do Jumping Jacks
- What Muscles Do Jumping Jacks Work?
- Benefits of Jumping Jacks
- How Many Calories Do Jumping Jacks Burn?
- Other Exercises Similar To Jumping Jacks
- Incorporating Jumping Jacks Into Your Workouts
How To Do Jumping Jacks
- Start standing up with your legs together, a slight bend in knees, and hands resting on thighs.
- Keeping the knees bent, open the arms and legs out to the sides. Arms come above the head and legs wider than shoulders.
- Close your arms and legs back to your sides, returning to your start.
See the video below to see Chris Freytag break down how to perform a jumping jack.
What Muscles Do Jumping Jacks Work?
Jumping Jacks is a cardiovascular exercise that engages every large muscle group in your body, especially when you keep your core engaged to fire up the abdominal and back muscles. You won’t just be burning fat—you’ll be toning muscle too! Just be sure to keep a brisk pace to keep your heart rate up and maintain the aerobic benefits of this exercise.
Benefits of Jumping Jacks
There are many reasons you should incorporate jumping jacks into your workouts. Here are just a few:
Cardio Exercise At Home
The cardio benefits of Jumping Jacks are amazing, but even better is the fact that you can do this move right at home. No need to go to a gym or head into bad weather, just find some space and get moving. Some short burst of moves like jumping jacks can be mixed with things like squats and push-ups to get a full workout in right at home.
Warm Up Your Shoulders
It might seem strange to say about a cardio exercise, but the truth is that the movement of your arms during a Jumping Jack provides a great stretch for your shoulders. This is one of the reasons you also find jumping jacks used during a warm up for other workouts.
High Intensity Interval Benefits
No matter how you look at it, jumping jacks are going to get you breathing heavy! Jumping jacks can be done in a variety of ways and even stay low impact, but the harder you push, the higher your heart rate.
You can use them to reach your anaerobic state meaning breathing only through your mouth and needing a break after about 20-30 seconds! If regular Jumping Jacks don’t get you working hard enough, just add a few power jacks by lifting your feet up at you open your legs! Need low impact? Bend your knees and step out right and left instead of jumping.
How Many Calories Do Jumping Jacks Burn?
Other Exercises Similar to Jumping Jacks
If you like the idea of getting a great cardio move right in the comfort of your own home with no equipment needed, try these too!
Jumping Jacks Workouts
Jumping jacks is an amazing cardio exercise all on its own! However, you could also incorporate Jumping Jacks into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.
10-Minute Bodyweight-Only Cardio Challenge
You don’t need to go running or ride a bike to get your cardio in. You don’t even need to be in a gym or outside. Using basic bodyweight moves, you can get a complete cardio workout that is simple, easy to do anywhere, and effective.
Instructions: Jog 1 min. in place to warm up. Do each of the following for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds rest in between:
Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.
Fat Blasting Circuit Training Workout
Circuits are a fun way to exercise and get your strength and cardio in all at the same time. The idea behind circuits is to go from one move, or one “station”, to the next with little or not rest in between. Check this out:
- 30 seconds side lunges
- 30 seconds high knee run
- 30 seconds push ups
- 30 seconds jumping jacks
- 30 seconds plié squats
- 30 seconds bear crawl
- 30 seconds modified army crawl plank
- 30 seconds crab walk
Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.
Hot HIIT Workout
High Intensity Interval Training is all the rage because it gets the job done in record time. Go as hard as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then go hard again. Here’s a super easy way to kick butt!
Do each move for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds in between moves. Repeat 4 times.
Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate Jumping Jacks into your workout!
Targets: hamstrings, shoulders, chest