Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
A jumping jack — sometimes known as a star jump outside the United States — is an exercise that involves jumping upwards and spreading the legs and arms. The primary jumping jacks benefits include that the exercise will provide a cardiovascular workout while toning the muscles of the arms and legs. Although the jumping jack is a relatively limited exercise, it is commonly included in cardiovascular workouts to achieve a more rounded approach to toning muscles of the body.
Jumping jacks are straightforward to perform. The person exercising should stand upright with space either side of him or her. Bending the knees slightly, the person should then jump upwards while at the same time extending the legs and arms outwards and upwards. Before touching the ground, the arms and legs should be withdrawn so that the person lands in the initial position. Often, jumping jacks are performed in sets of 10 or more in order to achieve the maximum benefit.
When this exercise is performed, the body’s heart rate will increase, and this, in turn, helps the body to burn a greater number of calories. For this reason, one its main benefits is that it can help someone to lose weight without the use of any sort of machinery. Jumping jacks are often incorporated into aerobics routines as the exercise is an effective way of increasing a person’s breathing and heart rate.
Even though jumping jack workouts aren’t performed against any resistance, the exercise can still tone muscles. Another of the jumping jacks benefits is that the exercise can tone the upper legs and arms. To achieve the most benefit, however, the person exercising should make sure that his or her arms are above the head with each repetition. This can become more difficult as the exercise routine continues due to the muscles becoming fatigued.
To perform a more advanced jumping jack, other exercises can be incorporated into the same movement. For example, a more intense version involves squatting and jumping backward with each repetition. This works different muscles of the body and is also more effective at increasing the person’s heart rate.
A similar exercise is the “half jack,” and it can provide similar benefits. To perform a half jack the person goes through the same motions as with the jumping back but instead only brings the arms up to half the height.
@Oasis11 - I do that too sometimes. I also do a combination of jumping jacks and boxing which are great ways to lose weight fast.
I try to change my routine every six weeks so that my body does not get used to the routine and I don’t get bored with the same old workout.
I always use jumping jacks as a filler in between different type’s exercise that I do. I try to work in a continuous fashion so that I maximize the amount of calories that I burn. I feel that if I stop, I lose momentum.
@Suntan12 - I will have to try that. I think that the nice benefits of exercise are that it has a calming effect on your system and makes you feel better. Whenever I exercise, I always feel more relaxed and get to sleep better.
I know that you don’t have to do something as challenging as jumping jacks to lose weight. I know that you can walk regularly and receive the same type of benefits especially if you swing your arms as you walk. Walking benefits also allow you to get a great workout without putting stress on your joints.
I used to run but I developed knee problems and had to stop. I didn’t think that I could
be happy walking, but I am. I challenge myself the same way that I did when I was a runner. I make sure that I continue to walk a mile within a certain time frame. For example, I usually try to aim for a 15 minute mile which is a brisk walking pace. If I am walking for an hour, I try to reach a four mile distance by the end of my workout. It really keeps me motivated and it helps me to remember to pick up the pace if I am lagging behind.
I just wanted to say that I like doing jumping jacks in conjunction with jumping rope. What I normally do is perform several sets of 250 jumps and in between I will do about 50 jumping jacks in between each set.
This way I continue my cardiovascular exercise and burn fat all over. That is really the best benefit to doing jumping jacks and jumping rope. Both exercises tone you all over and they are easy to do.
It is also an inexpensive way to exercise for weight loss purposes. You don’t need any equipment other than the jump rope and you can do this indoors or outdoors in a park.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!