The Jumping Jack is a great callisthenic exercise you can do at home. The Jumping Jack is one of the most effective ways to build your cardiovascular endurance, burn calories and get your body warmed up for an extended work out. Minimal space and no equipment is needed to perform this exercise. The Jumping Jack is a great exercise for beginners and experts in the fitness field because the level of difficulty can be modified or intensified based on how many reps you do, how fast you perform the exercise, how much resistance you add and how high you jump.
To perform the Jumping Jack first stand straight up with your arms at your side. Next, jump up while simultaneously spreading your legs out and your arms overhead. Conclude the movement by assuming the starting position.
Complete a rep of The Jumping Jack by standing in an erect position with your feet together and arms at your side. In order to jump up, slightly bend your knees and then propel yourself into the air. While in the air spread your legs outward beyond shoulder width and raise your arms up and over your head. At this point you should land and your hands should be touching overhead and your feet should be apart at about shoulder width. Next jump again and this time your arms will return back to your sides and your feet will come together like they were at the beginning of the exercise.
You should also be conscious about your breathing. Holding your breath throughout the entire exercise will cause unnecessary stress to your body, lead to dizziness, passing out or dangerous elevation of blood pressure. You should deeply inhale when you are in the starting position and then fully exhale once you jump and then inhale again once you land.
Jumping Jacks elevates your heart rate and forces you to breathe deeper. When you breathe deeper a plethora of oxygen reaches the bloodstream and muscles. The influx of oxygen triggers the body to burn more calories and fat which leads to promoting a healthier heart and developing the cardiovascular system.
The Jumping Jack recruits numerous muscles throughout the body which helps develop total body conditioning, flexibility and coordination.
To make this exercise more difficult you can perform as many reps as possible for each and every set and/or you can jump as high as you can on every repetition. By attaching ankle weights and/or holding weights in your hand can make Jumping Jacks more difficult due to the added resistance during the jumps.
To make the Jumping Jacks easier you can not jump as high, or not raise your arms completely overhead, and of course don’t perform very many repetitions.
The faster you perform the exercise the more difficult it becomes because performing the Jumping Jacks at a slow pace allows you more time to catch your breath and won’t allow you to raise your heart rate, fatigue your muscles or challenge you on a cardiovascular level.
The primary muscles worked in the Jumping Jacks are the calves, glutes, thighs, shoulders, and abdominals. The jumping aspect of the movement activates your calves, quadriceps and hamstrings. Spreading your legs outward is hip abduction and the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimums and tensor fascia lata are directly involved in hip abduction. Raising your arms up and overhead requires shoulder abduction and shoulder flexion. The medial and anterior deltoids along with the supraspinatus are stimulated in those movements. as with all exercises, your core is worked by allowing all the muscles involved to work in unison.
Try it Out!
Due to the fact that no equipment is necessary and you can modify the level of difficultly by simply changing the speed of the movement, the amount of reps performed, the height of the jump and resistance, the Jumping Jack is a great exercise to perform at home. If you don’t have the time to fit in a core and cardio session into your schedule, thanks to exercises like the Jumping Jack, you can develop can do a fully body conditioning work out anytime throughout the day.
Find more great home exercises on the F&F Corner!