For those looking for a way of getting fit and healthy, it might be worth considering the many benefits of jumping jacks.
There are many, many different ways of getting fit and healthy, yet many people often think that the only way of doing so is by joining a busy gym and using overly complex pieces of kit and equipment.
If you wish to train in this manner, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but if not, there are plenty of alternatives.
Jumping jacks, for example, are a vastly underrated exercise that promotes flexibility, fat loss, coordination, and a whole lot more on top of that.
But precisely what is it about jumping jacks that have health experts and officials so big on them, and which benefits can they provide you?
- 1 What Are Jumping Jacks?
- 2 History Of Jumping Jacks:
- 3 How To Do Jumping Jacks?
- 4 The Health Benefits Of Jumping Jacks:
- 4.1 Benefit#1: Jumping Jacks Burn Calories
- 4.2 Benefit#2: Jumping Jacks Are Good For The Heart
- 4.3 Benefit#3: Jumping Jacks Are Fun To Do
- 4.4 Benefit#4: Jumping Jacks Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
- 4.5 Benefit#5: Jumping Jacks Can Be Done Anywhere
- 4.6 Benefit#6: Jumping Jacks Are Free To Do
- 4.7 Benefit#7: Jumping Jacks Promote Bone Health
- 4.8 Benefit#8: Jumping Jacks Can Prevent Injuries
- 4.9 Benefit#9: Jumping Jacks Are Great For Warming Up
- 4.10 Benefit#10: Jumping Jacks Promote Coordination
- 4.11 Benefit#11: Jumping Jacks Can Improve Mental Health
- 4.12 Benefit#12: Jumping Jacks Work The Entire Body
- 4.13 Benefit#13: Jumping Jacks Help To Tone Your Muscles
- 4.14 Benefit#14: Jumping Jacks Will Improve Your Fitness
- 4.15 Benefit#15: Jumping Jacks Save Time
- 4.16 Benefit#16: Jumping Jacks Are Easy To Do
- 4.17 Benefit#17: Jumping Jacks Will Strengthen Your Muscles
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 6 Conclusion:
What Are Jumping Jacks?
Before we look at the many benefits, allow us to first talk about precisely what this exercise is all about.
Jumping jacks are one of the simplest exercises to perform, but don’t let this fool you, they’re also one of the most efficient too.
Jumping Jacks are sometimes called star jumps and are basically jumps that are performed by jumping or rebounding with both legs outstretched exactly like jumping rope, and both arms outstretched overhead so that your body resembles that of a star shape – hence the name.
Also, you might want to know more about the negative side effects of rebounding.
Once your arms are stretched overhead and both legs are extended, you’ll return to the starting position with feet together and arms down at your sides, and will repeat for as many jumps as you desire.
History Of Jumping Jacks:
There are heaps of benefits associated with jumping jacks, and we’ll get to those shortly.
First off, however, let’s learn a little more about where jumping jacks originated, and how?
It is widely believed that General John J. Pershing was the man to invent the jumping jack.
Pershing was one of the US’s most efficient military generals, serving from 1886 – to 1924, seeing combat all over the globe.
Pershing was a military man and was therefore very fit.
He was a fitness enthusiast and wanted his troops to be in the best shape possible.
He, therefore, promoted the use of calisthenics.
One day, when he was a cadet at West Point, he was tasked with hazing a fellow cadet.
The idea here was to punish and physically test the cadet, while also helping to get him fitter and in fighting shape.
The exercise proved to be brutal, yet very efficient and was used as a way to haze military cadets and get them fit.
Interestingly, the military didn’t adopt the jumping jack as an official form of physical training until many years later.
Instead, it was an unofficial punishment and almost a rite of passage for up-and-coming cadets in the military as they trained to become soldiers.
In terms of popularity, however, it was Jack Lalanne who really brought jumping jacks into the public eye, when he helped countless US citizens get fitter and healthier from the comfort of their own homes in the 1950s, and 60s, and 70s.
How To Do Jumping Jacks?
Okay, so we now know what jumping jacks are, and who invented them, but how are they performed?
Sure, in your head you can probably picture a jumping jack pretty clearly, but if you were asked to provide detailed step-by-step instruction on how they’re done, could you do that?
If not, this next section is right up your alley.
Here’s a look at how to do jumping jacks.
- Begin by finding open space and standing up straight, with your arms down by your sides, and your legs both together. This will be your starting position.
- Up next, bend both of your knees ever so slightly, and then jump up into the air a few inches, or as high as you are comfortable with.
- As you are jumping up into the air, carefully spread your legs and kick them outside ways so that your feet are a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- At the same time as you are kicking your legs out, spread your arms out to your sides and bring them up over your head so that your fingertips are pointing up at the sky.
- Now, jump back to the starting position in a controlled manner, and then instantly repeat for as many repetitions as required.
- Congratulations, you now know how to perform one of the most effective calisthenics exercises ever invented.
The Health Benefits Of Jumping Jacks:
Right, now that you’re familiar with the exercise that is known as the star jump, let’s take a look at why they’re so great for people looking to get in shape.
Here’s a look at 17 surprising benefits:
Benefit#1: Jumping Jacks Burn Calories
One of the awesome benefits of star jumps that people often focus on, is the fact that star jumps are perfect for people that are looking to burn calories and lose weight.
Star jumps are physically demanding, and the more of them you perform, the more calories you will burn and the more fat you will lose exactly like doing burpees.
Star jumps are a great way to burn calories and lose weight, and while they may not be quite as physically demanding as some other forms of cardio out there, they’ll still get your heart racing and get those calories burning, especially when doing it in a fasted cardio workout.
Benefit#2: Jumping Jacks Are Good For The Heart
On the subject of getting the heart racing, another awesome benefit of star jumps is the fact that they’re ideal for people looking to strengthen and improve the heart.
Star jumps are a great form of cardiovascular exercise, which means that they help to improve heart health.
As heart disease is the biggest killer in the world, this surely highlights the importance of looking after the hearing.
Benefit#3: Jumping Jacks Are Fun To Do
If you’re sick to the back teeth of trudging along on a treadmill, doing the same boring workout week in and week out, why not go ahead and do star jumps instead?
Jumping jacks are much quicker to perform, they’re fun to do, and they’ll offer you something different to try when working out.
Okay, star jumps might not exactly be the most exciting exercise in the world, but if you are looking for a way of changing your training and trying something new, star jumps are ideal.
Benefit#4: Jumping Jacks Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is an epidemic in the West and is quickly spiraling out of control.
Hypertension can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, renal failure, weakened arteries, stroke, blood clots, and much more besides.
Hypertension can be controlled with medication, but this too can be detrimental to your health, which is why natural alternatives are considered best.
Jumping jacks are a great form of cardio for people looking to reduce their blood pressure as they help provide many different cardiovascular benefits as we mentioned previously.
If you want a natural way of reducing your blood pressure without having to rely on harmful medications, star jumps are a form of exercise that can help you to do exactly that.
Benefit#5: Jumping Jacks Can Be Done Anywhere
One of the things 2020 showed us, was just how important exercise is, and just how important it is to exercise even if we don’t have access to a gym.
Whether your gym has been forced to close, you can’t afford the gym, you can’t travel to a gym, or you simply don’t like gyms, the good news is that you can still exercise at home instead.
Star jumps are the perfect exercise for people who don’t have access to a gym, as they can be done anywhere, at any given time.
So, whether you’re in the garden, the park, the office, a hotel, or your spare room, star jumps can be done anywhere, so there’s no excuse for not doing them.
Benefit#6: Jumping Jacks Are Free To Do
Another of the key benefits that we’re going to highlight today is the fact that star jumps are free to do.
Not only can jumping jacks be done anywhere, but they can also be done free of charge.
To perform jumping jacks, you don’t need a gym membership, you don’t need any fitness accessories, and you don’t need any fancy pieces of kit or equipment.
All you need is you, and a little open space and you’re all set.
Benefit#7: Jumping Jacks Promote Bone Health
One of the lesser-known benefits is the fact that they promote bone health.
These bodyweight exercises help to increase bone mineral density and help to strengthen the bones, thereby reducing your risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.
Regular jumping jacks will increase bone strength and density, which will help protect them, and you, from a whole host of bone-related issues, especially as you grow older.
Benefit#8: Jumping Jacks Can Prevent Injuries
Injuries through sport and exercise are not uncommon, but by doing exercises such as jumping jacks, you can considerably reduce your risk of injury.
An example of one of the key benefits is the fact that they can help to prevent injuries.
To start with, they boost circulation and increase core body temperature, but as well as that they help to strengthen the bones and protect the joints.
If you’re looking for ways of avoiding injury when exercising, jumping jacks can certainly help.
Benefit#9: Jumping Jacks Are Great For Warming Up
Another awesome benefit is that they’re so useful for warming up before working out.
As you probably know, warming up before any form of exercise is essential, as it can reduce your risk of injury, while also boosting your athletic performance.
Including a few sets of jumping jacks in your warm-up routine is a great way to loosen up the joints and get the blood flowing.
Benefit#10: Jumping Jacks Promote Coordination
When you perform jumping jacks, you’d be surprised just how difficult it is to perform them and keep your balance at the same time.
One of the main benefits is the fact that because of the nature of the exercise, they work wonders for people looking to improve their balance and their coordination.
Benefit#11: Jumping Jacks Can Improve Mental Health
Okay, this next benefit might not be one that is exclusive to jumping jacks, but as it’s so important and as jumping jacks are so beneficial, we’re including it anyway.
Exercise, in general, is a great way of beating stress, relaxing, and improving your mental health in general.
Exercise such as jumping jacks helps to promote the production and secretion of endorphins, which experts call ‘happy chemicals’ which lift your mood and help to promote good mental health.
Whether you suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, or if your confidence just needs a bit of a boost, jumping jacks are the perfect exercise for getting your brain right and improving your mental health and mood in general.
Benefit#12: Jumping Jacks Work The Entire Body
Right, jumping jacks might not provide benefits for the whole of the body in the same way as a full-body free weight exercise workout would, but jumping jacks are still a compound exercise that provides a full-body workout.
Jumping jacks work on the legs, your core, your arms, your shoulders, and your back and as a result, you’ll find that this one exercise allows you to work your entire upper and lower body.
Benefit#13: Jumping Jacks Help To Tone Your Muscles
Not only will jumping jacks help you to work your upper and lower body muscles, but they’ll also help you to tone them as well.
Because you’re engaging the muscles and subjecting them to gentle stimuli, you’ll find that as time goes by, the more star jumps you perform, the leaner and more toned and defined your muscles will look.
This can be done also with a weighted vest if you’re looking to build extra muscle.
As well as that, don’t forget that jumping jacks also promote weight loss, so as you do begin to burn fat and lose weight, your muscles will look leaner and more defined by default.
Benefit#14: Jumping Jacks Will Improve Your Fitness
Not only are jumping jacks great for weight loss, the heart, muscle tone, and much more besides, but it turns out that they’re also great for improving your fitness levels too.
If you’re looking to improve your fitness, stamina, and endurance, jumping jacks are perfect because they’re a prime example of aerobic exercise.
Jumping jacks will increase your lung capacity and enhance your stamina and endurance so you’ll become much fitter and will enjoy more stamina as a result.
Benefit#15: Jumping Jacks Save Time
If you’re looking to get a quick but effective workout that tones the muscles, burns fat, and improves your fitness levels, jumping jacks could be ideal.
Jumping jacks can be done very quickly, but don’t let this fool you because as time goes by, the more you do, the harder they’ll become and the more effective they will be.
If you dedicate just 15 minutes to just jumping jacks, either in one continual set or perhaps split into different sets and rounds, you’ll find that once those 15 minutes are up, you’ll be soaked in sweat, out of breath, and will have got one heck of a workout in.
Benefit#16: Jumping Jacks Are Easy To Do
One of the simpler benefits is the fact that they’re so easy to do.
Some exercises out there require you to get your body into an unusual position, or perhaps figure out how to use a complex machine or piece of equipment before you can even begin the exercise.
Jumping jacks however are very easy to master which means that virtually anybody can do them and pick up the technique very quickly.
Benefit#17: Jumping Jacks Will Strengthen Your Muscles
Finally, the last of the benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is simply the fact that jumping jacks are great for strengthening the muscles.
Jumping jacks recruit multiple muscle groups at once as they are a compound exercise, and like any other exercise, the more of the muscles you target and the harder you work them, the stronger they will become.
Jumping jacks help to strengthen your lower body muscles and your core mainly, which will help you in many other ways in the outside world too.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Muscle Do Jumping Jacks Workout?
Gluteus Maximus – This is the largest muscle group in your body. It is responsible for extending your hips forward, bending at the waist, lifting your knees off the ground, and pushing your feet into the air.
Quadriceps – These are the muscles that run along the front of your thighs. They extend from your hip joint down to your knee joint. When performing jumping jacks, these muscles contract, and flex to lift your legs off the floor.
Hamstrings – These are the muscles located behind your knees. They help bend your leg back toward your torso.
Adductors – These are the muscles on the inner side of your thigh that pull your leg inward.
Biceps – These are the muscles in your upper arm that allow you to raise your arms above your head.
Triceps – These are the large muscles in your forearm that help lift your arm out to the side.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Doing Jumping Jacks?
Jumping jacks can help build muscle mass and improve your cardiovascular health. But how much energy does this activity require, it takes about 20 minutes to burn 100 calories. That means that if you jump around for 30 minutes, you’ll have burned 300 calories. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should aim to work out for at least 45 minutes each day.
Do Jumping Jacks Help Help Lose Belly Fat?
Yes! Jumping jacks are a great exercise that can burn calories while helping you get rid of belly fat. Jumping jacks are a simple way to work out your core muscles without having to spend hours at the gym.
So, as you can see, the list of benefits of jumping jacks is incredibly long, but for very good reasons.
Jumping jacks may be easy to master, and they may not be as difficult as some workouts out there, but take it from us, they’re certainly not for the weak, and the more you perform, the more benefits you will enjoy.
Don’t believe us?
Well then, there’s nothing left to do but go ahead and see for yourself.