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a woman doing jumping jacks
a woman doing jumping jacks

In a world inundated with fitness trends and exercise routines, simple exercises like jumping jacks often take a backseat to more complex or popular movements. But this versatile bodyweight exercise can be more valuable to your workout routine than you might think.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the benefits of jumping jacks and unveil 10 surprising advantages that may just make you reconsider their place in your fitness routine. From cardiovascular improvements and calorie burning to enhanced coordination and mood elevation, jumping jacks offer a wide range of benefits for both the novice and seasoned fitness enthusiast

10 Reasons You Should Add Jumping Jacks into Your Workout Routine

10 benefits of jumping jacks

Not only are jumping jacks a quick and easy way to get your heart pumping, they can also contribute to some great cardiovascular benefits. According to cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Alexandra Kharazi:

"Any physical activity such as daily walks, running, or jumping jacks reduces cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Reducing these risk factors through lifestyle changes such as an active lifestyle and a heart-healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease.”

While there are certainly other types of exercises that can offer these benefits, jumping jacks are one of the best beginner exercises to get started with. Here are 10 ways incorporating this easy-to-do exercise can enhance your well-being and contribute to a more effective workout routine.

1) Good for Flexibility

Jumping jacks, with their dynamic range of motion, actively engage various muscle groups, promoting flexibility throughout the body. Studies have shown that incorporating dynamic exercises like jumping jacks can lead to increased joint flexibility and improved overall range of motion

2) Can Be Done Anywhere

people doing jumping jacks outside
Source: Unsplash

As a bodyweight exercise, jumping jacks require minimal space and no specialized equipment, making them accessible anywhere. This versatile exercise can easily be thrown into a bodyweight-only high-intensity interval training workout that you can do no matter where you are.

3) Relieves Stress

The rhythmic nature of jumping jacks, coupled with the release of endorphins during exercise, acts as a natural stress reliever. Research indicates that aerobic exercises, like jumping jacks, contribute to reduced cortisol levels, which can help mitigate stress

4) Weight Loss

Jumping jacks may contribute to an effective weight loss routine by accelerating your heart rate and boosting your metabolic rate. Studies suggest that incorporating high-intensity exercises, such as jumping jacks, can contribute to fat loss and weight management

5) May Improve Stamina

a man out jogging
Source: Unsplash

Implementing a cardio exercise like jumping jacks gradually can help build cardiovascular endurance, enhancing overall stamina. Scientific studies demonstrate a positive correlation between aerobic exercises like jumping jacks and increased endurance levels. 

6) Works as a Plyometric Exercise

Jumping jacks function as a plyometric exercise, improving explosive power and muscle strength. Research supports the notion that plyometric jump training, which includes jumping jacks, can lead to enhanced athletic performance and help build strength

7) Burns Calories

The high-intensity nature of jumping jacks makes them a great way to ramp up your training and burn additional calories during exercise. Studies highlight the effectiveness of aerobic exercises like jumping jacks in burning calories and supporting weight management. 

8) Supports Heart Health

Aerobic exercises like jumping jacks contribute to cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving overall cholesterol levels. Scientific evidence links regular aerobic exercise, including jumping jacks, to a lower risk of heart disease

9) Supports Strong Bones and Joints

a man stretching
Source: Unsplash

The impact of jumping jacks, although low-impact, helps maintain bone density and joint health. Research indicates that weight-bearing exercises like jumping jacks play a role in preserving bone mass and promoting joint flexibility, which helps to prevent injury. 

10) Full Body Exercise

Engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, jumping jacks provide a comprehensive full-body workout. Studies emphasize the efficiency of whole body exercises in building strength and improving overall fitness

Types of Jumping Jacks to Try

There are several different variations of jumping jacks that cater to unique fitness goals. Some movements target specific muscle groups like the quads or glutes, while others may be better suited to beginners looking for a low-impact way to burn calories without a high risk of injury.

In this section, we'll dissect the mechanics of standard jumping jacks, squat jacks, burpee jacks, and low-impact jumping jacks to help you choose the most suitable variant for your fitness journey.

Standard Jumping Jacks

a girl doing jumping jacks
Source: Unsplash
  • Performed by jumping the feet wide while simultaneously raising the arms overhead and then returning to the starting position
  • Engages the deltoids, quadriceps, and cardiovascular system
  • Improves cardiovascular health, enhances coordination, and efficiently burns calories

Squat Jacks

a girl doing squat jacks
Source: Shutterstock
  • Incorporates a squatting element into the traditional jumping jack
  • Activates the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, providing a more intense lower body workout
  • Beneficial for both cardiovascular fitness and lower body strength

Burpee Jacks

burpee jack demonstration
Source: Shutterstock
  • Blends the dynamic movements of burpees with the classic jumping jack
  • Offers a full-body workout, engaging muscles in the arms, legs, core, and cardiovascular system
  • This high-intensity variation not only burns calories, but can also improve overall strength and endurance

Low-Impact Jumping Jacks

low impact jumping jacks
Source: Shutterstock
  • Designed to minimize joint impact by following the same movement pattern as a standard jumping jack but without jumping 
  • Engages the major muscle groups without putting excessive stress on the joints
  • Suitable for individuals with joint concerns or those seeking a gentler workout option

Do Jumping Jacks Burn Belly Fat?

Jumping jacks contribute to overall calorie burn, which can aid in reducing body fat, including belly fat. Research highlights the efficacy of aerobic exercises like jumping jacks in overall weight loss.

Is it Good to Do 100 Jumping Jacks A Day?

While the number of jumping jacks can vary based on fitness levels, doing 100 jumping jacks a day can be a beneficial cardiovascular exercise. Research like this study emphasizes the positive impact of frequent aerobic activity on heart health and overall fitness.

Are There Disadvantages of Jumping Jacks?

Though generally safe for most individuals, excessive or improper execution of jumping jacks can lead to joint strain. Understanding proper form and individual limitations is crucial. Possible risks or disadvantages of jumping jacks include:

jumping jack potential risks
  • Joint Impact: Jumping jacks involve repeated impact on the joints, which may lead to increased stress on the knees, hips, and ankles, especially for people with pre-existing joint issues.
  • Overuse Injuries: Performing excessive jumping jacks without proper rest and in combination with other movements may contribute to overuse injuries.

How to Incorporate Jumping Jacks Into a HIIT Workout

If you want to make your HIIT workout more intense, adding a 10 minute jumping jack routine can be a great dynamic cardio element to finish off your session. Using the exercises below, Perform one minute of each type of jumping jack, then rest for one minute before repeating four to five times.

jumping jack HIIT workout

This strategic integration not only enhances the overall calorie-burning potential of your workout, but it’s also an effective way to achieve a full-body workout while promoting cardiovascular fitness.

Keep in mind that you should always consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine. Pay attention to your body, modify exercises as needed, and prioritize your health safety by working with a personal trainer.

The Bottom Line About Jumping Jacks

Here’s the bottom line about jumping jacks and their potential health benefits when added into a regular workout program.

  • Accessibility: Jumping jacks are a versatile, full-body exercise suitable for various fitness levels and are easily accessible with no equipment required no matter where you are.
  • Efficiency: They efficiently elevate heart rate, contributing to cardiovascular health, aiding in calorie burn and supporting weight management.
  • Versatility: Jumping jacks may also support better bone and joint health, and there are several different variations you can try out based on your goal and ability level.
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Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD

Reviewed by: Amanda Donahue, MS, RD, CD

Amanda is a Nutrition Manager and Registered Dietitian at Nutrisense, with a Masters in Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University. Originally from south GA, she got her undergrad degree from Texas Tech University. Before joining Nutrisense, she worked at a hospital in Fort Worth, TX, for 4 years as a dietitian, counseling those living with HIV.

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