Jumping jacks are a popular physical jumping exercise. It’s also called star jump or side-straddle hop. As the name implies, a jumping jack is a fitness exercise performed by jumping with the legs spread wide and the hands going overhead. In this article, you will learn the health benefits of jumping jacks.
Interestingly, jumping jacks exercises help build your body muscles, joints, waist, back, shoulders, and neck. It improves your flexibility and range of mobility and relaxes the tension in your nerves and muscles.
Because of its many benefits and popularity, people perform jumping jack exercises all over the world. And the military performs the exercise during their training. Some countries call it star jumping because of the shape formed during the exercise.
Jumping jacks come in different forms, and each of these forms comes with specific health benefits, but they are not hard. You can learn them easily. Contrary to popular belief, jumping jacks are full-body workouts.
However, you do not need any special gear to perform them. But, you need a good pair of shoes if you do jumping jacks often. It will help you avoid injuries. And try to wear clothes that won’t get in the way of your jumps. Trust me, wearing flappy clothes for jumping jack exercises isn’t a good idea. Apart from being fun, you can do jumping jacks anywhere and at any time you feel is comfortable for you.
Here are the health benefits of jumping jacks and how best to perform them to avoid injuries:
#1. They’re good for bone health
Jumping jacks are full-body workouts. This makes them ideal for improving your bone health. Including jumping jacks into your fitness routine can strengthen your bones’ density and prevent the loss of bone mass. It can also improve your bone strength, especially in people who are at risk of osteoporosis.
Even if it’s not intensive, a 20-30 minute inclusion of jumping jacks into your exercise routine will do your bones a lot of good.
#2. They’re effective for weight loss programs
One of the outstanding health benefits of jumping jacks is weight loss. While there are many effective methods to go about quick weight loss, jumping jacks can help you achieve it. According to studies, you can lose up to 200 calories by performing jumping jacks for 30 minutes every day.
#3. They’re suitable for building muscle strength
Aside from being great cardio exercises, jumping jacks help you build fine muscle strength. As you jump, you’re effectively working on your arms, thighs, knees, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Essentially, just as your arms benefit from the workout, your leg muscles do too.
Also, jumping jacks help you build muscle in your core. Therefore, an excellent alternative to weight lifting when it comes to muscle building is jumping jacks.
#4. They’re perfect for improving heart and lung health
When you practice jumping jacks regularly, it improves your heart and lung capacity. Recall that jumping jacks are excellent cardio exercises. A significant number of athletes rely on jumping jacks to improve their heart health. And the same applies to the lungs. Essentially, your lungs expand and can take in more oxygen, thereby raising your threshold for physical activities.
Incorporating jumping jacks into your exercise routine helps to increase blood circulation in your body and balances your heart rate. It also controls and maintains blood pressure and eliminates bad cholesterol levels in the body. According to research, it may also prevent or reduce the risk of developing stroke or heart attacks.
#5. Jumping Jacks help in reducing stress
Jumping jacks are aerobic exercises. Like most aerobics, they help your body relax and burn off tension. Tight muscles generally become more flexible if you do jumping jacks regularly.
Jumping jacks induce the release of endorphins, the happiness hormones. This reduces stress and the perception of pain in the body. In addition to easing your mind and body of stress, studies also maintain that jumping jacks are ideal for keeping insomnia at bay and helping you get better sleep.
#6. Jumping Jacks are full-body workouts
Specifically, jumping jacks work on your abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles, glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps. Therefore, you can expect that jumping jacks will help tone your body, helping you achieve the fitness you desire.
Just like stretching, jumping jacks can be used as part of warm-up exercises for workouts. Athletes do this a lot.
Now that you know some of the health benefits of jumping jacks, here are the best ways to perform the exercise to avoid injuries.
Best practices for doing jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are great warm-up exercises, but it’s not advisable to plunge directly into doing jumping jacks without a pre-warm up exercise. Just like several other plyometric exercises, performing jumping jacks exposes you to certain bodily risks. Therefore, you need to observe safety precautions and follow professional tips to avoid injury and achieve the most from your jumping jacks routine.
- You can do squats, side and forward lunges to get your muscles and thighs worked up and ready for the flow.
- Do not overstretch your muscles. If you notice that your technique is slacking, you’re better off taking a break. Then resume when your muscles and body are ready to take on the challenge again.
- To avoid injuries and developing fatigue too early, you’ll need to get good shoes with shock absorbers. Also, stick to plain, level surfaces and maintain a particular technique for several jumps before moving to another.
- Pregnant women may benefit immensely from jumping jacks for about 20-30 minutes every day during all trimesters of pregnancy. It can help improve the health of your waistline and bones. However, not all pregnant women can engage in rigorous physical activities, especially if there’s a case of complicated pregnancy.
Make sure to get the “Okay” from your doctor before proceeding to do jumping jacks.
Jumping jacks are highly beneficial to the body and in many ways. If you cannot find the time to hit the gym, jumping jacks are a great way to get your body in shape and achieve your fitness goals. However, be sure to follow the right techniques. Also, speak to your doctor if you have a health condition.