After the benefits of jump roping for athletes, here comes another fun yet exciting cardiovascular exercise like the benefits of running for cardiovascular health, which is none other than jumping jacks!
Jumping jacks involve jumping to the position of the legs spread wide and the heads touching overhead or spread wide above the head, therefore with the body forming letter X, followed by a return to the original position with feet together and arms at the sides of the body.
This exercise is also a common feature during warm ups before sport, and is also symbolized for excitement. So, what are the benefits of jumping jacks exercise?
Variations of Jumping Jacks
Basically, there are three notable types of jumping jacks, which are;
- Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks require the jumping from the position of feet and legs next to each other and arms beside the body to a spread-feet and also hands above the head, either touching each other, with a clap, or spread to form a letter X. It is immediately followed by a return to its original position.
- Power Jacks
Power jacks are similar to jumping jacks, however the main difference in between this and jumping jack is that the person squats lower before jumping at each rotation as opposed to standing normally before jumping.
- Split Jacks
The split jacks have the right foot in front of the left foot. Then, jumps are done while swinging the arms positioned opposite the jumping foot, while switching legs at each and every rotation.
What are its Health Benefits?
- Jumping Jacks are Cardiovascular Exercises to Keep the Heart Healthy
Jumping jacks are cardiovascular exercises, which uses oxygen to stimulate energy demands and strengthen the heart muscles. This motivates the heart to stay healthy, active and fit by pumping more blood and release more oxygen.
- Jumping Jacks Burn Calories and Supports Weight Loss
Cardio exercises are known to burn calories and therefore supports weight loss. A person who weighs approximately 68 kilograms (150 pounds) can burn around 19 calories just by doing a 2-minute jumping jack session, which consists of around 100 rotations. When that same person does a total of 10 minutes, with intervals in between, shedding 94 calories can be achieved.
- Jumping Jacks Improve Motoric Coordination
Jumping jacks are all about coordinating the limbs of the body as we jump like the psychological benefits kung fu. This in return, will improve coordination in between the brain and the limbs, which is good for motoric development. In return, we are able to increase our timing skills
- Jumping Jacks Can be Used for Recreation
Jump jacks can be used for recreation because it is a form of health risks of stress reliever. This is possible because the brain releases serotonin, or the “feel good” hormone. In addition, the rush of adrenaline also creates excitement along with increased energy. These hormones when combined reduce stress levels and increase happiness instead.
- Jumping Jacks are Proven to be Good Warming Up Exercises
One important thing to always do before exercising, or in fact carry out daily activities in general is to warm up to prevent pain, cramps or similar discomfort. Jumping jacks is also part of everyday warm up activities apart from the usual stretches. Jump jack for around 8 to 20 times in order to fulfill the everyday warm up program.
- Jumping Jacks Work Out the Whole Body
Jumping jacks work out the whole body because one rotation itself makes the whole body move. It precisely also deals with the biceps, triceps, glutes, core, chest muscles, quads, calves, adductors, hamstrings as well as set, or in short all of the core muscles in the body!
- Jumping Jacks Improve Flexibility
Yes, indeed jumping jacks also improve flexibility! As we can see, children like to do jumping jacks, which makes them to be durable, active yet flexible at the same time. Besides, if we don’t maintain our flexibility, like for example by repetitively sitting over a prolonged time, our body will find it hard to even do the simplest warm ups. That’s why, warm up every now and then to maintain flexibility, even at low intensity.
- Jumping Jacks also Tone the Muscles
Muscles when aren’t toned make our body either thin like we are malnourished or loose due to all the accumulated fats. Jumping jack every day for around 100 to 200 times, which should not last more than half an hour helps us shed fat and calories we compiled all this time. In addition, jumping jacks also train the muscles in the arm, legs, thighs, buttocks as well as calves.
- Jumping Jacks as a Way to Improve Stability and Stamina
Jumping up and down from the one position back to the same position will train our stability, time as well as ways to increase your stamina. As for stamina, it gets an increase because like what is said in the point above, jumping jacks lead to the toning of muscles. The more sets and reps are done, the better the stamina becomes.
- Jumping Jacks Make Us Strong
Exercising regularly makes us to be strong physically, emotionally, as well as mentally. Every time we exercise, we tend to feel better, healthier, happier, as well as stronger thanks to the release of endorphin hormones. It also affects the way our body reacts to foreign microorganisms that lead to diseases. As a result, jumping jacks provide us wholesome strength just like any other exercises.
Advices for Pregnant Women
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends pregnant women to do 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activities per day in all trimesters of pregnancy. It adds physical fitness, regulates a healthy weight, up to preventing the risks of gestational diabetes.
In the meantime, ACOG does not specifically state that pregnant women should avoid jumping jacks, but instead do “low-impact aerobics” as an alternative to higher impact ones like aerobics. If in doubt, one should always consult her gynecologist for recommendations of what exercises that can be done during different trimesters of pregnancy, especially since pregnancy affects joints, bone structure and stability greatly.