Jumping Jacks have been a staple in playgrounds and recess class for years. Football coaches will order their troops to perform jumping jacks with their pads on as a warmup before practices or games. If you’ve ever played a sport or attended school, you’re probably done some jumping jacks. But are jumping jacks really beneficial?

Young black woman jumping jack in shortsJumping jacks seem so silly right? Why does it seem as you age you forget how to coordinate such a simple motion? Think about this. A major part of a boxer’s training involves jumping rope. Is there really anybody more in shape than a boxer? A jumping jack is not that different from jumping rope. Jumping rope also falls into the “I did that in recess when I was 6” category, but for whatever reason jumping rope still gets the mark of “cool”. Maybe it’s because boxers seems to always be jumping rope as they train.

Boxers need to be light and nimble on their feet. They need agility and quickness. They need endurance. Jumping rope helps with all these. Jumping jacks are really not that different. Both require you to make slight, coordinated jumping motions which, when done properly, truly get your hear rate up and can be very tiring. The cool thing is: the more you weigh the more calories you will burn with jumping jacks!

Jumping jacks are nothing more than calisthenics which our military has been using for years. Before gyms were as awesome and abundant as they are now, calisthenics and bodyweight exercises were the norm. Calisthenics are making a big comeback in boot camps and many of the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines. Group classes in gyms will use HIIT and exercises like jumping jacks to get the heart rate up, increase speed and agility, and burn fat.

Jumping JacksJumping jacks are a true total-body workout. You involve your legs, core, cardiovascular system, and arms. Jumping jacks involve the arms much more than jumping rope does. The swinging of your arms up overhead is a great way to loosen up the shoulders.

You can always make them tougher, too. Adding a deep squat to the movement in the down position will add power and extra benefit. If you haven’t been doing jumping jacks, it’s time to take advantage of the benefits. You can burn anywhere from 1-2 calories with each successful repetition. If you were to do a 100 jumping jacks, you’ve found a quick, safe, and effective way to burn a ton of calories. Add jumping jacks to your morning routine, as a warmup, or use them in interval training.

However you choose to add jumping jacks to your workouts, the answer is: jumping jacks are really beneficial!