Although jumping jacks are generally thought of more as a fun game rather than an actual exercise, this childhood activity has received renewed attention in recent years as a great way to stay fit and lose weight. Jumping jacks are a calisthenics exercise in which you jump up and down while moving your arms and feet. It is usually done as a warm up to an exercise routine. However, when done energetically it can actually be done alone as an aerobic exercise to help you lose weight. Jumping jacks is a time-tested exercise that is extremely practical as you are able to do it almost anywhere – in your home, in between breaks in the office, or outdoors. Although jumping jacks are a simple exercise, by doing jumping jacks, individuals are able to lose substantial amounts of weight and improved health.
How To Do A Jumping Jack
Having the correct posture and stance when doing this simple exercise will maximize its benefits. Proper form is also essential in avoiding injuries. There are two phases involved in doing a jumping jack, namely the abduction phase and the adduction phase. The abduction phase is when you jump with your feet apart while the adduction phase is when you jump and move your feet together. Doing a correct jumping jack is easy if you follow these simple instructions:
- Stand with your arms to your sides. Straighten your back and tuck your abdomen in.
- In one movement, jump up and spread your legs apart while raising your arms up over your head until your hands clap together. Your legs should be more than a hip width apart.
- Jump again and bring your legs back together while bringing your arms back to your side.
- Keep repeating this movement to get your heart rate up and muscles moving.
Jumping Jack Benefits
Jumping jacks are usually done as a warm up to a multitude of workouts. From cross training to aerobics, this basic exercise is often as a valuable part of any fitness routine. The primary reason why jumping jacks are beneficial is that it increases your heart rate. An increased heart rate leads to your body burning more calories, which leads to your body burning fat, and losing weight. By breathing deeply while doing jumping jacks for weight loss blood circulation is enhanced and your body is able to deliver more oxygen to your bloodstream as well as your muscles. As a result, you burn fat which promotes weight loss. Not only are you able to lose weight, you are also able to strengthen your cardiovascular system. Jumping jacks build leg muscles by working the calves, glutes, deltoids, lats and gracilis. Muscle tone is also increased as muscle fibers are strengthened with continuous exercise and fat deposits begin to recede. Jumping jacks give your abdominal muscles a work out as well, and can help to tone up excess belly fat. Aside from the strengthening benefits, a person also becomes more flexible. Doing jumping jacks regularly will promote overall wellness. Any form of exercise will release endorphins, which promotes a sense of happiness and well being.
How Many Calories Can You Burn Doing Jumping Jacks?
It is highly recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday for optimum health. According to the Harvard Health Publications, which made a study of how many calories you can lose in 30 minutes doing different exercises, doing jumping jacks for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity can burn 200 calories in a 185-pound person. Doing jumping jacks at a rigorous intensity can burn 355 calories in 30 minutes. For those interested in losing weight, it would be helpful to keep track of your daily calorie intake during the day in contrast to how many calories you burn. To lose 1 pound every two weeks, you must establish a caloric deficit of 250 calories a day. Doing intensive jumping jacks for 30 minutes every day will help achieve this goal.
Tips & Warnings
Intensive jumping jacks are an exercise that most people will benefit from. However, those who are overweight might do more harm than good if they engage in rigorous jumping jacks. Overweight people may benefit more if they do moderate jumping jacks with knee support so as not to aggravate their knees. Those with knee problems may also do jumping jacks on a moderate level since intensive jumping jacks can lead to shin splints. Shin splints is the inflammation of the tibialis anterior, which is the muscle in the front lower leg. Proper footwear is also essential in making sure that no injuries arise. The best footwear would be sneakers that are snug and comfortable. The best surfaces for doing jumping jacks would be matted surfaces and hardwood floors.
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