Moving more intensely can offer benefits but you have many exercise options. Find out what the benefits of jumping jacks are.
Before going into the positive points, you also want to know that jumping jacks can be somewhat challenging on body parts like your ankles and knees.
One way to avoid overdoing it is to start with light jumping jack workouts and if these go well, build up from there.
1. Jumping jacks can improve cardiovascular health
Your cardiovascular system includes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
This system helps you extract oxygen from the air and move this oxygen, nutrients, and waste products to the right places in your body.
When doing jumping jacks, your intense movements will make it so the processes above have to happen to a larger extent. In turn, your cardiovascular system will have to work harder.
Similar to many other body parts, you can strengthen your cardiovascular system over time by challenging it enough (but not too much).
Since the thing stopping you from pushing harder in your jumping jacks is likely you getting out of breath, you can definitely get a good cardiovascular workout with this exercise.
How many jumping jacks a day is good for improving cardiovascular health is not that strict.
Generally speaking, HIIT jumping jack workouts where you alternative between 3 minutes of intense sets and 2 minutes of rest can be very helpful for this fitness goal if your body can deal with them.
2. Jumping jacks can improve muscle endurance
Even though jumping jacks are mainly cardio, they also work a few skeletal muscles to some extent.
Jumping jacks will typically not build muscle but engaging your muscles can still help slow down degradation, make the muscles healthier, and improve muscle endurance.
Some of the muscles worked with jumping jacks include:
- Hip abductors (outer thighs)
- Hip adductors (inner thighs)
- Deltoids (shoulders)
- Latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back)
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
- To some extent core muscles like your abs, obliques, and erector spinae
To get the muscle-related benefits above to a larger extent you can consider doing weighted jumping jacks by wearing a weighted vest, wrist weights, ankle weights, or holding weights in your hands.
That being said, an even better idea is doing resistance training exercises that work the muscles you want to strengthen.
3. Jumping jacks can benefit weight loss
Modern life makes it easy to gain excess body weight which is unfortunate because this increases your risk of a variety of conditions.
Luckily, there are still ways to prevent weight gain and reverse this process.
For example, doing jumping jacks can help you lose weight since the movements you do burn up more energy than more typical daily activities.
How many calories jumping jacks burn is hard to predict perfectly but some rough estimations can already give you an idea of how effective this exercise is.
The average person burns around 118 to 203 calories while doing jumping jacks at a vigorous pace for 15 minutes.
If this is enough to get to a point where your body uses more energy than is coming in from food, you start losing weight.
Keep this state up for long enough and jumping jacks can even help burn belly fat.
One important thing to note is that while exercises like jumping jacks help weight loss, their impact is often relatively small compared to what you can eat.
In simpler words, make sure you keep an eye on other lifestyle habits like nutrition too.
4. Jumping jacks can improve bone density
Many people get the impression that your bones are just pieces of static material inside of your body.
However, they are actually “living” parts of your body that can change in terms of details like density.
Jumping jacks are actually relatively good for this purpose compared to many other workouts because of the jumps involved.
Improving your bone density is definitely a benefit since this helps you avoid broken bones.
Not everyone is concerned about this right now but it could still deserve your attention. Even if you are somewhat younger.
This is because strengthening your bones tends to become harder as you get older. It tends to be easier to improve bone density when you are young and then preserve this by staying active enough.
Something important to note is that this high-impact aspect can also be a disadvantage of jumping jacks in the sense that it increases your injury risk.
For this reason, people who are inactive and/or have some weight to lose likely want to start with jumping jack alternatives first.
5. Jumping jacks can be a good warm-up
If you look at someone doing jumping jacks or even just the list of muscles worked above, it becomes clear that this exercise engages a variety of joints and body parts.
This can be useful for people who want to warm up these body parts before doing something like a resistance training workout.
In turn, warming up your body with jumping jacks before more intense exercises can help reduce your injury risk and improve performance.
6. Jumping jacks can improve coordination and balance
Inactive people who are new to jumping jacks likely struggle with their first few repetitions.
Timing your arm and leg movements together and not overdoing your range of motions can be somewhat challenging.
While this may not sound good, the challenge can potentially help you improve your coordination and balance over time.
This benefit is not only useful for your other jumping workouts.
Having good coordination and balance can help you avoid bumping into things or falling down.
7. You can do jumping jacks anywhere
There are many exercise examples where you have to drive to a sports field or just your local gym.
While this could still be worth the extra fun and benefits, it also makes it so you have to spend extra time on top of the workout itself.
If you can do this transport in a healthy way like walking and cycling, this is not that bad.
However, it could also mean an extra 10 or 20 minutes in the car per workout. Over time, this really adds up.
That being said, jumping jacks are great in the sense that you can basically do them everywhere. All you need to do is free up a few time blocks throughout the day and you can stay relatively active.
Even if you have no issues fitting workouts into your schedule, you can use the extra time for other healthy habits (or fun activities).