Jumping jacks do not only look like a good workout. By making your movements more intense, you can also burn a nice amount of calories.
More specifically, the average person can expect to burn around 118 to 203+ calories while doing jumping jacks at a vigorous intensity for 15 minutes.
How much you weigh will influence at what end of this range you are a lot.
The 118 calories per 15 minutes of jumping jacks are an estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person whereas the 203 calories are an estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.
Additionally, keep in mind that these are very rough predictions.
In reality, the number of calories you burn will likely vary due to differences in body composition, hormone levels, exact jumping jack intensity, etc.
That being said, this article will also go over a more detailed chart of estimation for different body weights and time periods, ways to burn more calories with jumping jacks, and more.
Biggest factors in calories burned with jumping jacks
It is very hard to predict exactly how many calories you will burn with jumping jacks. This can make balancing your energy intake with energy output even more challenging.
That being said, looking at some of the factors that make the estimation harder can help you understand what you need to do to see more results.
Some of the things that influence how many calories you burn with jumping jacks the most include:
- Weight: Your body needs energy to move and function. Generally, the more weight it has to move, the more energy aka calories your movements require.
- Body composition: Body composition means how much of your body weight different tissues take up. This is relevant because a certain weight in muscle tends to burn more calories than the same weight in fat.
- Intensity: The more intense you do your jumping jacks, the more calories they will generally burn per minute.
Hidden calorie burning from jumping jacks
There is even another factor that makes it harder to predict how many calories you will burn with your jumping jack workouts.
This exercise can potentially help you burn more calories than usual after the workout too.
More specifically, there is something called the afterburn effect.
This comes down to having an increase in metabolism for some time even after you stop exercising, typically never more than 72 hours.
Because afterburn is challenging to measure and can vary a lot between individuals and intensities, the calorie-burning estimations of jumping jacks typically don’t take it into account.
Chart of jumping jacks calorie-burning estimations
A cheat list from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention just mentions that you can burn more than 7 calories per minute with vigorous calisthenics exercises like jumping jacks (1).
Luckily, there are tools to get more precise estimations for different body weights and time periods.
For example, there are things called MET values which are estimations (sometimes measurements if studies are available) of how intense exercises are.
You can use these values in the following formula for estimating calories burned with activities like jumping jacks:
METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
While sources vary, one publication mentions an MET of 8 for doing jumping jacks at a vigorous pace which is reasonable (2).
You can find the results of using this MET in the formula above with different body weights and time periods in the chart below.
Remember that these are very rough estimations. The formula above does not include everything that influences how many calories you burn with jumping jacks.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|8 calories||118 calories||236 calories||354 calories||473 calories|
|10 calories||146 calories||293 calories||439 calories||586 calories|
|12 calories||175 calories||350 calories||524 calories||699 calories|
|14 calories||203 calories||406 calories||610 calories||813 calories|
How many calories do 100 jumping jacks burn
Let’s say that the average person does around 40 jumping jacks per minute. In that case, you can expect to burn around 20 to 34 calories per 100 jumping jacks.
With the same intensity, the average person would have to do around 295 to 508 jumping jacks to burn 100 calories.
To get a better idea of what all these calorie amounts look like in terms of food, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories (3).
Ways to burn more calories with jumping jacks
From the things so far it may sound like the number of calories you burn with jumping jacks is static. However, you can actually influence these amounts in a few ways.
First of all, you can make it so you use up more energy per minute by doing your jumping jacks at higher speeds and in turn, doing more repetitions per minute.
This can help you get more results while taking up less time from your busy schedule.
Additionally, you can make both individual jumping jack repetitions and the minutes of your workouts burn more calories by doing the exercise with weights.
Some tools you can use to do weighted jumping jacks include a weighted vest, ankle weights, and wrist weights.
Lastly, you can build extra muscle mass with resistance training exercises. This increases your weight in a healthy way.
How long does it take to see results from jumping jacks?
With all of this calorie-burning going on, you may wonder if and when you can start to see weight loss results.
Jumping jacks can help weight loss but you have to keep in mind that other lifestyle habits like your diet will still influence your results a lot.
That being said, let’s say your current routine keeps you at the same weight and the only change you make is doing more jumping jacks.
In a situation like that, a 155-pound (70 kg) person can burn an extra 1460 calories when doing 15 minutes of vigorous jumping jacks every day for 10 days.
This comes down to losing about 0.42 pounds (0.18 kg).
The same person can burn around 4380 calories or about 1.25 pounds (0.55 kg) when doing the same 15-minute jumping jack sessions a day for 30 days.
Something to note is that as you lose weight, the same amounts of jumping jacks will start to burn fewer calories.
Additionally, it is worth mentioning again that doing jumping jacks does not necessarily lead to weight or belly fat loss. Your other lifestyle habits need to be good enough too.
Should you do jumping jacks for calorie burning?
Jumping jacks can burn nice amounts of calories per minute.
One of the benefits of jumping jacks is that they are relatively easy to implement into your daily life. All you need is a few spare minutes.
At the same time, it is also worth mentioning that there are jumping jack alternatives like running that can burn even more calories.
Additionally, jumping jacks can be rough on your knees, ankles, and back.
If you are carrying around a few extra pounds it may be smarter to start with low-impact exercises like swimming, walking, or using an elliptical machine.
In the end, you want to weigh the upsides and downsides of the jumping jack exercise and its alternatives against each other to make a choice.
Something to note is that no matter what cardiovascular workouts you choose, it can be smart to implement resistance training exercises to build muscle too.
This extra muscle mass will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Including during your jumping jack workouts.
Lastly, make sure to keep an eye on other lifestyle habits like your diet if you are interested in weight loss results.