You can change up standard exercises to focus on different muscles. Find out how to do oblique jacks and what they do.
Oblique jacks are a jumping jack variation where you do standing oblique crunches with a small jump in between each repetition.
Compared to regular jumping jacks, oblique jacks focus slightly more on your hip flexors and obliques.
On the flip side, oblique jacks also work your latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back), deltoids (shoulders), inner thigh muscles, and outer thigh muscles less.
Additionally, oblique jacks are somewhat awkward to do at high speeds. At least compared to the regular version of the exercise.
The result of these differences is that oblique jacks are mainly good to warm up or improve coordination and balance.
If you have any other fitness goals, there are many more effective alternatives.
How to do an oblique jack
Take the following steps to do an oblique jack:
- Stand upright with your feet right next to each other and lightly put your hands against the sides of your head.
- Raise one leg sideways and upward. Lower the shoulder of the same side down as far as comfortable.
- Jump up and while in the air, lower your leg, raise your shoulder, and repeat the movement in step 2 with the leg and shoulder of the other side.
- Keep jumping between the positions in step 2 and step 3 for a certain number of repetitions or an amount of time.
The main challenge in oblique jacks is staying balanced while you rest on one leg.
Additionally, it is worth noting that you want to keep your legs slightly less than stretched to make the landings more comfortable.
Muscles worked with oblique jacks
The muscles you work with oblique jacks include your hip flexors, glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), obliques, quadriceps (front thighs), abs, inner thighs, outer thighs, and calves.
If you are familiar with the muscles jumping jacks work, you will notice that oblique jacks will work your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, and obliques more.
Additionally, oblique jacks work your deltoids (shoulders), latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back), inner thigh muscles, and outer thigh muscles less.
Something to keep in mind is that actually growing these muscles tends to require more pressure.
Oblique jacks (and regular jumping jacks) are mainly good for improving muscle endurance in these areas and keeping the muscles healthier.
Oblique jacks benefits
While oblique jacks will likely be slightly less effective and engage different muscles, they still offer many of the regular jumping jack benefits to some extent. A few of these are:
- Can help with losing weight: The way you move your body influences how much energy it needs. By doing oblique jacks you make it easier to get to a point where you use more energy than is coming in.
- Improves mood: Moving more intensely tends to increase to what extent your body makes endorphins. These hormones typically improve mood.
- Balance and coordination: Oblique jacks can be somewhat challenging in terms of balance and coordination. This can be a benefit in the sense that it could improve your skills in these areas.
- Can improve cardiovascular health: By working your heart, lungs, and blood vessels harder with oblique jacks you can make these body parts healthier.
- No equipment or location required: You can just get in an oblique jack workout without investing in any equipment or spending time going to the gym.
- Improves sleep: Having a workout habit with exercises like oblique jacks can improve your sleep quality and duration.
- Better muscle endurance: Working your muscles with oblique jacks could be enough to improve endurance in certain areas.
If you like doing oblique jacks and these benefits align with your fitness goals, you could consider doing this exercise more often.
Oblique jack alternatives
It is also possible that you don’t necessarily like oblique jacks that much. In that case, you could also consider a variety of alternatives that make it easier to get similar benefits.
- Heel taps
- Side planks
- Other jumping jack variations
- Side bends
- High knees
- Side shuffles
- Using a rowing machine
Whether you want to work your muscles or cardiovascular system will play a big role in what oblique jack alternatives are the best for your situation.
Are oblique jacks a good exercise?
Oblique jacks can be a decent exercise if you want to warm up or train your balance and coordination. You can also say this exercise offers small improvements in cardiovascular health and muscle endurance.
That being said, it is hard to really call oblique jacks a good exercise with how many more effective alternatives there are for all these fitness goals.
One thing to note is that personal preference still matters too.
If you like doing oblique jacks you could find it easier to do them consistently. In turn, this is helpful for getting all of the other benefits of exercising.
What are oblique jacks?
Oblique jacks are an exercise where you raise one knee sideways and up and the shoulder of that side down. After that, you jump and repeat the same movement on the other side.
These movements will train your coordination, balance, cardiovascular health, and muscle endurance to some extent.