You don’t have to stick to regular jumping jacks to get benefits. Discover how to do seal jacks and what they do differently.
Seal jacks are a variation of jumping jacks where you move your arms sideways horizontally instead of up. Your legs do the same outward-inward movement as in regular jumping jacks.
This makes it so seal jacks focus more on your chest, front deltoids (shoulders), and back deltoids than regular jumping jacks.
In turn, seal jacks will also work the side deltoids and latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back muscle) to a lesser extent.
Besides this different muscle engagement, the benefits of seal jacks are about the same as regular jumping jacks.
That means you can get in a nice cardiovascular workout but that there are more effective alternatives for this purpose too.
You can also use seal jacks as a warmup for a variety of body parts or to improve coordination.
How to do a seal jack
Take the following steps to do a seal jack:
- Stand upright with your feet together and your arms slightly less than stretched and pointing forward.
- Jump in the air and move your legs sideways and outward. At the same time, move your arms sideways and backward as far as comfortable.
- Land with your legs slightly bent, your feet wide apart, and your arms in about a horizontal line.
- Jump back into starting position by jumping and reversing the leg and arm movements from step 2.
There is no problem with doing your first few seal jacks at a slow pace to get used to the movement.
Additionally, you want to make sure you don’t move your arms backward too much and land with your legs slightly bent.
Once you get used to the movement, you can do seal jacks faster to work your cardiovascular system more.
You can also do this and improve leg muscle endurance by wearing a weighted vest.
Seal jacks muscles worked
The main muscles worked in seal jacks are your calves, quadriceps (front thighs), glutes (butt), hamstrings (back thighs), hip abductors (outer thighs), hip adductors (inner thighs), chest, front deltoids (shoulders), and back deltoids.
You can also say that core muscles like your abs, obliques, and erector spinae have to work to some extent.
The main things that are different in seal jacks are that you work your chest, front deltoids, and back deltoids more and middle deltoids and latissimus dorsi (middle/upper back muscle) less.
It is important to note that seal jacks will typically not be challenging enough to grow any of the muscles they work.
To do this, you want to turn to specific resistance training exercises. Potentially ones that implement extra weights.
At the same time, engaging your muscles with seal jacks can still improve endurance, slow down the degradation of the muscles, and make them healthier.
Seal jack exercise benefits
The direction of your arm movements is different but from a high-level view, seal jacks will still offer the standard jumping jack benefits. A few of these include:
- Can help with losing weight: Seal jacks will likely use up more energy than your standard daily activities. In turn, this makes it easier to get to the point where you use up more energy than is coming in. This would lead to weight loss.
- Better muscle endurance: Engaging your muscles with seal jacks could improve endurance in them.
- Can improve cardiovascular health: Working your cardiovascular system with seal jacks can benefit the health and capacity of this system.
- Improves mood: Moving more intensely by doing something like seal jacks tends to increase the production of endorphins which tend to make you feel better.
- Could make daily activities easier: Better cardiovascular health and muscle endurance can make daily activities like walking around and climbing stairs easier.
- Balance and coordination: Since seal jacks are somewhat challenging in these areas, they could help you improve your balance and coordination.
- No equipment or location required: You can do seal jacks with just your body weight. This means you don’t have to invest in exercise equipment or spend time driving to a specific location.
- Improves sleep: Implementing a workout habit that includes seal jacks can benefit your sleep quality and duration.
It is true that seal jacks are not the only exercise that offers these benefits. At the same time, they can still be a good option if you enjoy doing them.
Seal jack alternatives
You may wonder what some of these alternatives that offer similar benefits as seal jacks are. Some examples of these are:
- Jumping jacks
- Side shuffles
- Chest fly
- Bent-over reverse fly
- Using an elliptical machine
- Weighted leg adductions or abductions
- Cable crossovers
What you are trying to achieve and what exercise equipment you have will influence your choice between these seal jack alternatives a lot.
Are seal jacks a good exercise?
Seal jacks can be a good exercise for warming up a variety of body parts, improving your coordination, engaging a few muscles, and even working your cardiovascular system a nice amount.
One thing to note is that there are also more effective seal jack alternatives for achieving these fitness goals.
Additionally, some people will find the arm movements in seal jacks too uncomfortable.
Whether you want to choose seal jacks or these other options instead will also depend on your personal preference.
If you like the movements in your workout plan it becomes easier to stay consistent. This is valuable because it is responsible for all of the other benefits of exercise.
What is a seal jack?
A seal jack implements the out-in leg jumps of jumping jacks and requires you to move your arms horizontally forward and backward.
What are seal Jacks good for?
Seal jacks are mainly good for warming up, improving coordination, engaging a few muscles to improve endurance, and improving cardiovascular health.