Jumping Jacks | How is it done? Benefits and muscles involved

Who I am
Louise Hay


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By the healthiergang writer , personal trainer with a degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences.

Jumping Jack

It was one of the most popular exercises by gymnastics teachers of the last decade, one of those that we all performed more or less well at least once in our life together with the skippers, the circles and the push-ups on the ground (which at the time also the profs called incorrectly push-ups); I'm talking about the Jumping Jack.

This exercise, which generations and generations have learned to hate with all their might, has come back in vogue in recent times, used in a myriad of cardio and functional circuits.

How is it done?

For those unfamiliar with it, it is a complex movement that starts from the standing station, with the legs together and the arms at the sides, then a small jump is performed with the lower limbs apart, while at the same time the arms are raised above the head (slightly flexed), to finish a small jump that will take us back to the starting station; once you have found the right rhythm, repeat X number of times.

Benefits of Jumping Jack

But what are the elements that make the Jumping Jack a wild card that can be included in practically every workout?

Muscles involved: the Jumping Jack has the advantage of involving a long series of muscle groups, including calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, abdominals, deltoids, dorsals and all intercostals; by its nature it is excellent as a warm-up to quickly raise the heart rate.

Coordination: the Jumping Jack is an excellent exercise to start improving motor coordination, even if you are a novice, it requires the ability to rhythm upper and lower limbs starting from a slow pace, and then gradually increase until you get one of the exercises cardiovascular more intense ever; and also excellent as a preparatory work for the Jump Rope.

Improvement of cardiovascular capacity: we have already said it in all sauces, the Jumping Jack is one of the most complete and adaptable cardiovascular exercises in circulation, particularly valuable in all very intense cardio circuit work (at the right speed it can be really exhausting) or gymnastics functional (as an element of recovery, which however requires not indifferent skills).

Great adaptability: this is certainly its plus compared to other exercises, the possibility of placing it within almost any type of training; whether you have to do a weight session, circuit or split (try doing 20 air squats after one minute of pushed Jumping Jack), you will certainly be able to effectively use the Jumping Jack, and this is a feature that few exercises possess.


If this glorious exercise is back in fashion, however, we owe it to HIIT, which in addition to using it in the warm-up and as a preparation for the Jump Rope, offers it in almost all circuits for beginners, thanks to the characteristics we have exposed before.

As often happens, looking back we often rediscover very valid concepts and elements, which we had abandoned to pursue the new, in the eagerness to always find something different and that makes us say "WOW !!!"; and the Jumping Jack is one of those exercises that we had too hastily forgotten, but which has come back, hopefully, to stay.

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