Sep 18, 2020
3 Major Health Benefits of Jumping Jacks

They may look like child’s play, but jumping jacks offer a slew of benefits — whether you’re 12 or 65.

In a recent article with Insider.com, Jonathan Mike, a strength and conditioning coach and professor of exercise science and sports performance at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, shared some of the benefits of this childhood exercise.

jumping jacks
Photo: Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet / Creative Commons

“Jumping jacks have a wealth of benefits like mobility, increased blood flow, training in the frontal plane, and overall joint motion,” Mike told Insider.com.

Below is an excerpt from that Insider.com article on the benefits one’s body can expect from incorporating the body-weight cardiovascular exercise.

Improving Heart Health

2014 study in BioMed Research International found that a four week high-intensity circuit training program, which included jumping jacks, improved several heart health markers in obese men.

The participants saw improvements in their resting heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat levels. Interestingly, the improvements were comparable to those found in much longer-duration circuit, resistance training, and aerobic exercise programs.

Compared to other exercises that boost your cardiovascular fitness, jumping jacks can add more intensity. However, they should be mixed in with another conditioning exercise, says Mike. Jumping jacks alone are not sustainable for long durations, so it’s best to incorporate jumping jacks along with a cardio workout, like running or cycling.

Strengthening Bones

Many types of jump training — like jumping jacks — are also beneficial for your bone health.

For example, a 2006 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that young women who did a regimen of 10 vertical jumps three days a week for six months strengthened the bones in their legs, as well as their lower spine.

It’s important to improve bone density, or the strength of bones, because we naturally lose density as we age. If the loss is significant, osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break, can occur.

Total Body Workout

Jumping jacks are a type of total body exercise that you can do anywhere, with no equipment.

More specifically, jumping jacks are a plyometric exercise. Plyometrics are explosive aerobic moves that increase speed, quickness, and power — and they work your whole body.

» ALSO SEE: Q&A with Mississippi State Strength Coach Collin Crane

Jumping jacks are beneficial to your health because they combine cardiovascular conditioning with strength work. As you jump, you’re working against gravity and using your body weight for resistance, which can improve strength. Plus, the constant repetition of the move gets your heart rate up and improves cardiovascular fitness.

To read the full article from Insider.com on the benefits of jumping jacks, click here




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