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Are you doing it right? - Jumping Jack

Are you doing it right? - Jumping Jack

Suraj Iyer

Published: 8 July 2020 1:06 PM GMT

Jumping Jacks are one of the most commonly performed exercises by people of all age groups. It can be treated as a way to warm up before performing exercises or performed as an exercise itself by children as well as adults who are sedentary to keep fit. Described here will be the proper way to perform Jumping Jacks.

  • Standing tall with feet placed hip width apart and arms by the sides.
  • In a single motion, lift your hands all the way from the sides till they reach overhead. The legs during this movement will hop opposite of each other so they reach wider than shoulder width.
  • Return to the beginning position by having your hands perform the same motion downwards as your legs hop back in to the starting position.
  • An ideal warm up would involve 6-8 minutes of proper warm up exercises. Depending on one’s fitness level, jumping jacks can constitute about 30-60 seconds of that warm up at the end to bring that heart rate up and ready for the workout.

Jumping Jack Jumping Jack (Source: FITPASS)

A very common mistake that is noticed when people perform jumping jacks is bent elbows. Jumping jacks require the full range of motion by the hands to properly work the shoulder muscles. It is a full body exercise that typically falls under the cardiovascular exercise category. Though initially extremely stressful on the legs, regular exercise diminishes the pain and soreness associated when first starting out with jumping jacks.

Shoulder joints and hip flexors are worked very well when performing the exercise as they have to elongate and relax which results in a full contraction of the joints. Engaging the core while doing jumping jacks can also make the abdominal muscles strong. People often involve the core in isolating movements — for instance, doing crunches instead of whole body exercise where the abdomen can contract and relax much more efficiently. Since it is a cardio exercise, people suffering from blood pressure or other related issues and heart disease ailments should typically avoid or consult a medical professional before performing this exercise.

Though some athletes involved in strength sports may not consider jumping jacks as an exercise or even a warm up, it is one of the major building blocks that are involved in plyometric exercises. Plyometric exercises are those that require explosive motions and a lot of power. Though jumping jacks does not come as close to the typical plyometric exercise, it certainly is a foundation for building explosive strength and trains the cardiovascular system to supply oxygen more efficiently with enough training.

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