Jumping jacks are among the simplest yet most beneficial exercises that can be done anywhere.
In order to put the might of this exercise to the test, I decided to try the “100 Jumping Jacks a Day” challenge, which, as the name suggests, consists of performing a hundred reps of this workout every single day.
Interested in knowing more about jumping jacks as well as the results of my little test?
Grab a cup of coffee and keep on reading!
What Are Jumping Jacks
Most people first find out about jumping jacks in their childhood. They are perhaps one of the most underrated exercises, and considering them to be pure cardio doesn’t do them enough justice.
Not only do Jumping Jacks pump up your pulse, but they also work many of your muscles in the process.
How to Do Jumping Jacks
- Stand upright
- Keep your legs together and relax your arms.
- Slightly bend your knees, then jump.
- When doing so, spread your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Stretch your arms up and out.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets.
Benefits of Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks offer plenty of benefits, we discuss them here.
Calorie Burning Machine
It has been proven that doing jumping jacks for 30 minutes alone can help you in burning as many as 190 calories if you weigh around 154 lb.
That number is obviously subject to change due to a number of different factors. That said, it still showcases the effectiveness and efficiency of implementing jumping jacks in a weight loss regime.
Full Body Workout
Jumping jacks are an excellent way to quickly increase both your body temperature and aerobic capacity. And also works most of the muscles in your body, this is the reason why many people implement jumping jacks as part of their warm-up or cardio sessions. I prefer doing jumping jacks before I do single-arm french presses, shrugs ( barbell or dumbbell shrugs), or overhead cable curls. Jumping jacks help to warm my body up for these somewhat advanced exercises.
It’s a known fact that you should always warm up properly before starting your regular workout routine.
Apart from the much-needed stretching, jumping jacks will also help to relax the muscles in your core, hips, back, limbs, and even face.
For me personally, a set of 30 reps of jumping jacks does the job just fine.
It’s a Universal Exercise
What I mean by universal in this case is the fact that jumping jacks are an exercise that is suitable for almost anyone out there, people of all fitness levels and ages.
I’m certain that most of you did this exercise at some point in their life, especially as a child.
Still, don’t let their common implementation by young people fool you into thinking that they aren’t effective for an adult gym-goer because they pretty much are.
Great for Bone Health
Jumping jacks have long proven to be a great way of boosting your bone health.
It has been proven that implementing jumping jacks in your workout routine will definitely contribute to making your bones denser, thus stronger. This is great for everyone, especially people who are at risk of Osteoporosis.
Even doing jumping jacks in a milder, more conservative manner over a longer period of time is still effective in making your bones better.
Great for Heart Health
Exercises that tend to boost your heart rate are great for your heart’s overall health, and jumping jacks happen to be one of them. Regardless of whether you plan on doing high or low-intensity exercises, a jumping jacks warm-up is always great for your heart.
Excellent for Reducing Stress
The majority of aerobic exercises, including jumping jacks, are known to reduce stress and improve overall mood. This is due to the fact that they release hormones such as endorphins, which are responsible for the sensation of happiness and also reduce pain and stress.
Muscles Targeted by Jumping Jacks
The muscles that are implemented in a jumping jacks exercise might slightly vary depending on what motion and technique you use, but more often than not, these are the muscles that you’ll be using for jumping jacks:
- Side Deltoids
I Tried 100 Jumping Jacks for 30 Days, My Results
How I Started
I’m not going to lie; before starting this challenge, I thought it’d be hard to fit 100 jumping jacks a day into my schedule, especially that I hit the gym and train at home several times per week already.
However, it turned out that performing a hundred reps of this exercise doesn’t require a lot of time, so starting out was relatively easy.
It’s worth noting that I didn’t stick to the original plan of 100 jumping jacks per day and had to increase the number as the challenge went on.
Want to know why?
Keep on reading!
Here are the results after 30 days.
Jumping Jacks Were Easy and Fun
Let me tell you this: jumping jacks are fun to perform. They give a sort of a liberating feeling. Add that to the fact that they’re super easy to perform, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for some good time.
So, don’t let the number 100 intimidate you, as jumping jacks are both fun and easy to perform.
If you want to get the most out of your jumping jacks in terms of weight loss, you ought to increase the intensity. That can be done through one of two ways:
- Performing a high number of reps at a slow pace
- Performing a low number of reps at a fast pace
I personally did a mixture of both and ended up burning around 20 calories per 100-rep session.
Yes, you read that right. Per 100-rep session.
Here’s the thing: jumping jacks, although great, aren’t enough on their own to lose weight, and considering that I’ve always been active, 100 jumping jacks a day wasn’t much of a challenge for me, so I increased the number of sets to four or five throughout the day.
That said, if you’re just starting out, you can stick with three daily sessions of 100 jumping jacks, which will help you burn around 60 extra cals per day. Remember, every little bit helps!
Made Me More Active During the Day
What’s great about jumping jacks is that they can be performed anytime and anywhere.
As I mentioned above, I’ve always been an active person, but this challenge has helped me to be more active throughout the day, even during work hours.
Yes, my coworkers did give me an awkward eye at first every time I started performing jumping jacks at the office, but that didn’t stop me from doing it!
PS: YMMV depending on your workplace’s rules.
Jumping Jacks Variations
There are numerous variations of jumping jacks that you can easily change between. These include:
You can perform a half-jack by:
- Set your arms to shoulder height while standing. At the same time, tap one of your feet out to the side and try to keep all of your body weight on the stable leg.
- Step in.
- Repeat the first step but using the other leg.
- Do this for as many reps as you see fit.
In order to do a squat jack, you’ll need to:
- Stand with your feet together and hands clasped at your chest.
- Jump your feet out and instantly bend your knees so that you’d land in a squat position.
- Try to keep your knees from going past your toes (don’t forget to keep your chest up).
- Jump back to the starting position.
- Repeat the whole process at least 20 times.
To perform a jack burpee, you’ll need to:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms at your sides.
- Reach down and put your hands on the ground by bending your knees and hips.
- Once your hands touch the ground, quickly extend your legs out behind you into a pushup position.
- Spread your legs wide, then pull back in.
- Keeping your hands on the ground, bring your feet back under you.
- Hop up and clap your hands above your head.
- Repeat the whole process for how many times as you see fit.
In order to pull off an oblique jack, you’ll need to:
- Stand with your feet together and your arms extended out, and elbows bent at a 90 degrees angle.
- Draw one of your knees up, then rotate it externally from your hip. While doing this, push your torso to the same side in a way where you’ll end up looking as if you’re trying to make your elbow touch your knee.
- Switch sides the moment your foot returns to the ground and repeat the same process.
- Do this for the number of reps you see fit.
Jumping Jacks Alternatives
Here are a few alternatives to jumping jacks.
Performing a jumping rope is way more advanced than a jumping jack, and I think it’s important to know that this exercise is an excellent alternative if you’re looking to target your lower body more.
In order to perform a jumping rope, you’ll need to:
- Start by grabbing the rope and setting it behind you, right at the level of your heels. Slowly rotate your forearms forward, then your wrists to swing the rope overhead.
- As the rope is swinging, slightly bend your knees. Once it passes your shins, spring up from your toes. It’s going to be a rough process at first, but I recommend that you start it slowly, and you’ll get the hang of it sooner than later.
- Once you’re comfortable with the exercise, your body, more specifically your wrists, will do all the work. Most ropes do come with bearings contained in the handles that rotate the rope itself. This will make it easier to spin the rope by just using your wrists.
- As you jump, make sure to stand on the balls of your feet, as this will help you stay nimble. Since this exercise will quickly have a toll on your calves, I recommend that you alternate hops. In other words, use a different foot each time then both; such a rotation will give your calves some time to rest.
You can perform a burpee by:
- Get in a squat position with your knees bent, your feet shoulder-width apart, and back straight.
- Lower your hands so that they’re between your feet.
- Concentrate your weight on your hands, then kick your feet back so that you’d end up in a pushup position.
- Do one pushup while making sure to keep your whole body straight. Do not let your butt stick out.
- Perform a frog kick, which is basically jumping your feet back to their starting position.
- Stand and reach out your arms over your head.
- Quickly jump into the air so that you land back where you initially started.
- Quickly get into a squat position and repeat the whole process for as many reps as you need.
Jumping Jacks FAQ
Will Jumping Jacks Help Me Lose Belly Fat?
Although jumping jacks pack a number of different benefits, it is important to keep in mind that this exercise won’t flatten your stomach or any part of your body, for that matter.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can implement jumping jacks in a more advanced weight loss program.
On the contrary, actually, I highly recommend that you do utilize them if you have a weight loss program set-up since they can be super helpful.
Jumping Jacks Vs. Jump Rope, Which is Better?
Jumping jacks and jump rope are two of the more popular bodyweight exercises throughout the world. They are easy to pull off, straightforward nature makes them a great choice for a quick warm-up or even workout.
In terms of which exercises superior, there are numerous factors that you have to consider.
For one, if you’re looking to incorporate your entire body in a warm-up, then jumping jacks are better.
However, if you’re about to pull off an intense aerobic workout that revolves around speed and nimbleness, then jumping ropes are probably the safer choice.
Can I do 200 or 300 Jumping Jacks A Day?
The straightforward answer to this question is yes, obviously you can.
However, having said that, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute concluded that setting realistic, possible, and most importantly, forgiving goals is the best way to maintain consistent weight loss results.
In other words, the number of jumping jacks that you should perform on a daily basis should solely depend on your body’s capabilities.