If you’ve attended any form of physical education class, you’ve probably done a few jumping jacks in your time. These jumps into the air are a basic method of cardio exercise, simple enough for kids, even if they don’t have much in the way of physical coordination. Jumping jacks are not the Holy Grail of workouts, but these exercises used to be considered a staple for any fitness routine, especially among young people.
Leaping from View
Now, instead of jumping jacks, you’ll hear about burpees, jogging in place, jumping rope, or other similar cardio activities. Why don’t we see jumping jacks anymore? There’s no definitive answer.
One theory is that the jumping jacks’ uncomplicated motions may have tricked people into thinking that they had no real impact on fitness. It’s a pity, though. While they aren’t as intense as other cardio routines, the humble jumping jack can be a phenomenal addition to any exercise routine with a few simple adjustments.
Alternative Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks have been around for so long that it comes as no surprise there is a myriad of variations. For example, these alternatives allow you to target different muscle groups:
- Press Jacks with a weight held in front of you are great at working the shoulders.
- Squat Jacks give a more extensive workout to glutes and calves.
- Crossover Jacks work as excellent cardio training while targeting overall coordination.
Each of these jumping jack variations could fit neatly into anyone’s morning cardio routine.
Sticking With the Original
Normal jumping jacks still have unique advantages and benefits. If not a part of your regular exercise, it can still serve as a warm-up to get your blood pumping.
A daily routine of jumping jacks can also decrease bone density loss due to age, improving your core strength with no equipment at all.