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How Good Are Jumping Jacks As an Aerobic Exercise?

author image Caroline Thompson
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.
How Good Are Jumping Jacks As an Aerobic Exercise?
A happy girl doing jumping jacks in the grass. Photo Credit Design Pics/Darren Greenwood/Design Pics/Getty Images

Jumping jacks seem simple, but they are a type of muscular and aerobic conditioning known as plyometrics. Jumping jacks are an effective aerobic and strength-building exercise and their simplicity makes them versatile. Additionally, jumping jacks can be entertaining, which appeals to kids and helps keep them entertained while getting an aerobic workout.

Plyometric Training

Jumping jacks are a form of aerobics called plyometrics, which is commonly referred to as jump training. This type of training not only builds cardiovascular strength, but also muscular response for speed of movement, note Avery D. Faigenbaum, Ed.D., and Donald A. Chu, Ph.D., P.T., ATC, in an article published by the American College of Sports Medicine. Every time your feet hit the ground while performing jumping jacks, the quadriceps muscles shorten, which is followed by a rapid stretch when you make the next jump. This is called the stretch-shortening cycle, which will help you increase speed of movement, improve your power production, strengthen bones and help with weight loss. Jumping jacks provide a wider range of benefits than many other types of aerobic exercise, which increase cardiovascular health but do not provide the same resistance exercise.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Jumping jacks is an aerobic activity that increases your heart rate and improves cardiovascular health as well as helps to prevent chronic health problems. Regular aerobic exercise such as jumping jacks will help manage high blood pressure, boost high-density lipoprotein and cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides. This results in less plaque buildup in your arteries.

Weight Loss

Jumping jacks are an aerobic exercise that burns calories, helping you to shed those excess pounds and keep them off. Maintaining a healthy weight helps you to feel better, have more energy and live longer. Jumping jacks are a convenient way to get aerobic exercise into your day without having to go to the gym or spend hours exercising. Jumping jacks can be done during breaks, commercials or any other free time. Aerobic exercise works with a diet plan to speed your weight loss.

Kid Safe

Jumping jacks are a fun way to get kids to exercise. Jumping jacks are also a safe and beneficial activity for children, according to ACSM. Jumping jacks are like play for children, which helps them get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity they need each day, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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