Get your dose of jumping jacks, and then check out all of these other articles on bodyweight!
Jumping jacks are one of those classic exercises that you’ve probably been doing all of your life. I think that I can remember them as being some of the first types of exercise that I learned. They’ve been with me through grade school physical education and recess, high school sports, and they’re still a part of my fitness routines today. Additionally, there are modifications to make them both easier or harder depending on your level of fitness or psychical abilities.
- Stand with your feet together, and your arms by your sides.
- Jump the feet wide – approximately shoulder’s width, or only slightly more, and simultaneously raise your arms over your head.
- Reverse the movement as you jump your feet back together, and lower your arms back to your sides.
Modifications and Tips
I have modified jumping jacks for clients that work to take their fitness to new levels, and for clients bad knees, or age related physical conditions that require a more gentle approach.
Modify For Easy
- Instead of jumping the feet apart, step one leg out to the side. Raise your arms overhead with each side step. Step the same leg back in as you lower your arms back to your sides, and then step the other leg out to the side, and raise your arms overhead again. Repeat while alternating the steps from side to side.
Modify For Hard
Supercharge your jumping jacks by turning it into a star jump. You’ve probably seen cheerleaders jumping this way at court side.
- With your feet together, drop into a squat and tuck your upper arms into your ribs and forearms and hands in front of your sternum.
- Jump into the air and outstretch both legs and arms away from your body.
- Land back in the squatting position with arms tucked back in.
Land softly on the feet, and transition right into the squat so that you let the muscles of the legs absorb the jump and don’t jar the knees when you land.
I have entire workouts based around bodyweight exercise included in my online exercise program, JohnnyFit Online! You’ll find jumping jacks in there as well! Try it out!