Michelle Obama leads the record breaking team doing jumping jacks from the oval office at the whit house. Credit/skibbereeneagle.

Jumping Jacks are a jump training (Plyometric) exercise that combines aerobics and resistance workouts. This is an efficient total body work out and the icing on the cake is that it can be done at any time almost anywhere.

There are several wonders of jumping jacks. They are good for the heart, lungs, muscles, glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, abdominal and shoulder muscles. It helps to quicken our muscles so that we can be able to run faster and jump higher.

Jumping jacks help to raise your heart-rate, just like logging miles on a treadmill or stationary bike. Scientists also say that jumping jacks are also good for bone health according to some studies. Generally, Regular exercise is beneficial in a way that:

It increases insulin activity in the body. Balances blood pressure. Helps in weight management. Increases good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol. A 10minute session of jumping jacks throughout the day can burn up to 94 calories.

Jumping jacks are suitable for all ages but please check with your doctor in case you have muscle injuries, joint problems and other health concerns before taking on this form of exercise. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends 20-30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily for pregnant mothers for health benefits such as preventing gestational diabetes.

How to do jumping jacks.

Start slowly and go for short sessions. You can increase the length and intensity of these sessions with time as your body adjusts to the tempo and becomes more fit.

Basic jumping jacks: Stand with your legs straight and arms straight to your sides, jump up spreading your legs apart beyond hip-width bringing your arms above your head nearly touching at the same time, jump again to your starting position and repeat the process as desired.

Low impact jumping jacks according to Andrea Metcalf: Here, in your standing position, spread your right leg out beyond hip width as you raise your right arm out to point to the opposite (left) corner of the room. Draw them back and in the same manner stretch out the left leg beyond hip width and the left arm pointing to the right corner of the room. Do this repetitively, alternating sides.

Squat jacks: This model of jumping jacks is more intensive. Start off with some basic jumping jacks, get into a squat position with your legs spread apart wider than shoulder width and your toes turned out. With your hands behind your head, jump legs apart and back together in the squatting position.

Rotational jacks: Start off with a basic jump, then land with your legs spread apart beyond shoulder width rotating your upper body from the waist stretching your right hand in between your legs to nearly touching the floor while the left arm equally stretches out to the roof or the sky. Jump back to your starting position and repeat the process on the other side so that the left arm reaches for the ground and the right arm stretches to the sky.

Here are some safety tips for doing jumping jacks:

  • Warm up with a short briskly walk and cool down.
  • Wear athletic supportive shoes like sneakers.
  • Do your jumping jacks on a flat, even surface that will absorb shock.
  • The speed of repetitions is essential as opposed to the total length of the workout to avoid overuse injuries.
  • Pay attention to your body, when it hurts, take a break or stop the session.

Whichever exercise you choose, aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. You can do as many jumping jacks as your body can take but don’t forget to hydrate with water. #Rewordit

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