How to Do Jumping Jacks In 5 Easy Steps

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A jumping jack is a form of aerobic calisthenic exercise that you perform by jumping up and down from a standing position. 

The Jumping jack exercise is named after its inventor, general “Black Jack” Pershing. John J. Pershing (1860-1940) was one of the American’s greatest military leaders.

He invented the Jumping Jack exercise while he was a senior cadet at the west point, and it is now used by people all around the world as a form of exercise for getting in shape.

It is in fact widely popular that gym teachers and personal trainers have hazed people with General Pershing’s invention.

And, let’s not forget. It is also Missouri’s official state exercise, which is, of course, Pershing’s home state.

This famed bodyweight cardio exercise reflects the philosophy of multitasking. 

It strengthens the thigh muscles just as when you squat or lunge. But the difference with jumping jacks is, you can get your heart rate up and pumping and get the benefits of cardio. 

Because it’s intense and jumping involved, you experience an elevation in your heart rate just as when you run or jump rope.
The heavy breathing while jumping forces your heart to become better conditioned and deliver oxygen to the bloodstream and ultimately to your working muscles more efficiently. 

If your goal is weight loss, jumping jack works for that too. Burning calories at a rapid rate is a major help in weight loss and fat loss. 

You can about 472 calories in one hour if you do it vigorously. (based on a 130-pound individual)

While we don’t recommend you doing any high impact exercise such as jumping jack for 1 hour since that can lead to over-exhaustion, injuries, excessive muscle fatigue, and dehydration, you can combine jumping jacks with other exercises to make it a full workout. 

It’s a perfect example of how you can group different bodyweight exercises from various disciplines (cardio, strength, power, and/or plyometrics) into one to create an effective total body circuit routine that burns calories, strengthens your body, melts fat and improves your endurance. 

Overall, jumping jack exercise is an effective workout to torch calories, burn fat while strengthening your whole body. 
And the best part is you can do it right in your living room or anywhere else you, please. 

When you do jumping jacks, you are moving all the large muscle groups in your body. You engage your core and abs as well as your legs, calves, and thighs.

It’s a great “good for everything and everyone” type of exercise you can hardly go wrong with.  

As with all great exercises, when not performed properly, it can become dangerous and ineffective. 

Learn how to perform the jumping jacks the right, proper way below. 

Anywhere, anytime total-body cardiovascular exercise. Traveling or no time for the gym?

No problem! Add jumping jacks to your workout routine to get a great heart-pumping cardio workout. All it takes is your body and a timer!

How to Do Jumping Jacks

  1. Stand straight with your hands at your sides.
  2. As you jump up, spread your feet wide and bring your arms up so they meet at the top. Land on the balls of your feet. Repeat for 45 – 60 seconds.
Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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