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How to Do Cross Jacks? (Cardio-Strengthening Exercises)

Tracy Thompson
Published by Tracy Thompson
Last updated: May 9, 2023

As a professional fitness coach, I've guided many clients and readers on the best cardio strength exercises to help them lose weight and tone their bodies without equipment.

Cross jacks are one of the many workouts I recommend incorporating into your regimen, as it helps get your heart rate up and burn those calories.

In this article, I will detail how to do cross jacks, the muscles targeted, and the benefits of doing the exercise.

Keep on reading.

Quick Summary

  • Cross jacks are an excellent way to increase your heart rate while rocking your inner thighs, rendering it an ideal toning workout.
  • The muscles worked by cross jacks are the quads, triceps, glute max, lats, and calves.
  • You do not need equipment, a gym, or a big space at your home to perform cross jacks.

How To Perform Cross Jacks

A woman doing cross jacks with text in the background

"The Cross Jack is comparable to the traditional Jumping Jack, but with a criss-cross movement."

- Joe Dowdell, Fitness Trainer

Cross Jacks are a great bodyweight exercise that requires essential coordination (compared to jumping jacks), but most individuals should be able to perform this workout.

Here are detailed instructions for performing cross jacks:

  1. Stand tall, having your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands up and out to the sides.
  2. Jump up and place your right foot in front of your left foot and right arm on top of your left arm (simultaneously crossing your right and left arm, and right and left leg).
  3. Jump again and return to your starting position, ensuring your feet are shoulder-width apart.
  4. Repeat, and counteract the placement of your legs and arms.

Bracing your core, keeping your elbows and knees free, and breathing smoothly and steadily for perfect form.

Muscles Targeted

A person looking at his leg muscles

While cross jacks are a better choice for muscle endurance and aerobic activity than a muscle development exercise, the intensity will strengthen your leg muscles.

Like jumping jacks, it engages all of the lower body muscle groups, including the quads, which bend the hips and lengthen the knees; the hamstrings, which do the reverse, the glutes, which stretch the outer thighs; and the abductor and adductor muscles, which allow you to move your legs in and out.

Incorporating Cross Jacks in Your Training Program

A person doing calisthenics incorporating cross jacks

Here's how you can include cross jacks in your training:

1. Calisthenics Exercise or Circuit Training

When you do circuit training, you go from one activity to another with little to no breaks.

It's an excellent method to get a lot done quickly while burning many calories [1].

The cross jack may be included as a workout in your circuit program.

It's also a great calisthenics workout, so you can perform it with your burpees, jumping jacks, push-ups, box jumps, and pull-ups.

2. Warmup

A woman doing warmups for a cross jack

Cross jacks raise the heart rate and prepare the body for exercise by warming the joints and increasing blood flow to the muscles.

Also Read: Best Dynamic Bodyweight Warm-up Exercises

3. In-between sets

Cross jacks are an incredible workout in between sets if you're pressed for time and don't have time for cardiovascular exercise.

Benefits of Cross Jacks

A person getting his heart rate checked

Some of the cross jacks benefits are: 

  • Cross jacks do not require any equipment or a specific place: You may perform cross jacks without purchasing workout gear or spending time going to a different area.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: Cross jacks push your blood vessels, lungs, and heart to work harder. Therefore, cross jacks may help to improve your cardiovascular system.
  • May help you lose weight: Cross jacks will cause you to burn more calories than usual, which might aid in weight loss. Combined with other exercises and healthy lifestyle choices, this can help with weight reduction.


What Muscles Do Cross Jacks Work?

Cross jack exercises work the quadriceps, triceps, glute max, lats, and calves.

What Are the Benefits of Cross Jump?

Cross jump benefits your body by helping you maintain good mental and physical shape while increasing your stamina and vitality.

Should You Do Cross Jacks?

Cross jacks are more challenging than regular jumping jacks.

This exercise may be used with most workouts and routines. It offers tangible benefits like enhancing cardiac fitness, burning fat, and warming up the muscles and joints in the lower body.

I recommend incorporating these top-rated fat-burning supplements into your regimen to make the workout more effective and burn more calories.

Upon testing, they have shown moderate hunger-suppressing capabilities, enhanced energy levels, and focus without causing jitters, stomach problems, or insomnia.


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