Jumping Jacks: A Guide on How to Benefit From This Workout

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico | Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Last updated: November 22, 2023
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I always try to find fun and different ways to change my warm-up and cardio exercise routines. And as a certified personal trainer, I believe that jumping jacks are one of the best ways to get the entire body moving.

But people often make a few simple mistakes, and the timing of these exercises is also important.

So, I got together with three other fitness experts to come up with a guide to doing jumping jacks the right way. And we’ve also listed out all the benefits of jumping jacks so that you can better understand them.

Quick Summary

  • Jumping jacks are a simple bodyweight exercise that involves jumping in place while also moving your arms for upper-body motion.
  • It’s one of the most effective plyometric exercises that can really help get the blood pumping in a low-impact way.
  • One of the best times to do jumping jacks is as part of a warm-up routine, and taking certain supplements can also benefit your fat metabolism.

How To Do Jumping Jacks

A person at the gym doing jumping jacks

Now, I know a lot of you will think that doing a basic jumping jack is something you learned in preschool.

But believe me when I tell you as a personal trainer that an awful lot of people don’t get the movement right.

And when you make small mistakes, you can easily end up not achieving as much as you need.

So, here’s how to do jumping jacks the right way: 

  • Get into the starting position with your feet close together and arms straight down by your sides.
  • Face your palms outward and concentrate on keeping your elbows straight throughout the movement.
  • Jump up high enough to land with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • During the jump phase, bring your hands and arms overhead and even focus on clapping your hands.
  • Now jump up high enough again to bring your feet back together.
  • At the same time, lower your hands down beside your body to get back into the starting position.

Repeat this movement for 60 to 90 seconds to activate all major muscle groups in preparation for a full-body workout.

Other Jack Workouts:

Benefits of Jumping Jacks

A person doing cardio workouts

Jumping jacks offer several benefits that go beyond just providing you with an easy way to warm up for a cardio or weight training session.

1. Improve Cardiac Functions

The first of the health benefits I want to focus on is that jumping jacks will get your heart pumping within seconds.

And that will have very positive impacts on your cardiovascular system.

And when you can increase your exercise heart rate with such ease, then it will have a positive effect on cardiac health [1].

2. Boost Your Body's Metabolic Rate

This kind of jump training will quickly bring your heart rate up.

And as your cardiovascular fitness and endurance improve, you can still effectively burn fat by increasing the time or by adding some ankle weights. 

And because the jumping jack activates muscles in the lower and upper body, you should be in a position where burning calories becomes more efficient, ultimately triggering weight loss.

The trick is to do a few sets of 60 to 90 seconds with limited rest time, and this higher intensity will activate your metabolism like never before [2].

3. Trigger Weight Loss

A woman measuring her weight loss

The trick to weight loss comes down to combining a healthy diet with regular physical activity.

And the great thing about jumping jacks is that you don’t need a gym to do them.

You can get into a routine of doing some simple plyometrics for 10 to 15 minutes a day.

And when you dial up the intensity, you should burn calories more efficiently and lose weight.

As a personal trainer, I’ve seen a lot of people break through weight management issues with such a simple addition to their weekly routine.

Related: Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

4. Increase Endurance and Stamina

Because jumping jacks work the upper and lower body, you’ll find that there will be improvements in your stamina in multiple different muscle groups.

The whole-body fitness routine might even make you feel muscle soreness after the first couple of times.

But that just means that you’ve achieved the proper form and that you’re working muscles in the way that they should.

Related: Muscular Endurance Exercises

5. Work on Your Coordination

A group of people doing yoga

You might also find that the first few times you do jumping jacks, your coordination is a bit off.

It takes a little bit of practice to get your hands together at the same time as your feet land on the ground.

But you should quickly find that you start coordinating your shoulder muscles and legs, and that will allow you to dial up the intensity.

6. Build Stronger Muscles and Bones

The final one of the health benefits to point out is that with increased cardiovascular training also comes increased muscle development and bone density [3].

It’s not like this one exercise will turn you into a bodybuilder. But jumping jacks are a great way to start toning and reshaping your physique.

“According to the investigators, jumping 20 times twice daily resulted in 75% greater BMD than doing 10 jumps twice daily.”

- Erin Pereira, PT, DPT

Downsides To Consider

A person suffering with joint pain

Jumping jacks require a bit of coordination to get right, and if you have mobility issues or injuries that limit your range of motion, then it might not be the best for you.

You also need to be careful when dialing up the intensity level for this cardio exercise if you have blood pressure issues.

Shalom Khokhar, ACE-certified personal trainer and founder of Workout Great, points out that 150 minutes of cardio per week could help reduce one’s blood pressure. As with anything, moderation is key.

While exercise is sometimes the right solution to hypertension, if you have underlying medical conditions, it might be best to talk to a doctor first [4].

Implement Them Into Circuit Training

One thing I love about the jumping jack movement is that it’s so easy to combine with a high-intensity exercise program.

I’m a huge fan of HIIT for both toning and losing a few pounds, and jumping jacks are very easy to set up as a station in such a routine.

By choosing 5-8 different exercises, you could create a short circuit that you gradually repeat more often as you get fitter.

The results for your health and fitness should be huge, even with simple jumping jacks included.


How Many Jumping Jacks Are a Good Workout?

20 to 25 jumping jacks are a good workout for one set. You could also look at doing jumping jacks for a specific amount of time and counting how many you can complete. Over time, that number should gradually improve.

Do Jumping Jacks Burn Belly Fat?

Yes, jumping jacks can burn belly fat if you dial up the intensity enough. It will also require a healthy diet and regular daily physical activity to improve your metabolism. And jumping jacks are a great way to achieve that.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6172294/
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220531151946.htm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323511/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045206
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