They’re fun, effective, and a great way to get in a full-body workout. Yes, we’re talking about jumping jacks, which have now been carried forward from playgrounds to weight-loss boot camps and even US military training grounds.
Here are three variations of the exercise that will help you burn more than 134 calories in 30 minutes, and can all be done in the comfort of your home.
1. Squat Jumping Jacks
Modification: Once you jump, return to a squatting instead of standing position.
Focus Areas: This variation strengthens the leg muscles—calf, thigh and gluteal—and abdominal muscles.
2. Plank Jumping Jacks
Modification: Start in a push-up position with your back straight, legs together and hands in line with your shoulders. Hop and only extend your legs outward, and then return to starting position.
Focus Areas: Incorporating the plank pose helps target core muscles, strengthens the shoulders, and increases the overall stamina of these muscles.
3. Seal Jumping Jacks
Modification: As the name suggests, you should take cue from a seal. Stand upright with your hands stretched out in front of you at chest level. As you jump, extend your arms and legs outward to the sides, and then back again.
Focus Areas: The seal jumping jack is a conditioning exercise that gives your shoulders a full range of motion, while stabilizing your balance and boosting your stamina.
One jumping jack variation can be done for 30 minutes or, all three can be done in combination—10 minutes per variation. While the exercise makes for a fun workout all on its own, you can also incorporate it in to your daily cardio routine.