What Are Half Jacks?
Jumping jacks belong to the group of calisthenic exercises, which use bodyweight to elevate heart rates and build strength. Half jacks offer an easy variation that may help relieve shoulder tension in spaces with lower ceilings.
Hold your feet together with arms at your sides. Take a step forward, spreading your feet wider than shoulder-width apart with an athletic jump, then raise both arms out to the side until they align with your shoulders.
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Jumping jacks have been officially designated Missouri’s official state exercise since 2014. Jumping jacks are easy to perform anywhere and can increase intensity by adding power jacks, where you squat lower and jump harder.
Half jacks are an effective low-impact workout designed to meet the needs of those suffering from joint problems, providing them with a low-impact alternative to traditional jumping jacks. Half jacks strengthen heart muscle while decreasing risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease as well as being essential in aiding weight loss.
Jumping jacks may be difficult for those suffering from shoulder injuries to perform, but a modified form known as the half-jack can lessen its intensity and help avoid rotator cuff problems. Furthermore, this movement strengthens core muscles as well as providing better balance and coordination.
Star jumps offer more of a challenge and may help develop strength and muscle endurance in legs and buttocks, but are less effective at working shoulders and latissimus dorsi muscles, making these movements unsuitable for people with shoulder or back injuries.
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If shoulder pain limits your ability to perform traditional jumping jacks, try half jacks instead. To perform half jacks effectively, jump with feet wider than shoulder-width apart while lifting arms out in front of your body up until they reach shoulder height – this movement may help avoid rotator cuff issues that often accompany traditional jumping jacks, according to Goodtree.
Your arms and legs can experience additional resistance from water when performing half jacks in water, creating additional challenges to their performance. Stand in chest-deep water and perform 10 repetitions of standard half jacks before moving to chest-deep water for another set.
Half jacks are an effective lower-body and core exercise that also develop balance and coordination. Not only are half jacks great workouts that burn calories and contribute to weight loss when combined with healthy diet choices, they can also strengthen cardiovascular health while strengthening heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
Jack LaLanne, an iconic fitness expert who passed away last year, is widely credited with popularizing jumping jacks in America. He used them in workout routines that he promoted across his many television fitness shows for decades.
People often prefer doing half jacks with less intensity than standard jumping jacks to ease joint pressure and provide less impactful exercises that still offer muscle endurance improvements. They are an excellent option for beginners or individuals with joint issues who want an alternative option that doesn’t completely compromise muscle endurance gains.
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