Today we have a guest speaker: Taylor Mathews
I have always been physically fit, well actually, let me rephrase that, not fit, but always muscular like the big boy big bone type. But when the lockdown forced me to stay at home, I became a sedentary sloth. The only exercise I got was walking from my bed to the refrigerator.
And since I was stressed by simply having to stay home (who wasn’t?) and beyond bored out of my mind, I spent the whole day mindlessly snacking.
You can guess what happened: I gained weight, felt sluggish, and felt really bad whenever I looked at the mirror. But how could I exercise when I couldn’t even step out of my house? That’s when I came across the 100 Jumping a Day Jacks Challenge.
Jumping at the Chance
Blame it on Instagram and Pinterest. I came across pictures of people who claimed they got their toned 10 pack looking abs just by doing 100 jumping jacks a day. One influencer even said that “Jumping jacks is the best exercise for burning belly fat!”
It was the perfect exercise routine for someone like me, who didn’t have the space for lifting weights, the grace for Zumba or other online dance classes, or the money for special diet pills and shakes.
Tbh, I couldn;t even afford a pair of the cheapest dumbbells that my local sports store sold, which are the most basic piece of equipment, so this challenge was perfect for me.
I was still skeptical about how much fat I could actually burn with such a simple move, but I figured, what was there to lose?
Benefits of Jumping Jacks
Good for the heart
Jumping jacks are considered an aerobic cardio exercise, because the heart has to pump more oxygen to meet the burst in energy demands. Over time, it strengthens your heart and lowers your risk for heart disease.
Improves muscle coordination
As you go through each jumping jack, your brain and muscles work together to maintain a rhythm, move in coordination, and keep your balance.
Gives you a full body workout
During a jumping jack, you are activating all the muscles in your arm (triceps and biceps), legs (hamstrings, calves, quads), shoulder (abductors, adductors), core, and chest. You can also increase the intensity by adding weights, or by doing more complicated jumping jack variations
Exercise releases endorphins, or hormones which regulate your mood. It gives you a natural “high” and also keeps your mind from dwelling on negative thoughts.
Anyone can do it
You can do jumping jacks at any age or level of physical fitness. Start with slow, low intensity sets with less reps and slower pace, then gradually increase the sets and speed as you feel stronger.
Improves endurance, stamina, and stability
You may be wobbly and weak at the start, but over time, you’ll be able to maintain proper posture and breathing even with longer and more difficult repetitions.
This is because your body is adapting and you are improving upon your endurance and stamina which allows your body to improve in physical performance. This can help prepare you for more complicated exercise routines
What Happened After Doing Jumping Jacks Everyday for 1 Month
So here’s what I promised myself: I would do 100 jumping jacks a day, for 30 days straight. I recorded my experiences in a diary.
The first days were painful. It had been so long since I had done any kind of activity, so after just doing 20, I was already breathing heavily and turning red.
By the eightieth jumping jack, I was ready to keel over, but pushed through to the end—but I won’t lie, I was barely lifting myself off the ground in the last set.
Yeah, I was out of shape and I know this. I am used to lifting heavy weights rather than doing exercises for toning and getting ripped.
The jumping jacks were easier to do; I noticed that I was maintaining my form better, and could do more sets before I felt tired.
However, I was getting bored from doing plain jumping jacks. To shake up the routine, I looked at some variations like clap jumping jacks and alternating jumping jacks.
I wasn’t losing weight, nor did I see any difference in my muscle tone.
No surprise: it had only been a week. However, I could already feel an improvement in my mental alertness and mood.
I would do my jumping jacks in the morning before sitting at my desk. Before, I needed several cups of coffee to shake off the sluggishness. Now, I felt energized and calm at the start of each day.
I took my weight again at the end of week 2 and noticed i had lost a pound. I take my weight in the morning as this is when the best time to do it is.
They say it takes 21 days to a build a habit. By this time, my body looked for exercise, and actually enjoyed it. I think that’s one of the best things that have come out of this jumping jack challenge: from being 100% sedentary, I was fully committed to becoming more fit and healthy.
I actually felt off if I did not get any exercise in that day.
Following the recommendations of professional trainers and in this case, my girlfriend, I combined jumping jacks with a 10 and 20-minute HIIT exercise.
This increased the calorie burn, and gave me a bigger variety of routines to sustain my interest.
And after a sweaty workout, I wasn’t going to lose any ground by overeating. I downloaded a food app so I could monitor and control my calorie intake. I was laying the foundation for a really healthy lifestyle—yay!
I reweighed myself, i had lost a total of 2.5 lbs. Yes, it has been 3 weeks, but this is still good considering it does not take much time at all.
By the last day of the month, I had lost 4.5 pounds (or an average of 1 pound a week).
I felt less bloated and sluggish, and the best part was that I had more energy throughout the day, and had established a solid diet and exercise routine.
So the 100 Jumping Jacks challenge didn’t give me perfect abs, but it pointed me in the right direction.
Did I notice any changes at all in my abs? Not really, but my body did feel a bit tighter.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH JUMPING JACKS: FITNESS EXPERTS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS
How many calories can I burn from doing jumping jacks?
The amount of calories you burn depends on your current weight and the intensity of your exercise. Slow jumping jacks with small movements will not be as effective as doing it quickly while consciously activating all the muscle groups.
But if you do jumping jacks properly, you burn an average of 8 per minute if you weigh 120 pounds, and about 16 calories per minute if you weigh about 250 pounds.
How many jumping jacks do I need to do to lose weight?
100 jumping jacks are not enough to lose a significant amount of weight. Aim for at least 5 sets of 50 jumping jacks, and be sure to keep the intensity level high enough to reach the “fat burn” rate.
Since weight loss is a matter of calorie deficit, or burning more calories than you eat, you also need to watch your diet. Take lots of vegetables, lean proteins, dietary fiber, and healthy fat.
Avoid sugary drinks and junk food.
Can jumping jacks burn belly fat?
Sorry, but no exercise can spot reduce fat—whether it’s 100 crunches a day, a ton of sit ups a day, 1,000 jumping jacks, or even a 1,000 crunches. If you’re going to lose weight, you will lose it all over your body.
That doesn’t mean that you’ll never achieve your dream abs. Body weight cardio exercises like jumping jacks (as well as similar exercises like burpees and mountain climbers) do help with fat loss. They activate your cardiovascular and metabolic systems. You not only burn calories during the workout, but even after.
However, to push your body into the “fat burning zone” fitness experts recommend combining jumping jacks with HIIT exercises (specifically Tabata) or running.
If you really want to push your metabolism and help your body burn fat, combine jumping jacks with strength training.
Do 100 jumping jacks and lift hand weights, hand weights or kettle bells. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns even when it’s at rest.
I’m doing a ton of daily jumping jacks—why am I not losing weight?
You’re not watching calories
Even if you’re jumping jacks burn 500 calories, you won’t lose weight unless you have a calorie deficit. Proper diet is a must! Also watch out for “hidden” calories that are derailing your diet. Many sauces and soups have a high amount of fat and sugar, and energy bars, fruit smoothies, and even protein powders can actually have a lot of salt, sugar and fat. Even protein shakes can as well.
You need to be on the lookout for these things, if you are going to try and stay healthy by supplementing with good quality options. You want to look for protein powders low in sodium, low in sugar, and decently low in fat.
You’re not getting enough sleep
Working out 7 days a week without adequate sleep, your muscles won’t recover from a workout. There are also studies that show that when you lack sleep, your metabolism slows down, and you’re more likely to make bad food choices the next day.
Your routine isn’t high intensity
Low-intensity workouts can improve flexibility and coordination, but you need to get your heart rate up for your body to start burning calories. Increase the speed of your workout and shorten the breaks between sets.
You’re not using proper form
For jumping jacks to really work, you need to activate all the muscle groups: shoulders, arms, legs, chest, and abdomen or core. Pay attention to your posture and whether you’re using the right movements. If necessary, do it in front of a mirror or film yourself.
100 Jumping Jacks a Day Keeps the Doc Away
Even if I didn’t lose a lot of weight, I am very happy that I started doing 100 jumping jacks a day. It was a good starting point for someone like me, who typically detests cardio exercise and (at the time) had no access to exercise equipment.
It helped strengthen my heart for more demanding workouts. It developed my coordination and endurance, so I was eventually able to do more complicated body weight routines. And most of all, it gave me motivation to take care of my body. That alone is a good reason to jump for joy!
- Results from 100 pushups, 100 squats, 100 sit ups
- Does Jumping Make You Taller?
- Power Tower Workout Guide
- 500 Push Ups a Day Challenge
- Is a Full Body Workout Every Other Day Too Much