Side straddle hop

Jumping Jack

A Jumping Jack, or side straddle hop as it is called in the United States military (also commonly known as a star jump, especially to children of Commonwealth nations), is a physical exercise performed by jumping to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands touching overhead and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides.

More intensive versions include bending down and touching the floor in between each jump.

This exercise is not, however, suitable for an intense training circuit in which muscular endurance is wished to be built up.

A similar exercise, as coined by actor Jason David Frank, is called half-jacks. They are just like regular jumping jacks, but the arms go halfway above the head instead of all the way above the head. The arms also hit the sides to help tighten them up.

While fitness expert Jack LaLanne does not take credit for inventing the jumping jack exercise or its name, he does take credit for having popularized it as part of the exercise routine he promoted on decades of television programs.

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