Jumping jacks can raise your heart rate to a cardiovascular level, oxygenating your blood and burning calories at an exceptionally fast rate, which promotes weight loss. Used as a warm-up movement and as a total body workout, jumping jacks are an excellent addition to a physical fitness plan.
Jumping jacks work all of the major muscle groups and the abdominal region, also known as the core. Activation of large muscle groups combined with the aerobic effects on the cardiovascular system increase stamina and burn calories. The jumping jack has plyometric qualities as well, since the body is involved in explosive, high-intensity movement during proper performance of the exercise.
Jumping jacks do not require any special equipment or a large amount of space. The traditional form of this exercise is a high-impact workout component that should be avoided by people with joint problems in the knees, ankles and feet. A modified, low-impact form of the activity eliminates the jumping in favor of a full leg extension, alternating from left to right.