I think taking a look at the exercise and it purpose is called for here. Jumping jacks are a WARM UP cardio exercise not some sort of muscle/coordination specific strength/fitness/coordination exercise. They belong in one place in a calisthenics programme, as the first warm up exercise you do and more than twenty as a four count exercise is wasting valuable training time,
Uncle Sam has more experience than anyone in getting unfit individuals fit using calisthenics and the above statement is based on the workout programmes in FM 21-20 Physical Readiness Training. I began my "career" as a trainer as a Physical Training Instructor so have hands on experience in helping people get fit.
I do not have a TV show, I do not sell DVDs and bogus supplements and I am not touting anything for sale, I am just a certified trainer who does his best to clear out the smoke and mirrors.
Do jumping Jacks to the best of your ability and recognize it as a warm up exercise.
Fitness Minutes: (15,322)
449 6/16/12 9:02 P
In a class I take some people can't do them, the instructor has them do high knee lifts. Have you tried 1/2 jumping jacks where you just move your lower body.
Fitness Minutes: (99,589)
3,667 6/16/12 8:46 A
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Another idea: do your jumping jacks at half the pace of the exercise video. In other words, do every other jumping jack. Make sure each one you do is with good form.
You can also do low jacks where you keep one side stationary but tap out the other sides leg and "jack" that side's arm over your head. It's the low impact version the group fitness instructors' provide at my gym.
6/15/12 11:13 A
They're hard for me too!! It helps to do them on carpet for me. Otherwise they really hurt my knees. I can do alot more now than I could a few months ago. Try to just gradually add to the number you do. I started out with 10, now I can easily do 50!!
Fitness Minutes: (57,199)
6/15/12 11:01 A
Jumping jacks burn the most calories per unit time. So it must be hard to do. But of course you can grow to perform jumping jacks over time. You can gradually increase your jumping time, e.g. by 10% ever week or every 2 weeks. Make sure that you get your rest days, because that is when your body adapts by getting stronger. Over time, you can even outperform the exercise DVD stars.
Fitness Minutes: (15,149)
9,707 6/15/12 10:25 A
If it's your breath... yes, you'll adapt. High impact exercises get us going like nothing else! Modify your jumping jacks while your cardiovascular system catches up. It may take a few weeks, but I bet you'll be breathing easier in no time. You'll be surprised at how quickly your body adapts! It's the joints and musculoskeletal system that takes longer to adapt.
Do what you can, and don't push to the point of pain. It doesn't matter that you don't finish the video perfectly. There's no such thing as a one size fits all workout. Do what you can, and you'll find that each time, you'll be able to do a little more! Just remember... rest days are critical!
Fitness Minutes: (16,629)
6/15/12 10:20 A
Jumping jacks are intense, especially if you're trying to keep up with Jillian. Just do what you can do. They may not ever get easy, but they'll be easier for you. Each time you do the DVD, try to do one more than you did yesterday. You'll get there.
6/15/12 10:07 A
Thanks for your response. I wear shoes when I work out and I work out at home on carpeting. It isn't my joints that hurt. It is the difficulty of the exercise. I seem to be able to manage other cardio moves but Jumping jacks take my breath away and I find I huff and puff and can't catch my breath.
Fitness Minutes: (274,693)
6/15/12 10:02 A
If you have problems with your joints (ankles, knees or hips), you may never be able to do jumping jacks. High impact jumping jacks can be very hard on the joints. If you find jumping jacks painful, how about doing some other type of exercise ? You could march in place. You could do football feet. You could do high knees. You could do squats. Do something instead of the jumping jacks that doesn't feel painful or uncomfortable when you do it.
Now, some thoughts. Are you wearing shoes when you do the jumping jacks ? If you're doing the workout at home without shoes, try doing them with shoes that support your feet. you may find it less jarring. are you doing the jumping jacks on a hard surface ? If so, you might try putting a rubber exercise mat under your feet when you do them. that should help reduce some of the impact. Some people do jumping jacks in the water because it's less painful to their joints.
Having problems with jumping jacks doesn't mean you'll never be fit. There are plenty other great exercises you could do.
6/15/12 9:28 A
The biggest Loser dvds and JM's dvds all use a lot of jumping jacks. They absolutely kill my. Why do I struggle so much with them? Will I ever be able to do them?
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