You Don't Know JACK | Jumping Jack Workout - Cube Dweller Fitness

You Don’t Know JACK | Jumping Jack Workout

You don’t know JACK. A phrase we hate to hear. A slam meant to demean and belittle. Jumping jacks are a bodyweight exercise that often get slammed. Here is a bodyweight workout designed and inspired by the jumping jack. Next time you someone slams you about bodyweight programs, tell them they don’t know JACK and walk them through this jumping jack workout.

This workout will get your system going and burn fat. Compressed into a short amount of time this simple bodyweight workout inspired by the jumping jack will tax your body and have you rethinking how bodyweight exercises fit into your exercise arsenal.

Jumping Jacks
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Urban Mixer 

Overview of the Jumping Jack Workout

The core of this workout is to take the fundamental movement of the jumping jack and apply it over, and over. With a little creativity I created the Jumping Jack Workout. The combination will work your cardiovascular system, your arms, your legs, and your core – truly a full body workout.

Add this into your workout schedule, or keep this on your list for those spontaneous workouts to fill in from time to time. Either way take 30 minutes; 5 minute warmup, 20 minutes to work through this circuit as many times as possible, and a 5 minute afterburner to nail your abs.

The Exercises

The exercises in the jumping jack workouts are a series of four movements and one added as an afterburner for your last 5 minutes.

Warmup first for 5 minutes – I enjoy either Jumping rope or The Tough Mudder-style warmup. Get your systems going before starting the clock and jumping in.

Then set your timer for 20 minutes and get moving. See how many circuits you can complete. Take recovery breaks only as needed. Watch your form and stay crisp.

  1. Jumping Jacks – 30 reps
  2. Jack Squats – 15 reps
  3. Burpee Jacks – 10 reps
  4. Jack Pushups – 5 reps

Just see how many complete circuits you can complete in 20 minutes. Until you try it; you don’t know JACK.

Jumping Jacks

The standard we all know and often make fun of … the jumping jack. But do this one right with crisp movements from bottom to top is tough; then crank up the speed and do them as fast as you can. Now you are talking.

The movement:

  • Stand with your feet together and hands at your sides. This is your starting position.
  • Jump – spread your feet wider than shoulder width and raise your hands straight overhead.
  • Land
  • Jump – bring your feet together and hands back down to your sides.
  • [repeat for a total of 30 reps]

Jack Squats

Welcome to the dark recesses of my mind to where I thought of the jack squat. We’ve seen jumping squats before, but I haven’t seen anyone add the jumping jack spread into it. Why not!

This explosive movement will tax your entire posterior chain as well as your abductors and adductors on the sides of your legs.

The movement:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Perform a deep bodyweight squat
  • Explode up and jump
  • While in the air spread into the Jack position except with your arms out wide instead of overhead
  • Drive your legs and arms back down before you land in the starting position
  • [repeat for a total of 15 reps]

Burpee Jacks

The burpee is a favorite exercise of mine – it is tough for me to do in good form for many reps. This variation skips the pushup, but uses the jumping jack form in the sprawl.

The movement:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands at your side
  • Squat down and place your hands on the ground near your feet
  • Sprawl by driving your feet straight back (pushup starting position)
  • Bounce off your toes and spread your legs wide
  • Bounce off your toes and bring your legs back together
  • Bounce off your toes and bring your feet back up to their starting position
  • Jump, then land in the starting position.
  • [repeat for a total of 10 reps]

Jack Pushups

This one is fun. My wife just shook her head and said I’m crazy when I was first trying them out. This is an explosive pushup variation that I invented. (disclaimer: I’m sure others have done them, I’ve just never heard or seen them before.)

This movement requires your upper body and your core to work hard to keep from crashing into the floor. Remember to hold your core firm like in a plank movement through out.

The movement:

  • Start in a high plank position (standard pushup starting position with hands shoulder width apart and legs straight back)
  • Drop down into a pushup
  • Explode upward, while in the air spread your hands wide and your feet wide
  • Drop down into a wide pushup
  • Explode updward, while in the air bring your hands and feet back to normal position
  • [repeat 5 reps]

The Afterburner – Jack Planks

Take a recovery break after the circuits. Then turn on your stop watch and see how long you can keep this up. This drills your abs – it is summer anyway to make those babies work so your abs come out and play.

Keep your core firm through out the entire movement.

The movement:

  • Start in a standard plank position on your elbows, legs straight back.
  • Bounce off your toes, and spread your feet into the jumping jack position.
  • Bounce off your toes bringing your legs back together.
  • [repeat until you drop, record your time]

You Don’t Know JACK – the Jumping Jack Workout

So next time someone slams bodyweight workouts tell them, you don’t know JACK. Then introduce them to the Jumping Jack Workout. It is a fun tribute to the jumping jack and will crank your cardio and burn fat.

Let me know how you do.

I managed to finish 5 rounds (well, really five and a half since I just started the burpee jacks when the timer went off). Then I did 1:30 of the jack planks.

So … you don’t know JACK. You don’t know JACK; until you give the Jumping Jack Workout a try.

Let’s hear how you do.


Troy is the founder of Cube.Dweller.Fitness. He's an innovation catalyst in several areas of life including business, marketing, and process improvement. Outside of work he's actively involved in fitness, health, and living vibrantly in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

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