How to Prepare for Next Week’s #YJumpingJackChallenge

April 19, 2016


Plus, the health benefits of jumping jacks"

Next week, the West Communities YMCA is holding our Healthy Kids Day® Jumping Jack Challenge from Monday, April 25 through Saturday, April 30. All YMCA of Metro Chicago centers will work together to reach the goal of completing a collective 1.5 million jumping jacks.

To participate, you and your child can complete as many jumping jacks as you like throughout the week, either on social media (with photos or videos and the hashtag #YJumpingJackChallenge), or in-person at the West Communities YMCA. All participants will receive a Healthy Kids Day® Jumping Jack Challenge certificate, and the participant at each YMCA center with the highest number of jumping jacks will receive a free, exclusive pedometer.

To get ready for next week, here are some tips for doing jumping jacks with proper form, as well as some health benefits associated with the exercise.

Jumping Jacks Tips

  1. Make sure to stretch before doing jumping jacks, particularly your legs, arms and back.
  2. Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, not together.
  3. When raising your arms and jumping your feet outwards during the “up” phase of each jumping jack, only move your feet an additional 6-8 inches outwards from your center of gravity. Any further, and you risk hyperextending muscles in your legs and back.
  4. When bringing your feet back inwards during the “down” phase of the jumping jack, return them to the shoulder-width stance from the beginning. Don’t bring your feet all the way together, where it’s easy to lose your balance.

Jumping Jacks Health Benefits

According to, there are three primary health benefits of jumping jacks:

  1. Aerobic: By elevating your heart rate and breathing more deeply, jumping jacks deliver more oxygen to your blood and your muscles, while also burning fat.
  2. Strengthening: Jumping jacks engage your entire body, particularly your large muscle groups, abdominal muscles and core.
  3. Relaxation: Jumping jacks cause your body to release endorphins, our natural pain relievers which also provide a sense of well-being.

Are you ready for the Jumping Jack Challenge? Make sure to participate next week and visit the West Communities YMCA for Healthy Kids Day® on April 30.