Why You Should Add Squat Jacks To Your Workout Routine

If you're looking for an effective exercise that combines both cardio and strength training, you might want to try adding squat jacks to your workout routine. Unlike regular squats, squat jacks involve sinking into a squat position and then jumping up to perform a jumping jack. While standard squats are also beneficial to your body, jack squats involve more cardio, which contains its own specific health and fitness benefits (via Self).

"The squat jack is a compound movement (it works multiple body parts) and it incorporates two of the largest muscle groups in the body, your glutes and legs," certified personal trainer Lisa Tanker told Self. As a result, squat jacks can help improve the effectiveness of your workout and help you engage your core, as well as your lower body. Tanker recommends warming up with a few reps of standard squats in order to help make sure your form is correct.

How to do squat jacks

To perform a squat jack, start in a standing position with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Then, jump your feet apart and bend your knees, keep your torso upright, so you land into a squat position (via Women's Health). Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Make sure you land lightly on your feet, keeping your weight on your heels and your butt down as if you're sitting.

While crossing your arms in front of your chest, jump your feet back together and raise your arms in the air over your head. That concludes one rep or a single squat jack. It's important to keep your pelvis tucked and your core engaged throughout the entire duration of the squat jack. For best results, try to complete 15 to 20 reps at a time, all of which should be performed consecutively without pausing to take a break.

Benefits of squat jacks

According to experts at Greatist, squat jacks are a great exercise that can offer a range of important health and fitness benefits. For instance, performing squat jacks on a regular basis can help strengthen your muscles and build muscle mass, tone your lower body, burn calories, improve your balance and mobility, and boost your endurance and athletic performance. In addition, squat jacks can also help promote bone health, boost your cardiovascular fitness, and even enhance your circulation.

In fact, a small 2016 study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that men who performed squat jacks three times a week for eight weeks in a row improved their overall fitness level, including their sprint times, range of motion, explosive strength, vertical jumps, and maximum strength. To incorporate squat jacks into your workout routine, start off with a light cardio warm-up and then perform one to two reps of squat jacks. After you've finished doing this, you can carry on and complete the rest of your workout.