Get Active With Fun Jumping Jack Games

If lousy weather is producing a bumper crop of couch potatoes around your house, try injecting some movement into your family's day.

Two girls in sunny room, one doing jumping jacks Photograph by Ty Milford

"Jumping jacks are a great cardiovascular exercise that helps you use a lot of your muscle mass, consume a lot of oxygen, and burn calories," explains Neal Pire, Director of Sports Performance at Volt Fitness in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Even better, a good cardio workout can "help control blood sugar and mood, and balance your energy," says Pire. To see for yourself, try these with your kids.

    Three jumping jacks illos Illustrations by Robert Prince

    Power Jacks (top): Start with knees slightly bent, hands and legs as shown. Jump as high as you can, extending your arms and legs, then land in the starting position.

    Seal Jacks (middle): Start with bent knees and arms as shown. Jump your legs apart, spreading your arms, then jump back to the starting position.

    Ski Jacks (bottom): Move your arms up and down as you would in a standard jack but alternate your feet forward and back with each jump as if cross-country skiing.

    Originally published in the November 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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