Few of us have bothered to fine-tune our jumping jacks technique since we first learned them in preschool. The "flailing limbs while bouncing" method suits us just fine, thank you.
But it turns out that not only is there actual technique involved in this basic exercise, doing jumping jacks the wrong way can actually be kind of bad for your body.
As fitness instructor Rachel Buschert Vaziralli explained in a video for the Howcast YouTube channel, jumping jacks can be an essential part of your warm-up and even your workout, because they exercise your whole body without using any equipment.
Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of this simple workout:
Make sure that the bulk of the movement is happening in your shoulders and your hips.
Avoid bending in your knees while you jump, which can be harmful.
Instead of letting your legs sink in, Vaziralli says, engage your glutes to maintain the proper position.
Make sure that everything is going out and coming in at the same time.
Now that you know how to do jumping jacks the right way, they can be your new workout staple. Get even more tips in Vaziralli's full video.