How To Do Side Jacks Properly

Side jacks are your best bet in sprucing up your exercise routine.

They are less strenuous on the knees than traditional jumping jacks because of the changing movement.

Moreover, this jack variation is primarily a cardiovascular exercise that engages more muscles than you would when running or cycling.

As for beginners working towards toning their muscles, this workout is ideal because it gives your muscles a lot of endurance.

This article explains everything you need to know about the side jacks, including how to do them.

  • Let your arms dangle at your sides as you stand upright.
  • When your feet are shoulder-width apart, take a step to the side with one leg.
  • Raise the less-stretched arm on that side upward and sideways simultaneously.
  • Your arm should be straight up when your leg reaches the end of the step.
  • As you did before, take a step backwards with the same leg you previously used to get back to before.
  • Reverse the preceding action and bring your arm back to the beginning position.
  • Repeat, but with your other leg taking the step and your other arm moving upward.

WHAT MUSCLES DO SIDE JACKS WORK?

Even with a simple exercise like side jacks, you always work a wide range of muscles.

As a result, a few muscles will have to work harder than others to move and maintain your body’s position.

Therefore, the following muscles work with this jack variation.

CALVES

To lift your heel off the ground, you must plantarflex your ankle, which requires the cooperation of your calves and core muscles.

When doing the jacks, the calf muscles flex every time you leap and every time you land to lessen the impact between your feet and the floor.

GLUTES

Your glutes are one of the critical muscle groups recruited during the side jacks. They serve as a stabilizing mechanism during the exercise.

QUADRICEPS

Quadriceps muscles hold the kneecap in place – the knee takes a massive load in when the action begins.

SHOULDER MUSCLES

When it comes to the range of motion, your shoulder joints have the most to do with your shoulder muscles.

Other muscles working to a smaller extent include:

  • Core
  • Chest
  • Back

SIDE JACKS BENEFITS

Side jacks alone may not be the most efficient approach to reaching your fitness objectives, but they are still beneficial.

The following are some of the most significant advantages of this workout.

GOOD FOR YOUR KNEES

People with knee problems may find it difficult to perform exercises that actively engage the knees.

IMPROVED BALANCE

You can increase your physical fitness by putting more strain on your balance and coordination, which this exercise gives.

IMPROVED MOBILITY

The exercise challenges your limits regarding shoulder mobility, in particular.

BULK MUSCLES

If you’re starting out with resistance training, you can use the regular version of side jacks to build your muscles.

WEIGHT LOSS

Performing this exercise requires putting in more effort than you usually would. Having additional muscle mass also aids in the process of burning calories.

This is what triggers weight loss.

ALTERNATIVES TO SIDE JACKS

In addition to side jacks, several other exercises target the same physical fitness goals. These alternatives include:

JUMPING JACKS

Try a few rounds of jumping jacks to get your heart rate up.

How to do it:

  • Keep your arms at your sides and your legs together as you stand erect.
  • Jump into the air with your knees bent just a little bit.
  • Jump with your legs stretched about shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms out in front of you, palms facing up.
  • Return to the starting point.
  • Repeat.

SIDE SHUFFLE

The side shuffle is a well-liked agility drill for athletes of all abilities. Performing side shuffles as a warm-up before a workout is a great way to get your lower body stronger while having some fun.

Technique:

  • Shift your weight quickly and incrementally to your right.
  • To get the most out of this exercise, start slow and steady before increasing the speed.
  • Build up your body awareness and confidence by starting slowly.
  • Take a small pause once you complete your goal number of steps or distance.
  • Shuffle again, but this time to the left.
  • Return to a standing position.
  • Do shuffles to the opposite side or finish the workout.

LATERAL RAISE

One of the best workouts for building boulder-like shoulders is a lateral raise. It’s a relatively straightforward move.

Technique:

  • While standing or sitting, hold a dumbbell in each hand and place them side by side.
  • Slowly move the weights out to the side until your arms are parallel to the floor, keeping your back straight.
  • Bend the elbow a little bit.
  • In a controlled manner, lower them back down again.
  • Ten to twelve repetitions with precise form is the goal.

Please note. Avoiding increasing your speed will make it more difficult for you. Elevate your shoulder blades, and concentrate on the delts during the exercise.

SIDE JACKS MISTAKES TO AVOID

Side jacks are easy to pull off, but a simple mistake in technique/form adversely affects you.

Therefore, take note of the following.

Going too fast: Always begin at a very slow pace and gradually increase your speed. If you do it fast without proper form, you risk sustaining injury.

Knee Position: Don’t forget about your comfort level while taking the steps. As a general rule of thumb, most people bend their knees at least somewhat.

 

Upper body posture: During the exercise, keep your upper body in a straight line to avoid the risk of injury. Poor form often leads to injury – moreso back pain and pain in the joints.

Existing injury: Talk to your doctor before including side jacks into your workout programme if you have any pain in your ankle or shoulders. If you don’t have enough strength, you will likely experience some form of pain.

CONCLUSION

When done correctly, side jacks are beneficial. They are an excellent warm-up, dynamic upper back stretch and coordination training exercise for those who need it. Yet, they are easy to do because they are a no-equipment exercise.