How To Do The Jack Press Properly

The jack press refers to an exercise based on the synchronicity of movements as it involves two-in-one movements that are extremely engaging to pretty much the whole body.

The jack press is based on the classic jumping jack exercise and the use of a medicinal ball that you use to do a press.

As such it engages the body in cardio work and induces coordination in a taxing environment.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Stand with your feet together.
  • Hold a dumbbell at both ends with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Quickly jump your feet apart and press the dumbbell overhead.
  • Return to the start. Repeat as quickly as possible.

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE JACK PRESS WORK?

SHOULDERS

The primary engagement points while doing the jumping jacks are often the lower body. However, with the jack press intensive, upper bodywork is done concurrently with the lower body.

The introduction of the ball and the demand to press requires the use of the shoulders. Naturally, the primary role of shoulder heads is to facilitate overhead movement.

This is especially so for the anterior deltoid which is the most engaged muscle while doing the jack press.

PECTORALS

The pectoralis muscle is the muscles located at the front walls of the chest. Built pectorals are viewed by many in pop culture as the ultimate sign of fitness.

Although this might not always be true, there are great benefits to having well-built pectorals. Doing the jack press engages the pectorals due to the pressing action induced by the medicine balls.

This is because pressing action uses power from the chest to facilitate these moves. The pectorals work with the shoulder and the arms to complete these movements.

QUADRICEPS

The quadriceps is made up of a group of muscles that extend for the full length of the upper leg.

When doing the jack press, the quadriceps are responsible for facilitating a lot of the lower body movements.

This is primarily because they play a huge part in flexing the hips and extending the knee. Flexing the hips is crucial if you need to take flight for a jump, the same applies to the need to extend your knees.

Extended knees also help you to hold the distributed weight when your feet plant back on the ground.

JACK PRESS BENEFITS

IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

The jack press is at heart a proper cardio exercise. What this means is that the movements are tailored to work your heart more than other exercises normally would.

This translates in the form that it increases your heart rate thereby forcing the organ to pump blood and oxygen more efficiently to the muscles in your body.

As such, this opens the door for other trickle benefits such as more stamina and better aerobic capacity.

IMPROVES ATHLETICISM

The jack press fine tunes your explosivity every time you take off the ground. This is because with every rep, you move your body out of what we consider a natural motion plane.

Engaging your muscles in such a manner is what improves your athleticism as just like in sports you engage in multi-directional movement.

This also builds the core strength to hang longer in the air. On top of this, your pivoting ability improves because you engage the lower body every time you plant your foot

All these things apply in general athleticism whether it’s in regards to jumping, running or balance.

BURNS CALORIES

The beauty of the jack press exercise is that it triggers a really influential organ – the heart and lets it do the dirty work.

This is because a fast heart rate consequently triggers a fast metabolic rate by virtue of improving muscle efficiency which then leads to a fast metabolic rate.

A fast metabolic rate creates the right condition for a calorie deficit which is where the journey of weight loss is based upon.

INDUCES BETTER MUSCLE COORDINATION

The jack press movements are based on the coordination of a set of muscles both in the upper body and lower body.

All this is done in an unnatural state which should destabilize you. However, the constant repetition makes it easier for the body to adjust and find a way to balance.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE JACK PRESS

PLANK TAP

To perform this exercise:

  • Start in a press-up position and make sure your hands are in a position that’s vertically parallel to your shoulders and your feet are in line with your hips.
  • Keeping your hips as still as possible, lift one hand and tap it on the opposite shoulder.
  • Then repeat on the other side.

LUNGES

  • Bend the knees and lower your body until the back knee is a few inches from the floor.
  • At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh is parallel to the ground, the back knee points toward the floor
  • Push back up to the starting position, keeping your weight on the heel of the front foot.

SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT

  • Stand with both feet within the central body line
  • Shift your weight to the right leg. Ensure it’s straight and create the room for a soft bend in the knee.
  • Drive your left foot upwards whilst keeping the other leg straight
  • Simultaneously, slowly start hinging at the waist, tipping your torso forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your arms straight and perpendicular to the floor for the sake of balance
  • At the bottom of the position, your body should be in a straight line from the top of your head to the bottom of your left foot.
  • Then, pull your left leg downwards while keeping it straight, and lift your torso up until you’re standing again.
  • That’s one rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch legs.

MISTAKES TO AVOID

USE YOUR HIPS NOT YOUR KNEES

The jack press is evidently a taxing exercise. Therefore, it exerts a reasonable amount of pressure on the joints.

As such it is not advisable to exert such amounts of pressure on vulnerable areas such as the knee joints. It is for this reason that it is recommended that you use your hips for propulsion rather than the knees.

DO NOT WEAR WRIST OR ANKLE WEIGHTS

Whilst it is understandable if you want to increase the intensity of your workout. It is crucial you do it in the right manner.

Ankle and wrist weights are more likely to cause injuries than bring about efficiency as they direct too much strain to these vulnerable areas.

CONCLUSION

The jack press is an extremely effective exercise with a plethora of benefits. That said, form is just as if not more important as getting your movements right.

You should therefore take the time to practice before going all-in on the exercise.