This article originally appeared in Well+Good.
Whether you’re a jumping jack fanatic or you haven’t done a jumping jack since middle school gym class, there’s one thing (okay, two things) most of us can agree on: jumping jacks are fun (they make you feel like a kid again) and they are definitely a workout—a total body workout.
Jumping jacks mix cardio and resistance work in one swift move (er, jump), while engaging multiple muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, as well as the muscles of the core, back, and shoulders. Plus, jumping jacks are easy to incorporate into different workouts or they can serve as a standalone workout, making them easy to squeeze into a busy schedule. Talk about efficiency.
Ready to get your jumping jacks on? Keep reading to learn some of the benefits of doing jumping jacks, a how-to on the proper way to do a jumping jack (plus some variations to try once you’re ready to kick things up a notch!), some ways to work the move into your exercise routine, and tips for preventing injuries.