T Nation

Jumping Jacks vs Jumping Rope

Does anyone know how effective rapid jumping jacks are as a form of cardio? Do they compare to jumping rope? I am looking to vary what I do for cardio a little and was wondering if they would be an effective as an occasional substitute for jumping rope. Thanks guys.

I don’t think it is a good substitute. I use jumping jacks to recover between jump rope sets. My heart rate drops at least 20 BBM. It’s still aerobic training, but not as intense. I use burpees when the knees and ankles start to complain from jumping rope.


I guess you could sub them if you felt that the jump rope routine was becoming stale, but it is hard to keep the intensity high. If you want an alternate exercise, I would suggest running, stationary bike, stairclimber, or rowing machine as much better substitutes.

I find that they are on par with each other cardio wise. However, when performing the Jumping Jack stay true to technique. Make sure that both hands are touching at the top every time. Whenever you raise your hands over your head you are going to have a greater cardio effect. Don’t think so? Try running a fast quarter mile, then take your heart rate. Go out fresh another day and do the same time with your hands over your head (if you can). You will see that your BPM is higher.

The big difference between Jumping Jacks and Jumping Rope is that the rope keeps you honest relative to technique. With Jumping Jacks you have to keep yourself honest. That’s one reason why some people feel that “Jacks” are easier than using the rope.