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The jumping jack is a cardio move using the hands and legs and upward movement. To do one, raise your arms into the air while jumping and pulling your legs apart. As you descend, your legs will meet on the ground, then rest your arms at your side. Doing these movements gets your body off the floor and your heart pumping. But some people find jumping jacks place extra stress on the knees, calves and lower backs.
Jumping lunges combine the form of a lunge with the activity of a jumping jack. To perform, enter into a lunge position with the back straight. Your back knee should be slightly above the ground and not touching. Instead of standing, quickly jump into the air, switching legs before landing. As you land, go into a lunge with the opposite leg. Swing your arms in a pendulum motion with each lunge. Use a chair or heavy piece of exercise equipment for stability, if needed.
Heel jacks are handy if you have weak or injury prone knees. Full-force jumping jacks or lunge variations will place stress on weak or painful joints of the lower leg, hip and back. The heel jack uses simple motions but keeps the heart pumping during an aerobic workout. This move uses the same arm movements as a regular jumping jack. When your arms go up, alternate kicking up with your heels in rapid succession. Only kick as high and as fast as you feel comfortable.
According to writers at "The Jump Rope Institute," the benefits of jumping rope for 10 minutes at a fast pace of 120 revolutions per minutes is equivalent to jogging 30 minutes. Jumping rope isn't just for the playground and the gym: Adults can grab a rope as a reprieve from jumping jacks -- it's an efficient and inexpensive cardio workout. And your equipment is portable: Carry a jump rope in your purse, backpack or gym bag.
The leg sweep will work your legs and backsides while keeping heart rate up. For the leg sweep, begin with your feet together and your arms at your side. As you move your arms toward the sky, as you would with a jumping jack, sweep one leg to the side at a time. Your arms will return your side when your foot returns to the ground. Alternate each leg. Adjust your pace as needed.