See Jennifer Garner Do the Workout Her Kids Call 'Jazzercise'

No, it's not actually dance cardio.

Jennifer Garner
Getty Images.

If you follow Jennifer Garner on Instagram, you know she's a regular when it comes to plyometrics (aka explosive exercises, such as box jumps). The 50-year-old actress recently shared a look at her latest workout with longtime trainer Beth Nicely, a NASM-certified personal trainer and founder of The Limit. In the caption, Garner jokes that her kids compare the challenging exercise style to Jazzercise, the iconic dance-based fitness program of the 80s.

"If your kids call your workout Jazzercise and it nearly kills you to complete it, do you have the right to video yourself and put it out there to haunt them when they are fifty?" Garner writes on Instagram. It seems like she decided she certainly did have the right to share her high-energy workout, as she posted a video of her nailing four plyometric exercises while wearing green leggings, a black t-shirt, black leg warmers, and a pair of black Brooks sneakers.

The video begins with a clip of Garner jumping over a Pilates box (a rectangular-shaped platform that's about a foot tall and is sometimes used with a Pilates reformer machine) onto a plyo box (a larger prop designed for box jumps). After landing, she doesn't hesitate, jumping backward onto the Pilates box right away, then again back onto the floor. The distance the extra Pilates box adds between where Garner takes off and lands adds an extra challenge for her core and legs, according to Nicely.

Next, Garner begins standing with her feet together on top of a Pilates box. She jumps off of the box, landing with one foot on either side of the box and immediately bending her knees and hinging her hips into a deep squat. Then, she explodes upward to jump back onto the box, returning to her starting position before repeating the move.

"The Pilates box is a great height to challenge Jen to get into a deeper squat," says Nicely, who makes sure Garner's glutes hit the box before she's allowed to jump back up to standing. "It really uses her glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core."

In the following clip, the 13 Going On 30 star jumps laterally back and forth over a Bosu ball. She takes just a quick stabilizing jump on each side of the prop before jumping over it once again. "The Bosu is a nice distance if you're experienced in jumping laterally for a challenge," explains Nicely.

Lastly, Garner does a series of box jump burpees all while striking a few silly poses and cracking a smile. In between each jump, she brings her hands to the box, jumps her feet back into a raised plank position, and jumps her feet forward to the base of the box before leaping on top of it to hit another pose. "It just gets the heart rate up a little bit more when you have to jump up higher and then back down to a burpee using your core," says Nicely of the full-body move.

As for those poses, Nicely confirms Garner has a great mindset when it comes to her workouts. "She definitely likes to add some pizazz to the jumps on the box," shares the trainer. "She's just full of joy and always cheers everyone on — even herself."

If you can swing this kind of workout (aka you don't have issues with high-impact exercises), doing plyometrics offers major benefits, including building athleticism and even improving bone density. "A lot of people worry about the impact on their joints and fear that it is dangerous to jump as they age," Nicely previously told Shape. "As a NASM-certified trainer and corrective exercise specialist, I can assure you that jumping is essential to bone health. Bones need to be stressed with impact to build density, which makes you less likely to break a bone or develop osteoporosis."

For newbies, you might start by doing alternating step-ups on a low surface such as a stair that you feel comfortable on, suggests Nicely. You can also practice loaded squats to build strength before tackling box jumps. Then, you can work your way up to more advanced plyometric exercises.

Ready to give it a try? Check out this plyometric workout for beginners.

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