5 Quick Tips to Learn How to Juggle

5 Quick Tips to Learn How to Juggle

So you’ve seen a few great acts on television or at live shows with cool jugglers throwing flaming hatchets high in the air, or heaving bowling balls overhead and rotating them skillfully while you watched in awe. Your next thought was of course – “I could do that.” It might be the answer for you to learn how to juggle

It may be a very worthwhile pursuit to take up the skill of juggling for your enjoyment and to amaze your friends and family, but like any skilled activity, it takes commitment and practice. And it’s certainly to your advantage to get started with a few useful tips.

Read on to get started with your juggling adventure.

Why Juggle?

how to juggle: a juggler practicing with white balls
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There are plenty of real reasons to learn how to juggle, other than to prove you can do it:

  • Studies have shown that juggling increases your brain power. Learning this skill – even with merely juggling three balls – actually raised the brain’s gray matter.
  • It’s portable – you can juggle anywhere – when traveling, outdoors, or in any room of the house. There’s nearly always something around that you can juggle, so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • Learning how to juggle relieves stress. It requires focus, leaving all other thoughts out of your mind during the activity. Whatever has been bothering you takes a back seat while you’re engrossed in juggling.
  • It’s good for you. Yes, as you develop your rhythm and breathing with your juggling, it becomes an aerobic exercise. How many other exercises can you do standing in one small space with an awesome playlist? Juggling burns about the same calories as walking – 280 calories per hour. On top of that, it’s entertaining for others to watch, unlike most other exercise routines.
  • Your senses of balance and hand/eye coordination improve as you learn how to juggle. Practicing juggling regularly even improves range of motion in arms and shoulders, with a no-impact exercise routine.

Now that you know all the benefits let's learn how to juggle.

How To Juggle: Getting Started with Juggling

There are of course many great videos online that will not only give you some starting tips or advanced challenges but also give you someone to juggle with. Juggling can be a fun family activity, as well.

Developing some basic skills with three balls can be accomplished in only a few days, following these tips.

Use the Right Equipment

how to juggle: three colored balls ideal for juggling
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CC 0 by Public Domain, Pexels

Before learning how to juggle, pick the right “tools” first to get started. You’ll probably be dropping quite a few at first, and you don’t want to spend all your time chasing balls all over the room. Use something fairly light that won’t bounce or roll away every time one falls. Beanbags make an excellent choice for beginners since they’re readily available, bright, and stationary. We’ll still refer to your juggling items as balls within this article.

Get Comfortable with Tosses

Get the feel of one ball first. Toss it up and from hand to hand, moving your hands as little as possible. Passing from your throwing hand to your catching hand should be done with your elbows at hip level. Toss the ball from your throwing hand up to eye level or even higher, catching it back in the same hand.

Scoop the Balls

To learn how to juggle, watch some professional jugglers, and notice how their hands move. You’ll see that their hands move in a circular motion, referred to as “scooping.” This is an important technique to practice and develop. Dip your hand slightly to toss the balls from one hand to the other.

Toss a ball up to about eye level to the catching hand, creating an arc. Use the dipping or scooping motion to get the ball into the air. You’re on your way to juggling now.

how to juggle: a man with green shirt juggling two balls
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CC 0 by Public Domain, Flickr

Moving on to Two Balls

Now that you have the fundamental motion down get a ball in each hand. Throw one ball up, and when it gets to its peak (the top of its arc), throw the other up. This will get you into a rhythm of keeping two balls moving in synchronization.

Be sure the second toss is when the first ball is at its peak so that you have the most time to get the second ball in motion.

Your First Test – Three Balls

Having a feel for timing and motion, the next skill in learning how to juggle is with three balls. There is a logical progression of steps to perform this skill:

  • Hold two balls in your right hand, and the third in your left hand (just the opposite for left-handers, of course – substitute left and right for the following steps, as well)
  • Throw the first ball in your right hand through the arc to your left hand
  • When ball 1 is at the top of the arc, follow it with ball two from your left hand to your right hand
  • Next, when ball two peaks, throw ball three under ball 2 – at this point, you will also be catching ball 1 in your left hand
  • Lastly, when ball 2 is in your right hand, catch ball 3

That’s the cycle. Just repeat it as many times as you can, continually improving your efficiency, increasing speed, and reducing the number of dropped balls.

Stay Positive

Juggling is fun, but learning how to juggle well requires practice and even commitment. As your skills progress, you’ll find additional challenges with juggling more balls, different objects and increasing the height of your throws. You can practice juggling while listening to your favorite workout tracks with a music player.

But don’t get disenchanted if it doesn’t come naturally to you. If you have initial difficulty catching the balls, try substituting lighter items like small scarves, which give you more time to catch after throwing.

Happy juggling!

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