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How to Juggle!

how-to-juggle-tips-for-beginners

Juggling Tips for Beginners

Learning how to juggle is not as difficult as you might think! You just need a few fairly simple instructions to get started.

Juggling does take a lot of practice, however, especially in the beginning. But once you get the rhythm and train your arms and hands to toss the objects just right, juggling will feel much more natural.

In addition to being just plain awesome and fun, juggling can also be a form of exercise and meditation.

Some of the Benefits of Juggling

Juggling is good for the body and mind

Juggling is entertaining and cool, but there are other remarkable benefits.

While I wouldn't argue that typical juggling takes the place of going to the gym, you may be surprised to feel your muscles, particularly your biceps, working quite a bit. You will probably also notice some increase in respiration and heart rate. Indeed, if you juggle specifically for the purpose of working out, you can really get your heart pumping!

Juggling certainly improves hand/eye coordination as well as overall body coordination and balance. It is good for motor skills in the arms and hands, and focusing on proper stance can benefit the entire body, particularly the back and legs.

Interestingly, juggling has some meditative qualities to it. When your skill level gets to the point that you aren't chasing the balls around wildly, you can settle into an almost trance-like state as you keep the balls moving in a cascade. Juggling requires focus and concentration, which tend to settle the mind. Unlike a standard sitting meditation, juggling gives you something to do. This bit of distraction is a tremendous help in keeping stray thoughts away as you get into "the zone."

A Few Items to Get You Started

Square or round bean bags are excellent objects for juggling. You want something soft but firm that is the right size for your hand to easily grasp.

Once you become more accomplished, you may want to try lacrosse balls.

Let the Wookiee juggle

Let the Wookiee juggle

Choosing Objects to Juggle

There are several factors to keep in mind when selecting which objects to juggle. Of course you can choose balls as your juggling objects. Bean bags are another good option, since they have a nice feel and don't roll away when dropped! Using juggling scarves is appealing - they almost float in the air, giving you a lot more time to throw and catch. Kids, in particular, may like learning how to juggle with scarves because it makes juggling far less frustrating.

When juggling with balls or bean bags, it helps to have objects that fit in your hand in such a way that your hand naturally cups around to catch them. If the objects are too small, they're more difficult to grab, creating a lot more work for the fingers. A slightly heavier object is better than a slightly lighter one, since the weight also encourages the hand to naturally wrap around it. Tennis balls are okay, though a bit on the light side. Lacrosse balls have a very nice feel to them, both in terms of size and weight.

Ready to begin?

The first step in learning how to juggle

Start with one ball, tossing it from one hand to the other. The ball should arc slightly, with the top of the arc at about the level of your forehead. Easy, right?

Once you feel very comfortable with the rhythm of passing the single ball back and forth between your hands, you're ready to start practicing with two balls.

Let's Make It Two! - The second step on the road to juggling

Get the feel of tossing and catching 2 balls

Get the feel of tossing and catching 2 balls

Start with one ball in each hand. Toss the first ball in your standard arc. As the first ball approaches the top of the arc, toss the second ball in the same arc pattern, slightly inside of the first ball's path to avoid a collision.

Initially, it is easier to just let the balls drop to the floor so you don't feel flustered by trying to throw and catch what may suddenly feel like a lot of objects. (You may want to use bean bags, which don't roll away when they drop!) The rhythm for this is "throw, throw, drop, drop."

Once this feels boring, work on catching the two balls: "throw, throw, catch, catch."

Juggling Exercise Video

Are You Ready to Juggle Three Balls? Great!

How to juggle 3 balls

How to juggle 3 balls

Start with two balls in one hand and one ball in the other hand. Again, you may find it easier to simply allow the balls or bean bags to drop on the floor for now.

Toss the first ball from the hand that is holding two balls. Toss the second ball from the other hand just as the first ball is approaching the top of its arc. As the second ball rises toward the top of its arc, toss the third ball (from your first hand) and send it on its way, just inside the second ball's arc. Although everything is moving at the same rate as when you were tossing two balls, it may suddenly seem much faster and more chaotic!

When you're ready, work on throwing and catching the three balls. If catching all three balls is too difficult, just catch one and allow the others to drop to the floor. As you feel more comfortable, try catching the second and third balls as well.

Then add a fourth throw by tossing the first ball again when the third ball approaches the top of its arc. Keep practicing, adding more and more tosses to keep the balls in motion.

Once you are able to juggle more or less continuously, you can start to add some tricks! Try tossing a ball behind your back or under your leg! Instead of tossing the balls slightly inside of each other's arcs, send them on an outside path with a wider arc.

Anyone can juggle!

Anyone can juggle!

Another Juggling Tip - There isn't as much flying around as it appears

Not everything is flying at once

Not everything is flying at once

If you look closely, you'll see that when juggling three objects, only one is really high in the air at a time. One object is always in the hand. The third object is either in the hand or has just been released or is about to be caught.

Jugging Two Balls with One Hand

Juggling 2 balls in 1 hand

Juggling 2 balls in 1 hand

Technically, this is actually more difficult than juggling three balls in two hands, since the ratio of juggling objects to hands is greater - 2:1 rather than 3:2.

Place two bean bags or balls in one hand. Toss the first object up so that it goes about as high as your forehead. Release the second object when the first approaches its peak. The real trick is trying to avoid collisions! For two objects with one hand, you actually want to toss them more or less straight up and down, moving your hand before each toss to send the objects along different paths.

Great Juggling Video - How to Juggle Three Balls

Now that I've rambled on, check out this video for an excellent beginning juggling lesson!

Take a bow, fellow juggler! - Your comments are always welcome

TerriCarr on March 20, 2014:

I learned to juggle about 10 years ago...but I need to practice more. I never got really fluid at it. I have a friend who is a bit of a champ at it though. She can do all kinds of tricks.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on January 28, 2014:

@TanoCalvenoa: Thanks!

TanoCalvenoa on January 28, 2014:

Wow, this is really nice. I have a juggling lens as well, and I like your simple approach.

gregs411 on November 11, 2012:

Very good tips on juggling. Thanks.

Sher Ritchie on June 06, 2012:

Great lens - thanks for sharing.

Rose Jones on April 21, 2012:

Back to pin the lens to my board - Squidoo Lenses worth Blessing.

ercramer36 on April 04, 2012:

Thanks for the great instructions.I loveI the stick figures.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on April 04, 2012:

@monstarfitness: Yes, like riding a bike, juggling is definitely something you can pick up again years later!

Lindrus on April 02, 2012:

Thanks for the clear instructions, maybe I can finally learn how to juggle. I've always wanted to.

monstarfitness on April 01, 2012:

it took me a little bit to learn how to juggle but I have been doing it for years now, great tips! Its like learning to ride a bike you never forget

miaponzo on March 31, 2012:

I have always wanted to learn how to juggle! Blessed!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 31, 2012:

@Arc4life: I love your jump-right-in attitude! Enjoy!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 31, 2012:

@howtop10: Thanks!

howtop10 on March 31, 2012:

Great tips for people who want to join the circus too! Nice lens.

Jake_2525 on March 31, 2012:

Ahh I've never been able to do this. It's always been a challenge for me. Good Lens. I'll have to try this.

gottaloveit2 on March 31, 2012:

I love your illustrations! Very cool lens. Well done.

depuyhiprecalllawyer on March 30, 2012:

@Valerie Bloom: I already tried the steps but still very hard to catch up. Maybe I just need patience and more practice.

Arc4life on March 30, 2012:

Very cool lens on juggling. The video was very informative as well. I am going to try juggling 3 balls to start...

jlshernandez on March 29, 2012:

Finally, I might learn to juggle. Thanks for the tutorial. It may take me some time.

anonymous on March 29, 2012:

I wish you all the best with juggling, you rock! Angel Blessed!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 29, 2012:

@Rosaquid: Please do! It's so much fun!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 29, 2012:

@RecycleRRR: Practice, practice, practice...See you at Carnegie Hall!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 29, 2012:

@MelonyVaughan: You go, Girl!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 29, 2012:

@Gypzeerose: Thanks!

Cold0911 on March 29, 2012:

Nice presentation on juggling. I learned on beanbags, then advanced to tennis balls.

MelonyVaughan on March 29, 2012:

What a fun lens! Now if you'll excuse me, I must start practicing!

Rosaquid on March 29, 2012:

Looks like healthy fun! I want to try it now. Thanks!

RecycleRRR on March 29, 2012:

Hard! I'll never learn how to juggle...

John_2011 on March 29, 2012:

A tricky task for many people so a very detailed round up, nice lens.

bluefire1020 on March 28, 2012:

Wow, this is fun & interesting! =)

GabrielaFargasch on March 28, 2012:

Fun and creative lens! :)

Aktillum on March 28, 2012:

So far I can only juggle 2 objects but I will get a 3rd in there someday. Thanks for this lens :)

ferginarg lm on March 27, 2012:

This is good stuff, thanks, I remember in my early 20's one weekend when I had nothing better to do, I taught myself how to juggle. It's a great skill. If you've got any tips on juggling four balls I'd love to hear them!

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on March 27, 2012:

Thanks for sharing! ... and stopping by and squidliking Condiment Combat! ;-)

allenwebstarme on March 27, 2012:

Wow lens, well i tried juggling many times when I was kid, but didn't learn properly yet, time to come to try one more time.

smsr0100451 on March 27, 2012:

Wonderful .. Only seen in circus.

Rose Jones on March 26, 2012:

I know how hard this is! Angel Blessed - you are definitely on your way to clown fame. :)

LabKittyDesign on March 26, 2012:

"Practice facing a wall" was the best tip we got back when learning to juggle. Also, the bean bags worked best for learning, mostly because they didn't bounce or roll away when you dropped them (so you didn't have to chase after them). Well done!

antiquestore on March 26, 2012:

What a fun hobbie, thanks for sharing.

Mim Art on March 26, 2012:

Love the lens and the stickmen! *wink*

pawpaw911 on March 26, 2012:

I taught myself how to juggle 3 balls years ago. Children seem to enjoy it the most. Nicely done.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 26, 2012:

@Julia Morais: Oh, that sounds like a fun project!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 26, 2012:

@anonymous: WOW!!! Thank you so very much!!!

anonymous on March 26, 2012:

I've seen over 10,000 Squidoo articles and liked almost 9,000 of them but this is the first I've seen on how to juggle! Well done on your unique topic, hope you keep adding to this and I'm sure it'll continue to get ranked higher. *blessed by a squid angel*

AlokaRuwanpathi on March 26, 2012:

That's sweet!! I have to keep eye on my sis, because she saw this too!! Thanks for such a lovely lens!!!

Julia Morais on March 25, 2012:

I created a juggling power point presentation as a training project, and had to learn how to juggle in the process. I never did master it, but I got the gist of it, and thought it was really fun. Love your lens!

aquarian_insight on March 25, 2012:

Haha what a lovely lens! I have never thought about juggling, but maybe I will try it now with your great instructions. Thank you.

sociopath-free on March 25, 2012:

I think I would be the life of the part if I could learn to juggle. Nice one - made me laugh.

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on March 25, 2012:

What a fun lens! I can juggle two balls (sometimes). I admire anyone who can keep three balls going!

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 25, 2012:

@tyrosine: Keep trying! It's a fairly simple activity but takes a lot of practice for everything to "click" into place!

epsonix on March 25, 2012:

Good lens, Thank you :))

tyrosine on March 25, 2012:

Tried it... can't do it. lol. take lots of practice I guess =(

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 22, 2012:

@tvyps: Thank you!!! Juggling at work -- what a great mental image that creates!!!

Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on March 22, 2012:

I used to juggle every day at work, between my employees and my boss, I was a master juggler! ha! Squid Angel blessed!

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

Thanks, awesome lens, so much variety.

kdneale on March 18, 2012:

@iWriteaLot: HAHAhahhaahh...you're funny! Think I'll start with helium balloons. ;+} Try reading : THE BLOSSOMING by Kathryn Neale. It won't teach you anything about juggling other than emotions.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 17, 2012:

@lclchors: Scarves are so much fun -- you'll love juggling with them! Just make sure you crumple them up when you get them out of the package so they become "fluffy" and float nicely.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you so much!!!!! Happy juggling!!!!

anonymous on March 17, 2012:

Totally cool and totally Blessed!

lclchors on March 16, 2012:

realy nice lens. I'm going to go get some scarfs first

justin42 on March 15, 2012:

I did want to learn how to juggle, but only to waste time at work. As long as I was entertaining my boss didn't care what I did.

derryod on March 15, 2012:

Excellent, now I'll soon be able to entertain the kids :)

paxtongeller on March 15, 2012:

This is an awesome lens.. I bet everyone, every now and then, comes across this idea of learning to juggle. Well, I do anyway.

Valerie Bloom (author) from Pennsylvania, USA on March 14, 2012:

@Brandi Bush: I taught myself to juggle when I was about 10 or 11 years old. Lots of practice is the key!

Brandi from Maryland on March 14, 2012:

I'll be sure to show this to my son...he really wants to learn to juggle! :)

heehaw lm on March 14, 2012:

thanks for the info , always wanted to know how to do juggling and now you just showed us.

flycatcherrr on March 14, 2012:

I've always wanted to try to learn to juggle, and you make juggling seem... actually learnable. Thanks, I'll give it a try!

Wayne Rasku on March 08, 2012:

Super instructions, but they don't work :-( At least they don't work for me because of my hand-eye coordination. I have tried juggling many times and my record is about 4 tosses before everything comes apart. Oh, I can do scarves, though. I will just leave the harder objects to more talented individuals. I do love a good juggling act. Thanks for sharing the excellent tutorial.

BuddyBink on March 08, 2012:

Haven't tried to juggle in years. This makes it easier to learn. Thanks.

anonymous on March 08, 2012:

Great article. Loved the graphics

suzy-t on March 07, 2012:

FUN !...It looks so easy in the video but for me, it'll take a lot of practice....Great lens...

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on March 06, 2012:

Oh, that was so much fun! I juggled one of my granddaughter's bean-bag critters while I read the lens and watched the video. Got my blood going a bit. Thank you!

Nathalie Roy from France (Canadian expat) on March 06, 2012:

I tried juggling but really never manage to do it, even with only 2 balls. I need much more practice!

iWriteaLot on March 06, 2012:

What a cool lens! Great pics and instructions. I'm going to start with steak knives LOL

anonymous on March 06, 2012:

I tried and couldnt do it well I will try again with your tips

Einar A on March 05, 2012:

Makes it look like a lot of fun!

flicker lm on March 05, 2012:

I enjoyed this article and especially the stick figure illustrations. Put a smile on my face.

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 05, 2012:

Awesome! Even though I'm not sure I'm coordinated enough to juggle even one ball, with your fabulous diagrams and even your picture (love that!) I know I could give it a try. Well done!

MissionBoundCre on March 05, 2012:

I LOVE the stick men drawings!

Scriber1 LM on March 05, 2012:

Very informative and enjoyable lens.