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How to Juggle!

Updated on June 10, 2015
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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.

Jugglers
Jugglers | Source

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.

Juggling Book Kit-
Juggling Book Kit-

My first juggling bean bags and instruction book were from Klutz. I've had these bean bags for more than 30 years and still enjoy juggling with them! The book provides excellent, fun instructions for how to juggle at both the beginner and more advanced levels.

 
Let the Wookiee juggle
Let the Wookiee juggle | Source

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.

Deluxe Juggling Scarves
Deluxe Juggling Scarves

Juggling scarves almost float through the air, making them very easy juggling objects for beginners

 

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 | Source

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

Juggle Your Way to Fitness Beginner Level - Active Brain Fitness - Juggling - Learn to Juggle
Juggle Your Way to Fitness Beginner Level - Active Brain Fitness - Juggling - Learn to Juggle

This video is specifically designed with the health benefits of juggling in mind and provides instructions for how to juggle.

 

Are You Ready to Juggle Three Balls? Great!

How to juggle 3 balls
How to juggle 3 balls | Source

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.

JUGGLING TIP

If you find yourself taking forward steps in order to catch the juggling objects, train yourself to stay put by either juggling in front of a wall or imagining that you're juggling at the edge of a cliff.

By forcing your feet to stay planted, your arms and hands will learn to toss the objects correctly to take off and land in the same plane.

Anyone can juggle!
Anyone can juggle! | Source

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 | Source

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 | Source

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

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    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Valerie Bloom 3 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @TanoCalvenoa: Thanks!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

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

    • gregs411 profile image

      gregs411 4 years ago

      Very good tips on juggling. Thanks.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      Great lens - thanks for sharing.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      ercramer36 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

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

    • monstarfitness profile image

      monstarfitness 5 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • Cold0911 profile image

      Cold0911 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @howtop10: Thanks!

    • profile image

      howtop10 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Jake_2525 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      depuyhiprecalllawyer 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Arc4life 5 years ago

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

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
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      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @MelonyVaughan: You go, Girl!

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

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

    • Rosaquid profile image

      Rosaquid 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      RecycleRRR 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      John_2011 5 years ago

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

    • bluefire1020 profile image

      bluefire1020 5 years ago

      Wow, this is fun & interesting! =)

    • profile image

      GabrielaFargasch 5 years ago

      Fun and creative lens! :)

    • profile image

      Aktillum 5 years ago

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

    • ferginarg lm profile image

      ferginarg lm 5 years ago

      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!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

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

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      smsr0100451 5 years ago

      Wonderful .. Only seen in circus.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

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

    • LabKittyDesign profile image

      LabKittyDesign 5 years ago

      "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!

    • profile image

      antiquestore 5 years ago

      What a fun hobbie, thanks for sharing.

    • Mim Art profile image

      Mim Art 5 years ago

      Love the lens and the stickmen! *wink*

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      AlokaRuwanpathi 5 years ago

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

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      sociopath-free 5 years ago

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

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • epsonix profile image

      epsonix 5 years ago

      Good lens, Thank you :))

    • tyrosine profile image

      tyrosine 5 years ago

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

    • Valerie Bloom profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks, awesome lens, so much variety.

    • profile image

      kdneale 5 years ago

      @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 profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @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 profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Totally cool and totally Blessed!

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

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

    • justin42 profile image

      justin42 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      derryod 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      paxtongeller 5 years ago

      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 profile image
      Author

      Valerie Bloom 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

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

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

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

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 5 years ago

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

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      BuddyBink 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great article. Loved the graphics

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

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

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 5 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

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

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

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

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Makes it look like a lot of fun!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

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

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      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 profile image

      MissionBoundCre 5 years ago

      I LOVE the stick men drawings!

    • Scriber1 LM profile image

      Scriber1 LM 5 years ago

      Very informative and enjoyable lens.