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RegularJugular -

Will sloppy patterns always cause plateau? How can I juggle neater patterns?

This has been discussed a lot over the years, but I just wanted some consolidated information*.

I've experienced after many years of juggling with bad form / sloppy patterns wih 4 or more objects that: 'Juggling consistantly ugly input does not get beautiful output at the end'. It also causes more fatigue, which causes shorter runs.

Assuming that I am correct in my observation: How does someone avoid sloppy, wonky, inconsistant and generally ugly patterns with 4 or more objects? For a beginner and also as someone who has tried for years to chase difficult goals with bad form?

Thank you

*I may be asking in the wrong place

James Hennigan - - Parent

Can you specify which patterns exactly you are talking about? And also what is it about your technique that you consider 'sloppy'?

To avoid sloppy patterns in general, you could try the "don't practice mistakes" method. If you feel the pattern is too messy (maybe you're moving around too much or you're turning around or something) then just collect the props and stop juggling. Work on shorter, controlled runs. Stop when you find yourself juggling with bad form.

This is what I do with patterns like 744. Some days I can't do it for very long without moving all over the place, so I just work on shorter runs where I can stand still.

RegularJugular - - Parent

Almost any pattern, but it's easier to describe symmetrical patterns, most typically the 5 ball cascade. I used to guage my patterns quality by how long I could run them for now I want to see a beautiful pattern. So sloppiness would be anything that causes the pattern not to be smooth. Typical of my 5 ball cascade:

  • Inconsistent heights (by a significant amount)
  • Throws out of plane e.g Forward or Backward
  • Lopsided cross, one peak higher than the other
  • Constantly trying to correct for any of the above

After a while one or another* will become apparent.

For a while now I have deliberately practised short, controlled runs** for the majority of my practice. I have experienced some improvement when I stick to it, but very rapid reversal of improvement when I don't.

The biggest problem I had with that sort of method is I used not to be able to identify what the mistakes were or the different levels of importance to each mistake.

I was wondering if there is a concise way to describe good practice technique, perhaps there isn't.

*These cover just about any error result possible, but not root causes

**I try to make sure I'm doing much more of the base cascade or fountain pattern than tricks so I'm not confusing my subconscious too much.

Daniel Simu - - Parent

Don't practise the mistakes. Take your juggling to the level where you can fully concentrate on your body posture and perfect throw. This will most likely mean 1 ball.

I don't like this much, but working on 1 ball throws with a trainer who watches did help to clean up my juggling.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Yeh .. be (anytime) ready to question your basics as there might be improvement in there, which is yet hidden to you.

7b_wizard - - Parent

my two cents: I believe body posture, arm movement and the pattern should fit one another to be a smoothly running whole. I think errors come from too tensed juggling, from too much effort used, from having to correct a lot.

For the pattern this means: Aim the height, the region, the area, the top of the pattern, that is needed at your beat-interval well. (Or, vice versa: adopt your beat-speed to your preferred height). Stay in the plane. This can be achieved by imagining or actually using a bar to throw over or a ring to throw through (every single throw! constantly.). Know that height to throw to, have it internalized, automatic, 'by heart'. Don't ever do any lower throws, always get the minimum height.

For posture, this means to find which stance suits you best, for instance either have feet parallel or one foot (the stronger or weaker one) slightly ahead, or else for instance slightly bend knees or not, or still else for instance, sway body's weight from one foot to other in a rhythm while juggling, or else, still, put feet nearer or further apart. Take the pattern near your body (corresponds to upper arms hanging straight down). Watch what your hips and your shoulder-line do when juggling.

For arm's posture and arm's and hand's movement: don't juggle too far ahead of your body as it causes unnecessary tension in upper arm and shoulder. Find a way of getting props on height easily without too much effort, for example by loosening your wrists and profiting from greater lever throwing from a fingerbasket, or else by getting more thrust from hearty scoops (on cost of some more dwell-time needed),   ( or even else - which I don't recommend - by working out to have more muscle power, force and condition, endurance, to keep the pattern up even when far ahead of your body or constantly slightly tensed or grasping balls with whole hand in full palm without much lever ).

Generally an awareness of the body, where there's most tension, then changing something there, trying differently, leads to improvement of posture and arm movement. Juggling as lax as would keep the pattern up a few periods, as lazy as would go, as monotoneous as possible for example. Trying out differently throwing a lot, different arm posture, pulling the pattern to and shifting it away from you, doing wider and narrow, throwing fromout lower or fromout higher, more or less scoop, more from inside, trying faster, speedy throwing movement (= shorter dwell-time), .. things alike will an find an easier posture and style and technique(s). Varying the pattern's height, width, speediness will find your easiest (or easier) pattern that will then also suit posture and arm movement and make it a rhythmic fluent smooth whole.

I also think to have spotted some instincts to overcome: not wanting to hit your face and eyes, maybe is, what makes us throw precarious throws ahead all the time. Maybe trying to avoid collisions makes us leave the front plane. The height per beat (or vice versa)-ratio from doing less props maybe sits so deep, that it needs be overcome when oing more props (with those more props's dwelltime needs to be gained above the mere physical flight-time).

Even more general, meta: When sth feels wrong, a change is obviously needed. By varying everything (pattern, posture, movement, props, conditions), one increases the chance to find the improvements (q.e.d.), instead of doing same over and over again, hoping for it to 'happen' from alone or from stronger muscles.

I've had long easy runs with 5b cascade and periods where it did feel as easy as walking, as could go on forever that way, but I don't get it anytime and it's not simple, not obvious to find back into. Throwing from looser wrists; pulling the pattern near my body; aiming well in the first place ('feeding' the top of the pattern) were my clues to get near 1,000 throws with 5b without burning arms.

RegularJugular - - Parent

I think this is a helpful list of things to look for. It condenses most of the things I'd tried so far and a bit more into one post.

#Practice #Technique #HandyReference #JugglingWisdom

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

Where you throw the ball is less important than when you throw the ball. Cadence is quite difficult to see from a video, but you should be able to feel it when you juggle.

The balls should be coming out of your hands with the precision of a metronome. The things you list (height, plane, lopsidedness) are symptoms of bad cadence.

The throws in a beautiful juggling pattern occur at equal time intervals.

Good: Left....Right....Left....Right....Left....Right....
Bad: Left..Right......Left..Right......Left..Right......

RegularJugular - - Parent

This is something I hadn't thought about for years and certainly hadn't attributed enough importance to. I did a small amount of 'investigative juggling' and it seems to support your observation.

I think it would help to juggle a bit higher than minimum height to achieve the best control and feeling of timing*. Do you agree?



*It also looks better for an audience

RegularJugular - - Parent

This seems to have got me and 7b_wizard thinking. Answering my own question: I observed that whatever height I am used to has a strong impact on how well I can control cadence, as well as getting a height that cadence is better controlled at.

It should be self-evident that beautiful patterns will have even cadence(s*).



*cadence for each siteswap orbit

7b_wizard - - Parent

On "height(s)": I have different heights for 5b cascade:
-   a ``secure´´ one about barely a foot above head where I get my very long runs casually starting first several hundred throws from easier, faster pattern [see next below], or, when i feel secure, get back to that lower, faster pattern:
-   fluent, very easy \ "easiest", snapped-in pattern at about head height or slightly below. This pattern, its height respectively, is more risky, more liable to breakdown on outbreakers or drifts, less easy to correct or save, and I can hold it for a few hundred throws at its best. It would, alone, not make for very long runs.
-   everything below that (Eye-nose-height. Chin and below.) is drop bound below 100-120 catches (Chin: max 30 throws).
-   then a high height, outdoors without ceiling, about two / two and a half feet above head, about low 7b-height. Time plenty to scoop nicely and much more time to comfortably give thrust from forearm with few wrist-work (which latter will again be necessary with 7b on that low 7b-height, though). There or higher, aiming well to keep the balls in comfort reach fitting posture and arm's degrees of freedom get more attention. (anything above that will make me have to step to where balls land and patterns high up there will be liable to tear apart, .. guess, due to lotsa whole arm + shoulder work + more effort then making throws unprecise)

I believe, that such staggered different comfortable, `best´ heights are a direct consequence of the anatomy of the arm and its part's degrees of freedom depending on how much wrist is used, how much forearm is used, how much the upper arm moves, how much the shoulder takes part in the throw. There will be maxima and minima for any reasonable combination of the arm's part's moving together, the kinematic chain, i suppose.
[further reading, (technical; biokinematics): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arm_solution,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/321_kinematic_structure,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinematic_chain,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_%28mechanics%29,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articulated_robot, haven't yet found human arm's kinematic chain or degrees of freedom for moving or handling sth, even though i suspected sport's science to be concerned with such]

7b_wizard - - Parent

#biokinematics #heights #forces
Also, in Wes Peden's SALT there's a few clips with drawings of the human arm with ball in hand and forces and levers acting in and on everything, that go in direction of this topic.

7b_wizard - - Parent

#science

7b_wizard - - Parent

This should relate to showers and half-showers, where galopping is natural part of the pattern. So, maybe alternating between halfshower and cascade can increase an awareness for flawful galoping in the cascade (e.g. caused by lower throws from weakhand, or by some asymmetry in posture) and either get rid of an unwanted galop, or else adopt it as doing such slight asymmetry (in shape and beat) on purpose (if it feels more comfortable like that). Or maybe for example practise halfshowers and showers bothsided in order to 'merge' both hand's galop until they are equal then also for the cascade.

7b_wizard - - Parent

> "[..] caused by weakhd, asym posture [..]" .. or simply by emphasized beat or counting on every 2.nd beat (galop then done by the mind, with no physical cause).

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. which gets me to what i did, to count on weakhand's beats (even changing emphasis from weakhd to stronghd in e.g. a nine-rhythm during running pattern) to try and get rid of weakhand low throws when i feel it be necessary. (until you do that correction back to stable pattern automatically whenever necessary without much special intent then anymore needed)

RegularJugular -

7 ball juggling robot

https://youtu.be/LsLFYhI6gZY

While perhaps not as impressive as the one that juggles 5 balls in the air https://youtu.be/9asDO_1A27U apparently that requires extremely expensive linear motors.

However even on a slope 53 seconds is impressive for 7 balls although I really want to see how the pattern is started. Also I hope he creates an entry in his build log explaining how this version works

RegularJugular - - Parent

Also I hope he builds a version that can do siteswaps, as the projects creator states he wishes to do.

Little Paul - - Parent

I'm dissapointed that there is no feedback mechanism. If you took the balls away the hands would continue to "throw"

In this respect, it's not much different to Shannon's machine from almost half a century ago.

It's a fun toy, but im not convinced he'll get to the "arbitrary Siteswap" goal with that approach :(

Still, anyone building anything should be encouraged... Good luck to you nathan

varkor - - Parent

It's certainly a good start. The build log is rather interesting too. I wonder if a regular cascade could be achieved by simply reversing the motor directions. I imagine he starts the pattern by placing the ball bearings individually, like in his other videos. It's a pity those linear motors are so expensive...

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

Nathan Peterson's Youtube comment:
I wanted to do inside throws, and normally those would be easier, but I ran into an issue where the ball would hit the inside wall of the hand as it was being thrown. This is because the hand moves in the opposite direction as the ball during inside throw, but outside throws do not have this problem. Also this would not be a problem if the hands were shallower. I need to fix this problem at some point.

Orinoco -

My sort of hat trick

Topper - - Parent

I might do that on Tuesday it would be easier than the hatstand.

Mike Moore - - Parent

If you could start that from having the hat on your head, that'd be mindblowing.

Jared Davis - - Parent

But can you do it with two?

RegularJugular - - Parent

Surely with hat tricks, and on this forum in particular the question should be 'can they do it with 3?'

Cedric Lackpot -

Backyard Russian swing, for shits, giggles, and early-onset arthritis.

Rather splendid bit of DIY circus kit which enables someone to jump over a house.

https://youtube.com/v/aSJpjPkTYVc

Full making of video here.

https://youtube.com/v/RETKvRXkSfI

Nicked from this reddit thread - https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/3c33mq/wut/

RegularJugular - - Parent

I tried parkour in my dreams once and smashed both my kneecaps.

I tried parkour in real life once, I tried to run over some bollards, I slipped on the third one and hit the back of my head on the second one.

A co-worker of mine recently broke his foot trying a front flip. I still want to learn how to do backflips.

RegularJugular -

Does training with 1 ball improve skills with more objects?

I just recorded some one ball at 5 ball height (crossing) videos with the camera directly below my hands. The results seem to demonstrate that I cannot throw 1 ball neatly, I can juggle 5 easier than I can 1 ball. Why is this? Will spending hours getting 1 ball intuition right improve my skills with more objects?


FTR this is juggling Uglies.

RegularJugular - - Parent

A demonstration video clip https://youtube.com/v/qMaW3TxkTK0

7b_wizard - - Parent

I see a discrepancy between lotsa tension & force used, where technique for fitting your movements to the physics of the pattern would be needed.
You grasp the only 100-120 gr balls with the whole hand like they weighed a pound each and force them up like they were heavy cannonballs while holding the balls in fingers sutained by the thumb (merely touching the palms of your hands) would do way easier.
You trained this on 3b and 5b, but simply throwing 1b up accurately reveals this discrepancy of being accustomed to way too much effort for only such light little ball .. and you get fails with 1b.
q.e.d.? or wrong?

7b_wizard - - Parent

Try very high 1b throws! .. You will find them better, more accurate than your low throws, 'cos there's where force from esp. forearm is needed.

RegularJugular - - Parent

In the video I tried to get them all to roughly 5 ball height.

My regular 3 ball height throws I could catch with my eyes shut for ~10 catches even on a bad day. However as they are thrown less distance, less accuracy is required and more trained response. My arms would be much more tense for that.

I haven't tried 7b+ height 1 ball throws on video. I think I might have to tweak the camera exposure somehow, or perhaps just try an evening to get videos outside to record properly. I think high throws should cross-train well for lower heights though because there is less margin for error. If I can do them at all without running to catch them, it would help.

RegularJugular - - Parent

Thanks for the feedback. The change in weight issue does make sense, I think I'm better at thinking with a visual link than a physics link though. Physics was not my strongest subject.

While I can think of the power I put into my throws and I do find it useful to think about, I still end up puzzled by how much my errors compound, in more ways than one.

7b_wizard - - Parent

yw. .. With "only 100-120gr balls" I wasn't actually talking of a "change in weight" - I just guessed your beanbags' weight and can only state, there is simply no need to force them up out of shoulder and forearm as it were cannonballs - why should the wrists stay stiff as they were in plaster cast. ..
.. But I wronged you for - watching again - I now saw you do spring up your wrists some, a good lot, .. but catching and throwing the balls more towards the fingers and away from the palm will give them stronger lever and higher momentum with less(!) effort .. only thing about throwing mainly or good deal from wrists, is, accuracy and aiming is less simple and needs a while to get into and one has to overcome the instinct to throw with stable wrists, which provides for more control. But you will earn shorter dwell-time and precious time for e.g. aiming (or what else one has to coordinate between throws).

With "physics of the pattern", I simply meant adapt one's movements to speed and trajectory and momentum of the balls landing .. one can swiftly brake them down within their trajectory and dart them up in the right direction doing only what the balls low weight requires even intuitively .. thus the whole of hands, pattern, balls, orbits, hands, movements, all in motion form a natural harmonic unity. (Such "physics" is nothing else than the feeling of when a pattern runs good, easy, or even flows like by itself)

But maybe you're simply not all sure where exactly you want the balls to go .. simply "up" is not enough for accurate throws, I think .. I myself use virtual `points´ or `areas´ (`transparent clouds´((whatever that is)) or imagined `poles´ for straight up or rather high throws) in my controlled space-scope where more or less exactly I want the balls to have their highest point. Maybe you can find a way to aim 1b low well ..

I noticed some completely other issue now too -> your fails mostly go too far ahead -> so for more stability, you might simply need to only juggle near your body as you do in the short fluent phases .. I think throwing too far ahead is another instinct (to overcome) of not hurting oneself (e.g. face, eye) so subconscient one rather throws ahead, than towards own face. Throwing more behind to land on one's own head and doing some headbounces will get rid of such subconcient hindering instinct.

Orinoco - - Parent

Best tip I can give is tuck your shirt in when filming from this angle.

More seriously though I think focusing on your scoop would help, with the 5 ball cascade you are catching on the outside & throwing on the inside, but with one ball your throws are much more piston like.

RegularJugular - - Parent

When I read that I thought you meant that one side of my 5b cascade was more piston like, which I've thought for a long time. Although watching the video back it is very clear there is next to no scoop on my 1b throws. On my 5 ball cascade I've rarely been able to add more scoop to my right, so I tried making the left more piston like to compensate and suddenly there's frequently scoop on the right.

It seems there is no one way to learn, but I liked this video experiment it has made me more aware of how far my pattern moves forward and backward and how that feels.

Thanks for the feedback :)

Mike Moore - - Parent

I reckon it's because of what you practise. Most jugglers practise (numbers especially) to a certain rhythm that they get very used to, and find it harder to change that.

For example, if y'all'd asked me to run 7777700 for as long as my 7b, I'd've had a tough time with it (up until about 2 months ago, when I started practising 7777700, which I've found useful for helping clean my 7b. I didn't find it useful to learning 7b).

(Okay, done celebrating the 4th of July)

RegularJugular - - Parent

It's definitely a case of what is practiced. Although I still find it strange that I can barely throw one ball straight for 4 catches when I've seen people who've never juggled before get more accurate one ball throws at that height. I can presume that they have practiced sports that require short range accuracy for one object that I clearly haven't practiced. I did find Orin's tip about scoop did helped as a different way of thinking about the problem as well.

Mike Moore - - Parent

"Although I still find it strange that I can barely throw one ball straight for 4 catches when I've seen people who've never juggled before get more accurate one ball throws at that height."

I've seen a similar phenomenon to this, but on the other end. The juggling space that my club has practised in for the last ~8 years has had hanging lights running down the middle with a flat top, and sometimes a new member would get something stuck up there. The solution was obvious: stand at the other side of the room (so you could see the prop) and throw a ball to knock it down. The lights have a very stable shell/hanging system, so as long as one sticks to beanbags and doesn't really rifle the throws, there's no real threat of damage.

It's not that hard a throw, in my opinion: I can usually get something down without 5 throws. I came to juggling club late once, and people were relieved to see me. About half of the club had been trying to get a ball down for the last THIRTY MINUTES with no success. This party included jugglers who were just as good, and some better than I was.

Sure enough, on my third attempt it came down. Apparently juggling and throwing one ball accurately are different skills.

Orinoco - - Parent

Do you play any other sports that involve throwing something at something else?

As jugglers we tend to focus on the object being thrown. In every ball sport I can think of you focus on the target.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Shoot, the intention of my post was to get to that, then apparently I forgot where I was going. Thanks for the nudge.

I pitched in softball and played basketball for a few years. Lots of racquet sports, too, all of which I think helped.

emilyw - - Parent

Throwing one ball a very short distance very accurately and with precise timing, is different from throwing one ball a long distance? The arm action required is quite different, for a start, and not intuitive to those who haven't practiced it (c.f. https://vimeo.com/34678147).

Mike Moore - - Parent

At first, I thought the video was showing people throwing long distances with impeccible form! "I had no idea you were supposed to throw like that!"

It took about halfway through the video to rationalize that that's not what it was about.

7b_wizard - - Parent

"Apparently juggling and throwing one ball accurately are different skills." [Mike Moore] and the thread in its whole and the queer task of throwing 1b low well .. yet another aspect just struck me:
In juggling there might not be such thing as a distinct single throw, as you are e.g. crossing and e.g. juggling according to what there is in the air in some or other way, and of course with both hands in a rhythm together. Furthermore you throw sort of `into´ the landing balls with hands circling.

Your, RegularJugular's, 1b throws failing might simply lack the balls thrown with (resp.: the movement of) other hand before the 1b throw and aswell a landing ball to throw `into´ making the hand circle after the throw ..

Sjors Stuurman -

8 Balls

So, today I got 8 catches of 8 balls, not a flash tho, was 10 throws, however I'm struggling in keeping the pattern looking good. As in, I can't get it to look like the fountain after the first 6 or 8 throws, it just starts looking weird. Any tips or patterns that I can use to work on this? I was personally thinking something like 8888881 or 88888880 with 7.
In regards to my 7 ball pattern, I have runs between 10 - 25 catches regularly and I've noticed that moving on to the next amount of balls has helped me improve in the past.

Any tips or help is much appriciated :)

7b_wizard - - Parent

oouh .. fhadsmenniebouuu''z ..
'k .. it seems, you're getting the problem's result (/effect) after like >=six throws (I don't think it's after the 8.-th throw due to a problem with the ninth, first caught-throw?). That means, you ..
- either used up your effort on these first <=six throws ..
  - .. (if starting as somewhat faster ladder getting higher) due to throwing already the very first balls too high,
  compelling you to go even higher and way too high with the rest, or ..
  - .. (still if ladder-start) due to stretching towards the last throws going way too high, maybe,
  - .. (if throwing at the right height from the very start) (still) used a lot of effort for these first balls, slowing your
  start down (high throws with full hands)
costing accuracy and precision for the following 7.-th, 8.-th, 9.-th throws,
- or you're doing the very first throws too low (andor the rest not fast enough), bringing you into zugzwang after
  >=six throws when they land too early.

Else, - if you have no problems with testing different stretched starts or testing different (initial andor whole) heights - .. , maybe you're already at this early stage struggling with the different height/speed/dwelltime--ratio of 8b vs. the 6b, you're accustomed to. It should then occur to you already before the flash is done, that the pattern won't come out well, irritating you into bad last throws (7.-th & 8.-th).
And Or - in the same case of getting along well with diff. heights - you are maybe not aware of having to catch up with two more balls' dwell-time, needing either higher pattern (at same beat) andor faster throwing movements (at same height) .. not(!) faster beat only. Maybe knowing about this, but not actually doing it.

.. is what strikes me ad hoc.   But I'm not sure ;o]

7b_wizard - - Parent

As to patterns .. swaps like e.g. 6b-86862 or e.g. easier 5b-66888022, but the three consecutive non-throws are irritating or 5b-86812 (! seems easy fluent and needs timing & spacing well) could get you used to 8b vs. 6b ratioes by well timing & spacing them at an easy pace.

( ° all assuming U not doing synch ° )

Sjors Stuurman - - Parent

Thanks! I'll try and see what helps :)

RegularJugular - - Parent

I just had a go at an 8 ball flash in wimpy before I posted this and got it in 5 attempts, (sloppy and low but y'know, still an 8 ball flash) How many attempts is it taking you to get your 8 catches?

I tried to get the 8 ball in sync & async fountain in many attempts with no success, but this is hardly surprising since I can't flash 4 in one hand every time I can barely get 6 throws let alone that number of catches. I remember I used to warm up by practicing 4b one handed flashes back when I used to go for 8b sync which used to be my only achievable pattern. My 8b sync took far more than 5 attempts and it never 'looked good'.

I personally don't find going up a number has improved my skills with fewer objects apart from by testing my strength and speed to it's limit.

So how many catches of 4 in one hand can you do? How neat is it?

My other question would be what balls\beanbags are you juggling? Out of curiosity.

Note: I'm not giving tips or advice, just sharing experience and some thoughts.

Sjors Stuurman - - Parent

I'm not sure how many attempts, but getting 8 Catches of async took 30 minutes or so.
However with a multiplex pattern of 8 balls, I got that in like 10 tries. I personally have felt an increase in being able to juggle longer runs of 5 and 6 balls after learning 7, and my 7 balls are now improving when working on 8 as I get more speed.
Also I get regular flashes of 4b in one hand and also some longer runs of 5-7 catches in my left, dominant hand

I use Norwiks, so russians, I'm considering buying either small norwiks or uglies in the future, considering I want to work on 8 and 9 balls. My current norwiks are 67g and 75mm so fairly big.

RegularJugular - - Parent

I think I'm a bit envious as you are probably quite a bit younger than me and you probably do benefit a lot from trying 1 more object than what you usually practice. I think I'm frustrated with it as I want more tricks and longer runs as opposed to showing that I can do 'one more'... Which isn't why you do it, if you are doing what helps.

I'm confident you will learn 8 and juggling in general faster than I ever could regardless of what method you use. I will also enjoy what I do, and maybe one good day I'll also have a crack at 9 and succeed.

Thank you :)

(I'm sorry I couldn't do as requested)

Sjors Stuurman - - Parent

We had a good talk nonetheless and I'm sure you'll reach the level you want if you keep practising. It's what helped me and it's what helped everyone!

Brook Roberts - - Parent

I'm fairly sure it has improved my skills, but it depends on what you're doing. I think anyone should learn 5 - to improve your hand speed and accuracy and timing to a reasonable level. Beyond that:
Helpful for siteswaps, since you often need fast high throws.
Helpful for tricks involving high throws, e.g. pirouettes

I doubt drilling 7 is going to make a big difference on body throws in 4 (although still some knock on effect I'm sure)

RegularJugular - - Parent

Juggling 5 or 6 or 7 never hurt my progress with fewer objects. However, for me now I feel it doesn't work like it used to. My arms are mismatched muscle and flexibility wise. My posture is probably off, if these types of things are not in order juggling more objects is only a workout and potentially a workout that intensifies the flaws.

Perhaps I'm unwilling to give it enough time, but I feel that in my case I need to concentrate on accuracy, neatness and being overall more physically fit. I am not sure how I will do this, but if I follow what Peter Bone and others seem to have done to improve their numbers juggling, most of the things to try won't hurt me*.

*That said I got briefly addicted to running recently and have already got a bit of damage to my left Achilles, I should have started when I was younger.

RegularJugular - - Parent

That was supposed to clarify how I felt about N+1 objects as a training aid, but I rushed it. I didn't mean to come off as confrontational either.

JackJuggles - - Parent

6 ball high fountain, or 6 ball flashing(88888800) could help
And I would also recommend just working on a flash, even if it means you do not get as many catches. That builds up a clean pattern

^Tom_ - - Parent

I would generally recommend against doing N...N00 as a way of learning N balls. Same with N...N0, unless N is even.

The reason being that 0s have any time associated with them, so keeping the rhythm is difficult, which means that it's impossible to get a good idea of the speed of N, as the timing is completely unenforced.

2s can also be problematic, ...22 is just as bad as ...00, for the same reason.

Training N-1 and N-2 both extra high and extra low helps, and I swear by N...N1, regardless of the pattern (eg 771, 777771, (though not 71)).

Sjors Stuurman - - Parent

I agree with Tom, I personally also dislike 00 and 22 patterns for those reasons, eventhough I find it hard to keep 777771 and 66661 patterns going, it did help me.

High flashes, so 88888800 could help me with 8 I think, but more as a high flash and then just a stop instead of going on with the "pattern"

Also, what do you guys think of training a 5/6 ball shower to help with your 8 balls? I have found that my 5 ball shower is about 7 ball height and 6 ball shower about 9 to 10 (eventhough the patterns are 91 and a1, I don't really juggle them as that since I don't like throwing such high showers)

^Tom_ - - Parent

*b1, otherwise 50% of siteswap-based jokes wouldn't work ;)

Personally I would argue that the 5/6 ball shower and 8 balls have pretty much nothing in common other than that training difficult high/fast things will have a very indirect help... but even then the 1-sidedness of the shower probably destroys most of the benefit unless you train showers on both sides.

peterbone - - Parent

I wouldn't recommend any siteswaps for training higher numbers. Anything with a 1 in it forces you to change your wrist angle and also tempts you to bring your hands closer together. I've always recommended high and low base patterns of N-2 though. I don't think N-1 base patterns help much.

^Tom_ - - Parent

How about those with 2s? Eg 552, 77772, etc. Any merit in those?

I can see the problems with ones now that I think about it. Thanks

peterbone - - Parent

I wouldn't recommend any with 0s or 2s because the pauses destroy the rhythm.

Brook Roberts - - Parent

As a counter to this I have found 771 very helpful for 7. I learnt it afterward (I think), but find if I warm up with it my 7 balls is a lot better. I rarely work on 7, so this may mostly be useful as a way of warming back up for it without getting frustrated, and meaning that my actual practice with 7 is more productive for the time spent on it.

I think the main use for me comes from the fact that due to it being with two less balls, I can spend a lot more care making the rhythm good and focussing on throwing good 7s. Then, when I work on 7 I've already warmed up the useful throws and am working more on the rest of the pattern. With any below pattern it will practice bits of the harder pattern, and let you get away with other parts, so the trick is either to find those that let you get away with bits you are good at, or be very disciplined (hard).

I like it enough that I'm now working on 771 with clubs because I think it will give me some practice for attempting short runs of 7 clubs. I certainly didn't try it before 5 on triples, 7777700 and so on though!

trebuchet - - Parent

Same here.

Warming up with 7777700, 777711, 771 with 5, or continually switching hands in 4 ball shower with 7707070 makes my 7 ball pattern much smoother.

RegularJugular -

Today is international handstand day!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/33237880

I've tried a couple, but today is not my day for handstands. Maybe I'll try harder later or just do some against the wall.

Orinoco - - Parent

Am I going to plug this?

Yes, it looks like I am.

trebuchet -

Do you work out?

I'm sure I'd be learning faster (numbers especially) if I had some muscles to begin with rather than building them by the juggling they are needed for.

7b_wizard - - Parent

I believe, by working out, you're doing nothing for hands andor underarms andor wrists scooping and being swift. Furthermore, I believe, it's small °juggling-muscles° need training (e.g. turn the hand; e.g. do fast correcting throws; ..), you can only and best get by .. juggling. Still, I don't think, juggling is by nature a question of force and effort, but skill and fast reactions automated - best jugglers in the world sure have some °juggling-muscles°, but don't have body-builder's or athlete's utterly °well-defined° arms. It's not about getting the height only, but timing and spacing props well. Anything else would be "power juggling cannonballs" or alike.  But, I'm afraid, I'll stay owing any proof, and I'm only level way below the guts of numbers, and I'm curious on what more answers there will be.

peterbone - - Parent

I'd disagree to an extend. Strength is very important. I think that Garfield took it too far for juggling, but Gatto got it about right. Gatto still has huge arms though. Have a look at his gym workout section in TBTB. Of course it depends on what kind of juggling you're aiming for though. Any high level numbers juggling (8+ balls or 6+ club) will benefit from some strength training. I used to do weights, but these days I prefer body weight exercises and rock climbing. I also used to do a lot of juggling with wrist weights, which has also helped my girlfriend with 7 balls and 5 clubs recently.

trebuchet - - Parent

Juggling with wrist weights is an awesome idea. I can't believe it never crossed my mind.

The thing is, I find working out totally boring and a waste of energy, and there's no way to make myself do it consistently over a longer period.

I just wondered how other jugglers felt about the topic.

Little Paul - - Parent

"working out" doesn't need to be in a gym, or be a chore to be a benefit. You also don't need to be a muscled body builder for it to help your juggling (arguably large muscle mass hinders the fast response you need)

However, improving your base level of fitness is no bad thing - so if you can build a couple of simple, quick exercises into your day it'll benefit you.

I'm the sort of person who likes personal challenges, and competing against myself is a great way to get myself to do something.

One example would be the "100 pushups challenge" https://www.hundredpushups.com which is one of those things I started, never really finished, but found I got something out of anyway. A couple of sets of pushups as soon as you get out of bed in the morning will wake you up, and will strengthen your arms (hopefully reducing fatigue with larger numbers) - but it's not going to turn you into a muscle mary.

Doing something similar with a few basic core exercises will help reduce back fatigue. Your posture when juggling can put strain on your back, so if you can help support your back with your core then while it may not improve your juggling directly, it may well help you juggle more comfortably for longer.

I find running meditative (and I do like my thinking time), but also timing myself over a set route and trying to beat my time was a useful motivator. How does running help with juggling? Well, improving your cardiovascular fitness helps with endurance, you'll should find you get less tired during a juggling session. I found running helped up my energy levels in general daily life (and I really need to get back to it as I've been a lazy sod the last 6 months)

Of the above, I'm still doing the core and the pushups, and they're almost automatic now. I roll out of bed, immediately do a couple of short sets of pushups (20-30 or so) before I head for the bathroom. While I'm waiting for the shower to warm up, I do one set each of 4 or 5 different core exercises.

Then it's into the shower and on with the rest of my day. It's not a long enough routine to get bored, and the goal setting was a useful way to make it into a habit.

Hope that helps?

trebuchet - - Parent

I can't even imagine myself in a gym. I've tried adding pushups to my daily routine several times, never lasting long. It would just waste all of my juggling energy and make me require another meal per day (and I eat very little, standing on ~60 kilograms - and that's more than I've ever weighed).

I often ride my bicycle which I believe helps a lot with my back. I stopped smoking nearly three years ago, and compared to then I'd say I'm in a good shape, regarding endurance.

It's my hands that are weak. I occasionally do 20 pushups or so and a few pullups after juggling, which is normally followed by sore muscles the next day. Intense juggling yields the same results.

Lately I started getting noticeably better at 7 balls cascade but I'd attribute it to getting some strength in my arms. That's what made me wonder how much faster I'd learn it if I were stronger to begin with.

RegularJugular - - Parent

From my experience the love of juggling alone is not enough to make me want to exercise, although I do love it when cross-training appears to pay off.

What I'm trying to say is that if you want to learn something beyond juggling, the joy of doing something that may not immediately or obviously pay off for your main aim, should be worth it on it's own merits to you.


Do I work out? I don't think I do enough for it to count, but getting a coherent program is on my to-do list and has been since I started to juggle 10 years ago. However I'm closer than I ever have been to keeping it up now that I am aware of what I stated above. Take from that what you will.


I am not a great juggler who exercises. However many great jugglers do planned exercise and also often do sports of some kind. I strongly suspect there's a link. ;)

JackJuggles - - Parent

I do, but not for juggling reasons. It does NOT help me, althoug I only do up to 6 balls. It probably helps for numbers

7b_wizard - - Parent

Swimming a little or just floating in the river freshes me up a lot .. partly due to cold water, but also by floating relaxing you.   So maybe also take into account effortless (I cling to that - trying on new things only learning to juggle and correcting a lot is hard enough) .. effortless methods of freshening like massages, swimming, sauna, bending, stretching, gymnastics, Tai Chi, loosen up tottering, .. ? ( if that's not old men's stuff :o| .. [should I even hit "post" °Yaaaaarghhh° )

RegularJugular - - Parent

I had a little go at 5 ball wrist weight endurance this morning and got 110 catches. However after trying a similar amount of time on 5 ball cascade (with no wrist weights) I could only get ~140 catches...

My absolute personal best from when I did 5 balls all the time, was over 1400 catches (without wrist weights).

I'm not sure what this demonstrates exactly. But it seems that accuracy is more important that plain strength. A fun experiment though, also my arms feel like they are flying without the weights. I do believe I should use them more often ;)

trebuchet - - Parent

Yeah, they must be flying! Something like picking up a basketball after using a medicine ball.

7b_wizard - - Parent

I don't understand these wrist's weights .. they aren't taking part in what movements the hands have to do, no? They mainly work out your underarms movements, no? Do they maybe like `stabilize´ the hands' position? But make it slower (so that scooping will be faster later without)? .. O.o .. So why choose wrist's weights instead of heavier props?

^Tom_ - - Parent

Heavier props mean more risk of injury as the props are colliding with the hand. Also, juggling involves moving the hands up AND down, and hands are normally moving without props when going down.

So if you want to train your arms to accelerate downwards faster than effective gravity, then weighs will help, but props wont.
But it's mainly the other thing. Heavier props are more likely to give you wrist injury, whereas wrist weights aren't.

Little Paul - - Parent

Heavy props tend to cause wrist problems, especially in those who throw with their wrists rather than their forearms.

So wrist weights are preferred because they're less injury prone

7b_wizard - - Parent

'k .. "down without prop" + "injury-prone" .. that makes sense. thk both!

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. leads me to a 2-heavy-ball-barrage-variation-with-unthrown-"2"-s work-out ;o]p

peterbone - - Parent

As well as causing less injury they are better at training the muscles used in numbers juggling. A heavy ball will do the work of moving your hand down for you whereas wrist weights won't. They therefore train triceps as well as biceps.

7b_wizard -

#poll How much do you juggle?

  1. (almost) not at all .. my interest in juggling is not doing it myself (but to organize, to webmaster, scientific, assisting, encourage, educate, .. ).
  2. rarely / sometimes a bit - max accumulated a few hours per month.
  3. irregularly, e.g. on vacation, weekends. Sometimes a lot, sometimes long time not at all.
  4. a few (2, 3, 4) hours per week accumulated, andor (almost) daily, but clearly less than an hour.
  5. several / many (5, 6, 7) hours a week, andor (almost) daily, and partly, can happen more than an hour.
  6. more than one hour almost daily, andor more than 7 hours a week accumulated.
  7. more than 2 hours (almost) daily, resp. >=15 hours a week. (averaged)
  8. more than 4 hours (almost) daily, resp. >=25 hours per week. (averaged)
  9. more than 7, 8 hours daily including theory, prop- & util-care, pro's stuff. MORE. Round the clock.

thk 4 telling! .. [if your shedule is not represented above, please choose whatever comes near your practice (lately / ever / under condition)]

This is a competition thread which ran from 21st Jun 2015 to 21st Jul 2015. View results.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Let twirling, swinging, unicycling, handstands (=balancing=juggling your own weight), balancing, poiing, prop-flowing, diaboloing, astrojaxxing, .. anything, you wish to call "juggling" be included.

Maria - - Parent

Usually 4-5 times a week, during school weeks scheduled practice 3 days a week (Wednesday 1½ hours, Thursdays 2 hours and Sundays 3 + 1½ hours). Once or twice at home between that, but that's usually just half an hour. During holidays/summer usually shorter sessions (unless I'm at a convention) but still 4-5 times a week.

So somewhere between 5 and 6. I choose number 5... Even if a normal week has 8-9 hours of practice, it's more common that it is less than that it is more. It's also more common that a day has less than 1 hour practice than that it has more (normal weeks have 3 days with more than 1 hour practice and 4 days with less than 1 hour or no practice).

I'm a hobbyist and not aiming to make a living of juggling (I already have a full time job that's not juggling related at all)... It would be fun to perform a little every now and then if I had the skills to entertain an audience, but I don't think I have that and I'd rather spend my the time practicing juggling than practice entertaining.

noslowerdna - - Parent

Most weeks level 5, occasionally spiking up to level 6. This doesn't include intensive events like festivals, of course.

RegularJugular - - Parent

When Ī'm feeling like a juggler, like for the last 7 days I get in about a level 5. I've peaked higher years ago, but didn't see much faster improvements. Up until last week I'd have been at a level 2 for quite some time, so I've been slacking.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

I too have been slacking. 3 - 4 is my current score.

Samsam719 - - Parent

I am just beginning all of this, and I wish I could say that I had time to practice all day everyday. Unfortunately, that is not the case. With my full time job as a mom to my 2 children, my 40hr/wk $$ job, and taking 9 credits in college, I can only squeeze in about an hour a day Sun - Thurs,and probably 7-9 hrs total Fri & Sat. It's not where I'd like to be, but it will do for now.

Buck Rudder - - Parent

8 hours a week since one year.
Time training is my only goal each year and I'm tracking it carefully (using some iphone app each time I juggle)
Now looking for 10 hours in average and probably 15-20 hours a week next year when I'll quit my job.
(juggling balls only)

Marvin - - Parent

This poll has now ended. The results are:

  1.   (almost) not at all .. my interest in juggling is not doing it myself (but to organize, to webmaster, scientific, assisting, encourage, educate, .. ). (3 votes)
  2.   rarely / sometimes a bit - max accumulated a few hours per month. (1 vote)
  3.   irregularly, e.g. on vacation, weekends. Sometimes a lot, sometimes long time not at all. (2 votes)
  4.   a few (2, 3, 4) hours per week accumulated, andor (almost) daily, but clearly less than an hour. (6 votes)
  5.   several / many (5, 6, 7) hours a week, andor (almost) daily, and partly, can happen more than an hour. (9 votes)
  6.   more than one hour almost daily, andor more than 7 hours a week accumulated. (2 votes)
  7.   more than 2 hours (almost) daily, resp. >=15 hours a week. (averaged) (1 vote)
  8.   more than 4 hours (almost) daily, resp. >=25 hours per week. (averaged) (1 vote)
  9.   more than 7, 8 hours daily including theory, prop- & util-care, pro's stuff. MORE. Round the clock. (0 votes)

7b_wizard - - Parent

Thanks again, Marvin, for sorting out the results!
Wow .. so many (25 votes) took part! Thanks!
( That >=4 hours was me .. guess Ethan would be "9.", way more )
Would have predicted 2 to 4 hours per week would be average, but its nice to see more are doing round an hour per day / 5 to 7 per week in average.
Would have liked to find more compassionates doing serious amounts of lifetime, but well .. constantly an hour/day average is pretty `serious´ to pursue.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Btw, 25 participants is already expressable as percentage of all nearly 900 Edge-members .. like every 36.-th member found the poll and voted. Taking into account there's many inactive or didn't find the poll, that's maybe round every twentieth Member, (which, I think, is sort of palpable as a group in a crowd).

Mïark - - Parent

Is that a request for the poll results from Marvin to include the total number of people who voted (and that number as a percentage of people registered on Juggling Edge)?

7b_wizard - - Parent

No no, just meant to visualize the numbers (as a comment on the poll results and the many took part) in relation to `the whole´.

mrawa - - Parent

Hypothetically... if you were to do that, then it'd be interesting show not just the percentage of votes against total people registered, but maybe against users active in last week|month|year. Could also filter with && post_count > 0.

Thinking about it... are these on any of the reports (I've never actually read them)

7b_wizard -

#poll - Do you even  a i m ?

  1. yes .. at highest points or areas (of the trajectories).
  2. yes .. where I want prop to land.
  3. yes .. depending on what's in the air, like throw through the 'tunnel' or to avoid a collision or 'along' the other flying props.
  4. yes .. any of above (unrestricted).
  5. yes .. but  o n l y  when learning sth (any point #1-3) new.
  6. not sure .. maybe subconscious or automated.
  7. not that I know.
  8. other / I'm over that / never thought of "aiming" / .. / wrong question / doesn't apply / ..


thk 4 voting :o)

This is a competition thread which ran from 16th Jun 2015 to 23rd Jun 2015. View results.

7b_wizard - - Parent

[oops .. din' seem to work & din' get option runtime (1 week)]

7b_wizard - - Parent

[ wrong format .. didn't get options when checking "set as competition" .. @ Orinoco: Please delete, thk! (did saved html for evtl retry later) ]

7b_wizard - - Parent

(@ Orinoco) okey .. don't delete then .. everything okey .. it has become a votable thread in own dynamics lol

Orinoco - - Parent

Too late, converted to poll :P & missing poll options fixed after breaking after fixing something else last week...

7b_wizard - - Parent

Wow! Thank you soo much  a n d  plenty of it! :o) .. [thought it was my oldversion + unupdated browser] .. I get the options now.

Little Paul - - Parent

8: I usually find it most helpful to aim for the crossing point

7b_wizard - - Parent

Good point! .. forgot that one.

peterbone - - Parent

I'd put 2 or 6/7. The problem with aiming only relative to other objects in the air (eg crossing point) is that the point you're aiming for changes with error in previous throws, leading to error accumulation and eventual breakdown of the pattern.

7b_wizard - - Parent

yeh .. the pattern handles you drifting & pulling, instead vice versa ..

7b_wizard - - Parent

thats why I myself am rather #1 - aim highest point or area. (thk 4 voting this post lol)

seveirein - - Parent

Umm, my passing partner's face?

7b_wizard - - Parent

Definitely vote #2 then.

7b_wizard - - Parent

last day for this poll - anyone not voted yet? :o]

Marvin - - Parent

This poll has now ended. The results are:

  1.   yes .. at highest points or areas (of the trajectories). (2 votes)
  2.   yes .. where I want prop to land. (1 vote)
  3.   yes .. depending on what's in the air, like throw through the 'tunnel' or to avoid a collision or 'along' the other flying props. (1 vote)
  4.   yes .. any of above (unrestricted). (2 votes)
  5.   yes .. but  o n l y  when learning sth (any point #1-3) new. (0 votes)
  6.   not sure .. maybe subconscious or automated. (1 vote)
  7.   not that I know. (0 votes)
  8.   other / I'm over that / never thought of "aiming" / .. / wrong question / doesn't apply / .. (2 votes)

Chris - - Parent

Options 3 and 8 spill over onto 2 lines, as does the bar. It gives the impression that they are twice as populated as they are.

7b_wizard - - Parent

That's 'cos I made these's option's texts so long.
It counts, how far the results reach to the right.

I was mainly interested in if there's jugglers not aware of any aiming at all. But also how many do aiming how.
I take: 6 voters consciously do aim - but 3 voters seem to not have to bother with or aiming (or the question) doesn't apply for them. Also, jugglers, who do aim do it in different ways. Votes in 4 or 8 ("other") might comprise aiming on crossing points of a pattern (as I forgot to list that option).

thk all 4 voting! Thanks, Marvin for results!

Chris - - Parent

My previous comment was mostly FAO our benign overlord

Orinoco - - Parent

Well spotted, bars now limited to one line.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Maybe this conclusion: aiming is not trivial or obvious.
I do find this result remarkable .. well spread between "yes, like this or that", and (maybe) "not at all", whereas one might think, aiming is trivial or obvious and everyone does it like oneself and or in the same way ..
but it seems to be quite a topic to take into account talking and comparing about in given contexts ..

Little Paul - - Parent

Maybe this conclusion

My conclusion is that 9 responses on a survey with 8 possible answers isn't a large enough sample size to draw any meaningful conclusions from

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. thinking of e.g. 56 in a sequence, collision-bound sequences in general, it is - when e.g. teaching or learning - helpful to know, that others might aim or throw in a different way .. thus how to avoid the 6 to hit the 5 would be a question of throwing either more from the middle, but also makng sure, you know where you're throwing (at), .. is sort of what i meant.

RegularJugular - - Parent

Thanks for making me think about this: It helped me. I found that like LP I typically look at the crossing point, apart from the first throw.

The first throw I look where I want it to go and then all the rest are then aimed by crossing point. Although this gets a bit weird for fountain throws but essentially still applies.

Thx :)

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