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Forums > Social Chat > Contact Juggling: Good for poi and staff?

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the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I have been practicing (very limtedly) contact juggling off and on for the past few months with whatever I could get my hands on, mostly hacky sacks and stress balls.

Last week, I bought acrylic balls from Renegade Juggling (reasonable prices, quality product and damn fast delivery, I might add) and have been playing with them for three days now (even though I bought them for something else entirely!). I like this because it is very portable and it can be done while watching tv or whatever. I find it to be really relaxing and far less physically demanding than trying those new moves/combos with the swinging tools, which is not always timely to do. Anyway, I digress.
So in attempting the three balls in the palm motion (which I am proud to say I got, as well as the two ball flip and the over the finger tip pass, roll down the arm!) I noticed that my wrists and forearms were getting an amazing workout, even though I wasn't technically moving them. The slight finger motion was enough to work those muscles all the way up to my elbow. Anyway, I also noticed that when I picked up my staff and poi after doing the contact juggling, that things were a bit more fluid because my wrist were really warmed up. Also when I accidentally latched the staff behind my leg and in twisted my wrist, my wrist didn't sting from it as usual.

I am trying to encourage PWB to give the passing motions at least a try. If in 3 days I can notice a difference then I thought perhaps it might be a good conditioning exercise for those with Repetitive Motion Injuries like he has, or just for spinning warm-ups. With as many as there are on here who have stressful jobs and such I thought this might be a nice little stress break thing that it a bit more portable for work until you can get to your spinning tool of choice!

One word of warning though: don't drop the acrylic balls on your toes, it hurts and don't leave them in the sunlight as they act like a magnifying glass and burn. I have little red marks to prove it! (oops! )

Just thought I would share!

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:i have also discoverd that it is relaxing and good for non-spinning situations.... still not good for all situations, but better...

however, neone haev any hints for me just getting started with contact stuff?

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....


Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5687
is a good place to start. Loads of moves with videos and instructions although I find the videos are very slow to load. For a good display download "Shifty's" competition video.

The best advice I've ever been given (By Glass as a matter of fact) is to just sit infront of a mirror with your ball(s) and just play around with them.
Practice the isolation stuff first (keeping the ball still whilst you move around it) and then various movements of the ball before trying all the various butterflys and passes.
I'd say if you are learning one ball stuff, get the largest ball you can hold comfortably (and afford...) but for 2+ balls you'll need to go smaller. This is pretty much common sense though

As for wrist strength and dexterity I totally agree with Pele. I use my wrists a hell of a lot (Stop giggling at the back there!) for drumming, poi and contact and they all seem to benefit each other. I also bought one of those Powerball wrist strengtheners off C@ntus a while back and that really helps with stamina and strength.

One great bit of advice I picked up off the above site was something along the lines of "Don't show off to early". i.e. If you get the isolation palm spin and a couple of nice looking moves down (but not perfected) don't rush to your friends and show them. It's much more dazzeling to go up to them one day with a huge array of neatly polished moves where you're comfortable with the ball(s).

And don't practice on cement.

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

Location: uk, devon
Member Since: 15th Apr 2002
Total posts: 69
Posted:yeh ive been trying to learn contact juggling recently. takes ages! loads of practice and ive just got the butterfly. only got them last week though so got a long way to go. got to start somewhere though!
definilty something relaxing to do in front of the tv. v addictive as well!


The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:contact juggling good. ball or staff

I just chipped my nearly virgin and well loved 4" acrylic

ah well its only a ball ,
these material things that we have, we don't own them, we only get to borrow them for a while.

Turns out that everything Durbs said was true. duh, daft me.
other tips:
practicing contact on grass is better
All the great gods of contact juggling go mad eventually, so you got something to look forward to.
Dont drop of toes, hell also (from experience, mie and friends) don't drop on ankles, glass tables, puppies, laptop screens or in the road to be run over by 6 cars and a bus.
watch out for durbs he learns real fast, and is getting much too smooth.

On the bright side I learnt a great new move, really easy really flowy and dancy.mmm

Its only a ball ,
Big smiles


Location: Florida
Member Since: 20th May 2002
Total posts: 1463
Posted:Hello all,

Well I have to agree with glass, all contact juggling gods as i call them do go mad eventually...

Yeah so on the subject at hand... I found that anything I learn on anything I do (doing... poi, staff, 1-2-3-and 4 ball contact, and 3 ball juggling) will help me...

Contact helped me so much in hand control on poi and staff... Juggling helped my cordination sooooo much.

I find the more types of toys u try the more willing u are to experiment with the ones u have and love!!!

Anyway, theres my two bits... I'm off to roll more
Glass, when u spinning next?? U go to just jugglers or something like that???

All my love ppl, take care, Drome