Tag Archives: tennis balls

Heavy ball juggling and joggling

IMG_1266If you want to make juggling or joggling even more challenging(assuming you’re a proficient juggler), you can add a strength training element to it by juggling heavy balls. This can help build stamina even better than if you are using lighter juggling balls or bean bags, to prepare you for joggling marathons or if you want to build strength to juggle for hours on end. It is one of the best ways to target the muscles used for juggling.

In the above photo, the 3 red balls I am joggling with are 2.25 lb(1.02 kg) ExerBalls by Dube(they come in different weights and these are the heaviest). This may not seem like much, but after several minutes of juggling these babies while standing still you will feel exhausted, unless you’re a bodybuilder. If I try to joggle with them, I can’t go for more than a few minutes with these. Very tiring, but what a rush! You really can get a nice high from joggling with these heavy balls. It’s cardio, strength-training, and coordination training all in one!

They probably help build explosiveness; think of it sort of like juggling mini medicine balls. They are made of rubber and stuffed with lead or steel balls to add weight to them. They are kind of pricey, a set of 3 going for $60. I got mine as a gift(not from the company).

You can always try making your own from tennis balls like I have, though they are much lighter. The juggling balls I am joggling with in the photo below are tennis balls stuffed with pennies. Just cut a small slit on the side with a knife to push the pennies in, put glue or epoxy over the slit, let it dry, and then cover liberally with duct tape. These weigh about 1 lb(0.45 kg) each. I made these 2.5 years ago and have had no problems with them.

IMG_1269They are not as challenging to juggle as the heavier Exerballs, but they can still help build endurance in your arms. Since they are 1 lb each, I can joggle with these for miles and miles, but I have to be careful no one is around since if these hit someone they can hurt(the Exerballs are even more dangerous in this regard). On days when I don’t joggle, I juggle these homemade juggling balls as an upper body cardio exercise, since juggling with regular, light-weight balls isn’t much of a cardio exercise to me. So they are helpful cross-trainers, good for maintaining aerobic fitness on days I don’t run or joggle. Either of these balls are good for quick warm-up exercises before joggling with regular balls, though I usually prefer the lighter, penny-stuffed balls for warm ups.

Joggling with either of these types of heavy balls is one of the ultimate calorie-burning exercises(especially if you are running up a hill), so it’s good to try this out if you are trying to lose weight.

Just make sure you are proficient in juggling lighter balls before trying either of these. You don’t want to drop them on your feet, trust me.

heavyballs

Which juggling balls are best?

I am often asked which juggling balls are best. I will review various types of balls to answer as thoroughly as possible:

1) MMX balls – Rubber balls filled with birdseed and closed with a small plug. Comes in 3 sizes. These are like a compromise between rubber balls and beanbags, and are very popular with jugglers. While not my favorite, these are generally good to juggle with and have virtually no bounce. A few times while juggling with them, the plug almost came out of one of the balls. Luckily, pushing the plug back in deeper than before has resolved this. Very durable and pretty squeezable.

2) Sil-X balls – Rubber balls injected with liquid silicon, and has a plug similar to the MMX balls. Popular with many jugglers, these are fine but sometimes feel a bit awkward in my hands. They seem to have a little bit of bounce to them. They wobble a little bit. Durable, and my preferred joggling ball when weather conditions are very wet. The plugs on these things has never come lose. Mine have taken a real beating while joggling outside and seem very durable. They are moderately squeezable.

3) Beanbags – By far the best. This is what I joggle with the most. Often made from leather or imitation leather, sewn together and stuffed with birdseed. They have no bounce and feel perfect in my hands and their weight is just right. Unfortunately, not as durable as the other types of balls and not good to joggle with in wet weather. Very squeezable.

4) Lacrosse balls – Used by some jugglers and jogglers, they have a lot of bounce and are slightly heavy. I don’t recommend them for juggling or joggling. Due to their bounciness some bounce jugglers will use them as cheaper alternatives to more expensive silicon balls. Not squeezable.

5) Hockey balls – Too light to be used for juggling or joggling. Made from very firm plastic and not squeezable at all.

6) Tennis balls – Though they are the right size for most adults, they are too light and bouncy for most forms of juggling. However, you can make a slit in one and stuff it with pennies or birdseed to add some weight to it. ┬áDoing this to tennis balls can make them excellent for juggling.(To the right is a photo of a tennis ball stuffed with pennies and covered in duct tape. It weights about 1 lb and is used to help build arm endurance during indoor juggling exercise rather that outside joggling).

I have no connection to any of the manufacturers or sellers of these balls. I didn’t receive any of them for free, I paid for them with my own money.