Warming Up With Juggling For Hand-Eye Coordination

Juggling For Athleties

Earlier this week, I posted a short video to Instagram where I demonstrated a warm-up that combined juggling with bodyweight squats. After posting the video, I received a variety of questions about the exercise. Based on the volume of inquiries, I will use this entry to quickly summarize what I consider to be an effective addition to my warm-up.

Hand-Eye Coordination

As a boxing trainer and youth baseball coach, I am a huge proponent of anything that enhances hand-eye coordination. I am always looking for new ways to challenge my athletes. With that in mind, I recently decided to try juggling while performing bodyweight squats. I was joking around when I first combined the two activities, but quickly realized that the combination was actually quite useful.

Before I elaborate on why, you will find a quick demonstration below.

As you can see, I worked with a basic three ball cascade while performing a series of bodyweight squats. Adding the squat to the juggling sequence really forced me to concentrate. The image at the top of the entry highlights this point. In the picture, one hand is up and one hand is down while I squat and track the third ball. In other words, there is a lot going on with many moving parts.

Adding this sequence to my warm-up forced my brain to be alert. The simple addition of the squat changed everything. This was particularly true as fatigue began to develop throughout my legs. I had to concentrate more and more as my legs continued to work.

I typically find the opposite to be true when juggling without squatting. If I am only juggling, I can get away with concentrating less once I get into a groove. I couldn’t find the same groove while squatting as I was forced to concentrate in an entirely different way.

It was only my first time juggling while squatting, but I found that each warm-up round forced me to be more and more alert. I didn’t pay attention to time or reps, but simply worked through a few songs on a CD. By the time I was done, I had broken a nice sweat and my mind was highly engaged. I had a great conditioning workout afterward.

In summary, it is always useful to be challenged in new or different ways. The combination of juggling and squatting can be performed anywhere without elaborate equipment. Don’t let the low-tech nature fool you however. Hand-eye coordination can be challenged in countless ways without ever spending a dollar.

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“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” – Seneca

2 comments:

  1. Try a hacky sack! I’m no good at it, so I have to walk all around the room bending down and picking it up over and over. Surprisingly effective and fun dynamic warm-up.

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