Sometimes people ask my my opinion on juggling with heavier balls for strength training. I personally don’t recommend juggling with weighted balls, which is why JuggleFit does not offer them in its product line.
I’m sure many of you have noticed that your arm muscles get pretty tired after juggling with JuggleFit balls or other balls that weigh from 5 to 7 ounces. This is okay as long as you stop when you are tired and don’t overdo it. Just like with anything, moderation is key.
With juggling, you want to keep going and increase your endurance; it is a cardio activity that can be carried out continuously over a period of time, just like walking, running, and biking. Juggling with weighted balls would be like doing biceps curls continuously, just pumping the weights up and down. Endurance training such as this is not generally recommended for biceps curls or any strength training exercise. In fact, experts in the medical field do not recommend walking with ankle or wrist weights for the same reason.
You could certainly use the weighted balls to do biceps curls or other similar exercises, and stop after so many reps. They would be a replacement for weights. This is just like the upper body toner exercises in the Juggle Your Way to Fitness Beginner Level DVD, which are actually done with regular juggling balls. It’s amazing what a workout you can get without weights, just by focusing on contracting and isolating specific muscles.
So be careful next time someone suggests that juggling weights (or bowling balls!) would be a great workout. Listen to your body, and feel how it responds to juggling with balls of normal weight. That is plenty of work for your joints, muscles and tendons. Juggling is great for cardio, general toning, developing coordination and balance, and brain exercise. To build muscle, add strength training into your routine either in between juggling or as a separate activity.