Idling and juggling

I know that this topic has been hashed and rehashed, but here it goes again.

I’ve been working on idling and juggling for some time now and have had only marginal success. My personal best is about 34 catches while idling. I can ride and juggle without too much difficulty. My juggling is not the problem; I am fairly confident that it is the idling that is.

When I idle I do so only with my left (dominant) foot in the down position. I am consistently tending to lean to the left which quickly becomes the undoing of my idle/juggle combo. I have tried to deliberately lean to the right a bit, but without too much success. The idle ends up feeling forced.

I have tried various methods of idling while trying to juggle including lifting myself slightly off the seat, keeping all l my weight on the seat, and leaning forwards slightly. I am now finding, much to my surprise, that actually leaning slightly backwards seems to improve the length of my runs. I have found overall that trying to keep the juggling pattern on the wide side helps. (I’m taking here about juggling with clubs, by the way). I am also finding the my left leg gets tired rather quickly whether the idling is done with or without juggling.

Advice, suggestions?

Many thanks,
Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

I recently learned how to Idle well, but I haven’t got my clubs out to try, I can do about 20 catches whilst riding, another question too, is it better to learn to idle 1 foot, before riding 1 foot?!? I have been working at riding one foot for a couple weeks with absolutely no sucess, my friend Jonny D learned to ride one foot in about a week and is now perfecting in on his other foot, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. Thanks alot!!

Idling and juggling

Get your butt in the seat as often as possible! Seriously, it took me all winter to learn to idle and idling while juggling is tough. Since it is summer, why not get out and do some distance or some trails and put off your major idling practice for after dark or rainy days. I also recommend riding mountain bikes because they improve yer general fitness level so much.
If ya have got a basketball try dribbling it whilst idling, juggling on a uni is such a classic trick, so don’t give up or get discouraged.

For idling you could try practicing going from having your crank horizontal in front to horizontal behind, do this slow, straight and with purpose. This is what I practiced to start one foot riding from idling (forwards and backwards) and it really helped with my balance. Don’t forget to keep your weight on the saddle.


not a juggler, and not likely to be, but I am in the process of learning to one-foot ride…

I would go one step further than saying “keep your weight on the seat”, and say specifically “sit all the way on the seat, like you would a chair” and also to pedal entirely from the hip. No ankle, no knee… keep the rest of your leg “free” and pedal entirely with your glutes and hip flexors. I was amazed at how much difference that made in smoothness with my one-footing, as well as my normal riding.

Maybe that’s something everyone else just Knows, but it didn’t really sink in until the other day, and I’ve been uni-ing for several months now.

hope it helps,
John M

since i cant do it myself, i cant offer any advice
only encouragement
have u tried other juggling props?
personally i prefer clubs and as i mentioned on another thread, this is mainly because the rythm of one idle one throw seems easier to achieve with clubs
enjoy the practise!

My advice would be to learn to idle with your right foot down so that you can learn balance on both sides of the seat. Once you have idling down with both feet, it should become easier to balnce whilst juggling. ALthough i haven’t done much juggling on a uni, I’m sure this will help.


jeff lutkus was telling me and a couple of other people some tips for juggling while idling, the one thing that i remember really well is to practice idling in a really straight line, barely any wobbles side to side–his practice of this consisted of idling on stairs which was quite impressive. he said he started on wide stairs, and now he can go on much thinner stairs, you could also use a line on the ground(try not to use the yellow lines in the middle of the road tho)

After going home and putting my own BUTT in the seat I realized that while juggling on the uni I was looking through the pattern at a fixed reference point on my porch. If I let my vision wander I fell off or dropped my clubs. Ooooh.
I share the opinion of a previous responder, learn to idle left and right footed.

Re: Idling and juggling

Resurrecting this here thread:

I have started to work on idling with my right foot down and it is a struggle. Lot’s more work to do in this area.

Aside: putting my car in the driveway and using the garage as a practice space on a rainy day. What a boon!

In the area of juggling and idling I have started to work on letting my right foot (the up foot) have more of a role in controlling the idle. Seems to help a bit.

One problem that persists is that my left leg gets very tired, very quickly when idling; it’s still working too hard and I’m not sure why.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

my idling and juggling is coming along nicely, and passing is getting better too,
but much of this is because my idling is realy comfortable, when i’m juggling too i don’t even think about what my feet are doing,

i think that in order to do this properly your idling has to be automatic.

however my juggling is pretty bad, so i think that is my current obstacle.

so maybe if your juggling is realy automatic, then you’ll be o.k. too.

one of the people i practice with comented that my juggling is better when i’m on the unicycle.

however when you start throwing doubles it gets a bit weird because you look up.

i haven’t counted my throws yet but i suspect its little diferent from when i’m standing on the floor.

perhaps practicing standstills would be helpfull, i’ve noticed that when i’m juggling on my unicycle i rock forward then stop untill i start to fall, then i rock back and stop untill i start to fall,
kind of like the bunnyhopping technique that i use when doing trials

While I do very little juggling while riding I have noticed that idling is something you can get out of practice in… I very rarely idle any more; stillstanding and small corrective hops I find easier, take up less space and allow more room to manoeuvre. My idle is now really rather wobbly; the only time I really use it is when riding the giraffe.

Phil, just me

More from carjug. Push the envelope a little more and start learning backward riding. Start by going back half a turn into an odd-footed idle, then do it again and again and again. After a while you will be able to idle 1/2 turns solidly. You will get good and juggling while idling will get much easier. Be patient with yourself and keep it fun, this is about as hard as five balls, but is the classic when solid. Then try clubs,heh-heh…We’re rootin’ for you. carjug

Re: Idling and juggling

I too can only idle for about 2 to 3 minutes before my down foot gets too tired. I still hope that more practice will allow me longer runs… .


i recently started practising idling/juggling again and find it much easier on the giraffe (surprise? i didn’t think so)
it does however seem to translate to the shorter uni
i’m averaging around nine throws at the moment
c’mon jjuggle, i’ll race u to 100 throws!

a bit of advice, use radical fish, they are simply the best

Re: Re: Idling and juggling

There has been so much good-looking advice in this thread, I’d almost hate to sully it with my observations.

My iddle developed from a roll back, and requires alot of top foot for controll. I think this is a mistake, and has hampered by ability to develope a one foot idle. Eventualy, you will want to be able to juggle one footed with the off foot sticking out front so that you can pass under the leg, and becoming dependant on the top foot isn’t going to get you there. So, for what it’s worth, it seems to me that working on streangthening your one foot idle is the way to go.

Maybe you could post video of juggling on your giraffe so that those so skilled could comment on your form?


I will take you up on that, Dave. I’ve been averaging closer to 15 at the moment, so I may have a slight advantage. And, by the way, the breathing advice you gave a while back on giraffe freemounting helped a bit, too. Thanks.

As for radical fish, I have recently destroyed my Dube Europeans and am swearing off composite clubs of any type. At $30+ a pop, I can’t afford them. I’m going with Airflites only at $13 each and my hands be damned.

Sadly, Chris, I lack the technology for this. I hope, among other things, to be able to post videos some day.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

If your leg is getting tired, this means you’re probably not sitting down. It is normal to use too much energy when learning new skills, but for that reason it’s important to always strive to relax while you’re doing it.

Sounds like your juggling is okay, so you need to work on the idle. The key is to be able to idle without needing your upper body to help. I encourage you to keep on working on both sides (not just your left), and try it without using your arms. Practice with your arms crossed tightly across your chest, or alternatively with your hands stuck in your back pockets. The idea is to not use the upper body and do you whole idle from the waist down.

Work that idle, and the juggling will follow.

Stay on top,

This is, I’m sure, sound advice. A general observation, probaby not unique to me, is that I’m willing to spend endless hours working on particular juggling tricks without tiring of the effort or becoming overly frustrated. And I’m willing to ride my unicycling relatively far distances without getting bored or succumbing to weariness.

However the physical exertion of trying to perfect idling has caused me to stick with it only for a few minutes at a time after which I’m sweating profusely and sore in the left leg and I just up and stop. And this, I believe, is hampering my progress.

Seems like the key is getting past the point where excess energy is being used; it sure takes a lot out of me now.

Puff, puff, pant, pant…wheeeeeezzzzzz…

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ