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Yoyo Articles, by The Yoyologist Crew members
South African Yo-yo Players

Thoughts on Movement

Yo-yo players tend to play rooted to the spot, we only really use our hands when we play, so why move about? Standing in one spot and throwing yo-yo for hours does have its drawbacks though. Sore, aching legs, creaky knees, stiff back... sound familiar?

I yo-yo a lot and found that my body would be quite sore after a day's practise. To counter this, I started adding little movements to my playing to keep my circulation going. I did karate for many years, and while I don't try to do a karate/kung-fu/ninja yo-yo performance, it has given me the skills I need to be able to shift my body weight around effortlessly.

I started off small, whenever I landed a Green Triangle I'd lean on my left leg. Then I added a few more "small moves". Throw a Trapeze and lean on right leg, pop around into a Reverse Trapeze and shift weight onto left leg, etc. I started adding even more moves and soon discovered two things:

  1. My playing was drastically changing
  2. My body wasn't getting stiff anymore

Think of the tricks you know - try and find as many ways as possible to land the tricks you know. Start small. How many different ways can you land a Trapeze, and what visual impact does it give off? Practising like this will really open up your playing. I can do a yoyo routine that looks hard, violent and thrashing, or I can do a soft, smooth and fluid routine using EXACTLY the same tricks.

This adds a very strong visual impact to your throwing. I've seen loads of yoyo players who actually look really bored when they play yoyo. It's not that they are bored, it's just that they stand there not moving an inch, staring at their hands. I'm not saying we should jump up and down when we play yoyo, but moving just a teeny tiny bit really does add to your playing, keeps your circulation going and makes it look like you actually enjoy playing yoyo. So loosen up and move a little bit, not only will your yo-yoing become visual poetry, but it will save your back, feet, knees, legs and shoulders a heck of a lot of physical stress.

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