Medicine balls are a fantastic dynamic training tool that can be used in nearly every style of workout. Whether you’re a true beginner or a weathered gym rat, then more than likely medicine balls can find a way into your program somewhere. For beginners, medicine balls are awesome tools for developing movement mechanics, while advanced athletes can use them to develop power and improve conditioning.
There are multiple ways you can use medicine balls in workouts, and like their diverse uses, there are multiple types of medicine balls on the market. For example, there are firmer medicine balls that have a ton of bounce and are great for slams, then there are softer medicine balls that are useful for conditioning workouts and things like wall balls. In this round-up, we broke down our favorite medicine balls into multiple categories to help you make the best pick for your investment.
Best Medicine Balls
j/fit Soft Wall Ball
The j/fit Soft Wall Ball has a triple stitched outer construction to promote long-term durability from throws, slams, and other exercises. Additionally, the inside material is designed to be balanced and promote this ball’s overall shape and structure, even with prolonged use.
j/fit Soft Wall Ball Pros
- Durable triple stitched outer construction.
- Great balance between firm and soft inner construction for multiple acitivities.
- Internal structure maintains shape and form with prolonged use.
j/fit Soft Wall Ball Cons
- Not ideal for slams.
- May lose structure over multiple years of slams and throws.
The j/fit Soft Wall Ball is a fantastic option for the fitness enthusiast that wants to perform diverse workouts at home.
Best for Bouncing
AmazonBasics Medicine Ball
The AmazonBasics Medicine Ball could be considered the “gold standard” of medicine balls. This ball has a firm textured outer construction to promote long-term durability and firm seams to prevent preamature breakdown. The rubber material makes this medicine ball a great option for fitness enthusiasts that love to do medicine ball slams.
AmazonBasics Medicine Ball Pros
- Textured outer construction promotes grip, even when sweaty.
- Firm outer construction promotes long-term durability.
- Great for slams and other impact-focused exercises.
AmazonBasics Medicine Ball Cons
- Not the best for wall balls.
- May be a little too hard for apartments and small living spaces.
The AmazonBasics Medicine Ball is the perfect option for the fitness enthusiast that loves performing medicine ball slams.
Best for Slams
TRX Training Slam Ball
The TRX Training Slam Ball is an awesome option for durability and performance. This ball can be slammed multiple times without fear of breakdown or rupturing. On top of the strong construction, TRX offers a one year warranty on this slam ball to back their promise.
TRX Training Slam Ball Pros
- Firm outer rubber construction for long-term durability.
- Textured outer for grip support and promotion.
- One year warranty for premature breakdown.
TRX Training Slam Ball Cons
- Not ideal for wall balls and bounce-focused exercises.
The TRX Training Slam Ball is a great option for anyone that loves making slams the focal point of their workout and conditioning work.
Best for Beginners
Champion Sports Medicine Ball
The Champion Sports Medicine Ball is a great option for beginners for three distinct reasons. First, it has a synthetic outer construction that is soft, but also promotes grip. Second, it’s a great in-between of firm and soft, so it can slammed, threw, and used for a variety of movements. Third, the outer construction is durable and will last a fair amount of time.
Champion Sports Medicine Ball Pros
- Synthetic outer construction supports and promotes grip.
- Firm, yet soft construction is great for bouncing and slamming.
- Durable stitching and seams to promote longevity of ball.
Champion Sports Medicine Ball Cons
- Outer gets a little slippery when very sweaty.
- May lose structure over years of slamming and throwing.
The Champion Sports Medicine Ball offers a soft outer construction with intermediate bounce, which makes it a great option for beginners that need variation.
Best Mini Ball
A2ZCARE Toning Ball
The A2ZCARE Toning Ball is a great “mini” medicine ball option for the casual fitness enthusiast. This medicine ball isn’t intended to be slammed, but used as an additional level of resistance for loading various movements. If you’re a beginner or live in a tight space, then this ball is a great option for you.
A2ZCARE Toning Ball Pros
- Durable outer constructed made with PVC shell.
- Good option for beginners and apartment dwelling individuals.
- 6-month warranty.
A2ZCARE Toning Ball Cons
- Miniature and not ideal for slams and throws.
- Not the heaviest for advanced athletes.
The A2ZCARE Toning Ball is a good beginner-friendly option that comes at a smaller size compared to standard medicine balls.
How We Picked
Going with the rationale that every medicine ball isn’t created equally, we selected our top picks with two main criteria in mind. First, we assessed the overall construction and build of the ball. Second, we looked at the ball’s best uses and how one can excel with the implement in their gym.
A quality medicine ball can be a huge deal for commercial and home gyms. Why? Well, if you buy a poor quality medicine ball and it breaks open and the insides spew all over the floor, then that is going to be a huge mess to clean up.
Quality medicine balls that should stand the test of time all have three major construction traits in common including:
- Solid outer construction.
- Durable seams and plugs.
- Firm interior build.
Strong outer construction is a must for athletes that want to slam their medicine balls and throw them for power-based activities. On top of the outer construction itself, durable seams are useful for preventing premature breakdown and material leakage from the inside.
A firm interior is great for ensuring medicine balls maintain their overall structure when being used in multiple activities. After all, lopsided medicine ball is not exactly ideal for supporting performance.
On top of a medicine ball’s construction, we also consider how it can be used to the best of its abilities. Medicine balls can be filled with sand, air, or other materials designed to decrease impact. All three of these factors will warrant the medicine ball’s performance to be different across the board.
- Sand Filled Medicine Balls: Great for no bounce slams, static and dynamic lifting, and carrying.
- Air Filled Medicine Balls: Great for slams and power-based activities such as overhead throws.
- Soft Medicine Balls: Great for wall balls, carrying, dynamic workouts, and overhead throwing.
When it comes to best uses, none of the above medicine balls top their counterparts when it comes to what’s best overall. The best way to consider these characteristics are to scale them to your activities. If you consider what type of workouts you perform the most, then you can make an educated decision accordingly.
Q: I’m new to medicine ball training, is one ball better for me than another?
BarBend: There really isn’t an “ideal” ball for beginners, as every medicine ball can benefit a beginner. However, softer medicine balls can be useful for beginners due to their multi-functionality.
Q: I work out in my home, should I get one medicine ball over another?
BarBend: Yes, we’d say go with a sand-based or soft medicine ball. These balls can help limit impact if dropped, so you won’t have to worry too much about damaging floors. Although, if you go sand, be mindful of potential leaks that could cause a mess!
Q: What weight medicine ball is best?
BarBend: That depends fully on how you intend to use the medicine ball and on your overall fitness/strength levels. Generally, 8-12 lb medicine balls will be the most used by beginners, intermediate, and advanced athletes alike. If you only want one ball and want to use it for multiple activities, then those weight can be great starting points.
Medicine balls are one of the best dynamic training tools you can use to increase your overall fitness. Medicine balls are great for conditioning and training strength and power. Not every medicine ball is created equal, so take your time to do the research needed to make your best educated investment.