Best Medicine Balls

Medicine ball buyers guide

A medicine ball is a fun and effective workout tool for burning calories, losing weight, strengthening your muscles, rehabilitation and much more, all from the comfort of your own home.

Medicine balls have a range of different uses, from adding resistance to your normal exercise routine, slamming them against the floor and throwing them against the wall. They offer a similar calorie burn to using other types of light to medium weights during your workout.

Whatever you choose to use it for, there are medicine balls to cater for all user needs. They are compact and budget friendly, making them suitable for any home gym.

With so many medicine balls available to buy online, it can seem confusing when trying to make a choice. That’s why we have compiled this handy guide to help you identify the best medicine balls so that you can make an informed decision.

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What are the best medicine balls?

Here we will take a look at our best medicine balls from the hundreds of medicine ball reviews that we have researched and analysed in great detail.

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What are medicine balls?

Medicine balls have become the go-to for many trainers, therapists, athletes, body-builders, and gym-goers. They’re great because they supply the weight and density needed to build muscle and get toned. However, they can also be used for stability and core exercises, plyometrics, and increasing agility and stamina.

A medicine ball (also known as an exercise ball, a med ball, or a fitness ball) is a weighted ball roughly the diameter of the shoulders (approx. 13.7 inches), often used for rehabilitation and strength training.

It can come in small sizes (like a softball) or larger ones, resembling a volleyball or beach ball. The shell can be made from many materials, including nylon, vinyl, leather, dense rubber, or polyurethane, and the insides are often stuffed with sand, gel, or just inflated with air.

They got the name “medicine ball” in reference to the fact that using the ball “invigorates the body, promotes digestion, and restores and preserves one’s health”.

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What are the types of medicine balls?

The 3 main types of exercise balls you will come across are slam balls, wall balls and medicine balls. Slam and wall balls have become popular since the rise in functional group training classes while medicine balls are a classic type of training equipment which can be used at all levels of fitness.

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Slam balls

A slam ball is usually filled with gel or sand as it is designed to absorb impact. No matter how hard you throw it to the ground it shouldn’t bounce or roll away. Depending on which exercises you do, a slam ball can work your shoulders, triceps, pecs, calves, back and core (especially your abdominals). It is a highly useful and versatile workout tool that provides resistance while performing dynamic movements.

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Rubber/grip medicine balls

Rubber/grip med balls can be used to add resistance to your exercises in order to make them harder. With frequent use, you can strengthen your muscles and core, whilst trimming stubborn body fat.

They may not be as good at absorbing shock but are better for movements that require the ball to move along the ground, including medicine ball press-ups and medicine ball roll-outs.

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Medicine balls with handles

These medicine balls have thick ergonomic handles to reduce stress and strain on the hands, while also allowing for a wide variety of exercises. Using a ball with handles gives you a great deal more control when conducting exercises that require agility or increasing the speed at which you perform the movement.

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What are the benefits of medicine balls?

The main benefit of medicine balls is that they allow you to add resistance to your exercises. Whether you are doing cardio or strength training, the extra resistance helps to build muscle and encourages fat burning. They offer a great way to increase your metabolism and help you lose weight faster.

There are some studies which have shown that medicine ball training can actually be a more effective form of exercise than conventional strength training when it comes to boosting throwing and swinging performance. Not only that, it helps boost the amount of power that you can generate when it comes to lifting weights.

Medicine balls are also relatively inexpensive, very compact and available in a range of different sizes. This makes them suitable for users of all levels and from all backgrounds.

Key features include:

  • They come in small 1-lb increments, giving you plenty of choice for different exercises
  • They can be used for a large variety of exercise and movements: Seated, standing, lying down, static movements and dynamic movements
  • They don’t damage floors if you drop them as dumbbells might
  • They can be fun to throw back and forth
  • They allow you to work on action and power, without causing stress your joints at the end of the movement as the ball is released
  • The risk of injury is low
  • Improve muscle mass, power, strength, and speed
  • Increase heart rate and burn more calories
  • Enhance overall balance, coordination between hands & eyes
  • Release endorphins and boost your mental health
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How to choose the best medicine ball for you

If you are confused because there are so many options to choose from, we have included this useful guide where we explain the key differences to consider when looking for the best medicine balls for your needs.

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You will want to make sure that the medicine ball size is suitable according to your strength level and the variety of exercises that you want to perform. Consider if it will be suitable should you branch out into other workout routines in the future.

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The average medicine ball weight is around 2 to 10 lbs, although it can be nice to have extra options. Some exercises require more weight than others so check to ensure the medicine balls you are considering come in suitable increments. Like a stability ball, using a medicine ball does require a lot of work from your abs and back, so you will want to choose a weight you can handle.

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Check to see what the quality of the materials used in manufacturing the medicine ball are. The shell can be made from many materials, including nylon, vinyl, leather, dense rubber, or polyurethane, and the insides are often stuffed with sand, gel, or just inflated with air.

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You can find the best medicine ball in the world, but that’s no good if you cannot afford it! You can save yourself time by narrowing down your search according to your budget range.

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Training with a medicine ball can be an excellent way to get an aerobic/anaerobic workout and strength training workout in one!

Just like kettlebells, they have a wide variety of uses and come in different sizes to cater to all fitness levels.

Whatever medicine ball you opt for, it will be a great addition to your home gym, all in one small compact package and for price tag that’ll be easy on your pockets.

Happy training! 

Rich is an avid bodybuilder who has dedicated over 20 years of his life to the sport. He has a strong passion for health and fitness, living a clean lifestyle with a commitment to helping others educate themselves and fulfil their true potential.

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