6 Best Medicine Ball Reviews: Top-Rated Brands & Ideal Weight Selection For Slams
If you are new to using a medicine ball in your strength workout, you might be wondering how this simple piece of equipment can enhance your exercises.
And you’re not alone.
The first time I used a medicine ball, I had no idea how many different exercises can be performed nor all the different types of medicine balls available.
In this medicine ball review, we will take a closer look at this versatile piece of equipment and the types of medicine balls you can buy, including ones suitable for slamming and as wall balls.
- The 6 Best Medicine Balls Reviewed
- What is a Medicine Ball?
- What is the Best Material?
- Which is the Right Medicine Ball for Me?
The 6 Best Medicine Balls Reviewed
1. AmazonBasics Medicine Ball
Our Verdict: Best Overall
Since Amazon offers a range of products designed for workouts, we thought why not take a look at their own medicine balls.
And they didn’t disappoint with this product, which is why is it the best overall medicine ball.
Amazon’s own brand, AmazonBasics, currently offer a range of weights for their medicine balls. The weights go from 4 lbs to 20lbs, with 10 different options to choose from.
If you are buying for home use, start with a weight you are comfortable with and consider purchasing more weight options to build strength over time. If you are buying for a gym, these medicine balls are a great choice as each weight comes in a different colour, making it super easy to distinguish between them.
Whereas medicine balls were once made from leather and cloth, which needs to be stitched together and is likely to split, Amazon have chosen to go with the increasingly popular option of rubber for their medicine ball material.
The rubber is durable and provides a decent bounce, making this one of the best medicine balls for wall exercises. However, it is not designed to be a slam ball and can break with excessive pressure on concrete surfaces.
Despite not being a slam ball, this medicine ball is great for a range of exercises including squats, lunges and chest presses.
It also has a comfortable textured grip with makes it easy to hold on to during core exercises like Russian twists, even when you are working up a sweat.
By adding this weight to your usual workout, you’re sure to get a little hot and sweaty. Luckily, the material makes this medicine ball easy to clean. The only downside is that some customers have found the ball can have a strong chemical smell when it is new.
Use it with a partner or against a wall to perform throw exercises and improve your core strength, endurance and coordination.
2. Rogue Medicine Ball
Our Verdict: Best for Intense Training
For anyone looking for a higher weight range and a super sturdy option, the Rogue Medicine Ball is the best for intense exercises and durability.
With 11 different weights to choose from, the ranges of this medicine ball go from 4 lbs to 30 lbs. Depending on the weight, the price can differ and this medicine ball is generally a more expensive option but very high quality.
Each ball is the same size meaning you can perfect your exercises whilst moving up in weight, as you won’t have to adapt your stance to a new size with each increase in weight. However, these medicine balls are pretty large, with a 14-inch diameter, meaning they might get in the way at home.
Each weight is the same black design as well so you’ll have to keep checking the numbers, which are printed in white, to make sure you’re picking up the right weight. The material is super sturdy nylon with a vinyl finish and reinforced double stitching.
Thanks to the material, these medicine balls are designed to take on anything, including wall slam exercises. Even with their incredible durability, these medicine balls come with a two-year warranty so you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
The interior is substantial enough to hold the shape of the medicine ball, but has a little room to adapt and reduce the impact if you are using it for throwing exercises. The problem with the material is that it can be slippery as there is no textured grip, however, it is designed to be scuff and moisture resistant so it shouldn’t be too affected by sweat.
3. J/Fit Dead Weight Slam Ball
Our Verdict: Best for Slamming
The best medicine ball for slamming is the J/Fit Dead Weight Slam Ball which has been re-designed over the years to provide the best results for this kind of exercise. It is also the best medicine ball for heavy weights offering weights from 8lbs to 50lbs.
Designed specifically for slamming, this medicine ball needs to be durable. However, some customers have found that the ball can break after a few months of use, which is less than ideal when you want to be using it under serious pressure.
The sand filling spills out if it does break which is also a downside. However, the movement of the sand inside the ball allows for even muscle building and reduces the impact if you are using it for throwing exercises.
Others were happy with the quality of the ball, so breakages might depend on the surface you are using or the force you exert on the ball. As a slam ball, it should withstand a decent amount of pressure and is designed to quickly advance your strength by adding resistance to body weighted exercises. Using this medicine ball with body weight exercises is also a great way to improve your balance.
What’s more, slamming is a great cardiovascular exercise which improves your circulation. Using a heavy weight ball like this can really increase your overall strength especially with explosive exercises like slamming. Thanks to the heavier 50lb weight, even experienced weight lifters can benefit from this medicine ball.
The slam ball comes in a classic and textured tread version with a sturdy outer skin made from tire like material. Some customers have found the classic version to be hard to grip.
But this problem is solved by the treaded grip version which perfectly fits to the fingers for enhanced grip during throwing and catching exercises, either against a wall or with a partner.
This medicine ball is 9 inches in diameter which also makes it easier to hold and store. With this heavier weight, you can build muscle mass naturally, making this a great option for bodybuilders.
4. Valeo Medicine Ball
Our Verdict: Best for Beginners
The best medicine ball for beginners is the Valeo because of its lighter weight options.
This set of balls only goes up to 12lbs but offers a range of 5 lower weights that increase in 2lb increments up to 12.
This is the best way to start using a medicine ball for beginners as you can start at a comfortable weight and increase your maximum capacity slowly, avoiding injuries from overexertion.
With an even filling which doesn’t shift like a sand filling, these light weight balls provide even weight distribution to target different muscles equally. Improve your strength by holding this medicine ball during isometric exercises and enhance your coordination and balance with a plyometric workout incorporating this medicine ball for added resistance.
The different weights come in their own colours so you can easily distinguish between them if you are buying a whole set and the numbers are large and clear.
The material is also a sturdy rubber, giving this ball a good bounce for wall exercises, which won’t lose resilience over time.
In addition, the finger treads enhance grip for throwing exercises and provide better traction which keeps your movements precise, so you can focus on your form. It is not recommended to use this medicine ball for slamming, however, as it may break from the pressure.
The evenly balanced weight makes it great for throwing exercises and improving balance. What’s more, this medicine ball is water safe so you can take it to the pool to perform aerobics exercises.
Using a lighter weight in the water is a great way to rehabilitate meaning this is also the best option for anyone recovering from an injury.
5. SPRI Dual Grip Xerball/Medicine Ball
Our Verdict: Easiest to Grip
Although many of the medicine balls in this review have easy to grip material, nothing can compare to the dual handles of the SPRI Xerball.
This interesting pick is, of course, the best medicine ball or grip.
The dual handles mean that you can use this medicine ball for a range of exercises that just aren’t possible with the other options in this review. It is ideal for core and oblique exercises, when you only have one free hand free, and allows you to isolate your core easily.
What’s more, it is a solid lower body builder as it can be used in a similar way to a kettlebell to perform squats.
For strengthening your upper body, you still have all the exercise options of a regular medicine ball with added options such as swings, thanks to the handles. Although there are a range of extra exercises you can perform with this medicine ball, it might not bounce as well as a regular medicine ball because of these handles.
It is also NOT the best choice for slamming.
Despite this, the material is still durable and you can use the ball for throwing exercises with a partner so that you don’t have to rely on the bounce off of a wall. This ball is also very solid so you will have to watch your hands if you are using it for throwing exercises as you’ll be absorbing all the impact.
As well as the handles, the grip is improved by a dimpled surface. The material is 80% rubber and 20% PVC plastic, which is a bit of a let-down in terms of quality. There are seven different weights ranging from 6 lbs to 20 lbs, meaning there are options for beginners and more experienced weight lifters.
This medicine ball is also a good choice for beginners who are getting used to a medicine ball and want the extra assurance of handles to avoid dropping it.
Some customers have found that the ball can have a strong chemical smell which even clings to your hands after exercise. It can also feel greasy from the material. Aside from this, the Xerball makes a good option for dynamic exercises that require a sturdy grip.
6. Champion Sports Exercise Medicine Balls
Our Verdict: Most Durable
Champion Sports is a well-known American brand. For this reason, you can trust them to make a durable medicine ball that can take on any kind of exercise.
This medicine ball is the only one in our review made of synthetic leather. Although it is less common, this material is incredibly durable. It is also easier to clean than real leather which would need regular conditioning.
With synthetic leather, all you need to do is wipe down your medicine ball after use.
Despite Champion claiming that synthetic leather is easier to grip, some customers have found that it can be hard to hold on to when wet or sweaty. This can really affect your workout and creates a risk of injury.
The reinforced premium stitching and strong synthetic leather material makes this medicine ball one of the best for slamming. Although a lot of medicine balls are not durable enough to handle intense pressure exerted during this exercise, Champion have used strong material to make sure that this medicine ball can handle slam exercises.
Some customers have found that the ball can lose its shape after a lot of slamming and the flat parts at the side might affect the accuracy of the bounce. If the ball does break, the white powder filling will spill out, but you are unlikely to push it to this point, even if you are a professional heavy weight athlete.
This medicine ball is great for beginners and experienced athletes and can be used for a range of exercises, including yoga and aerobics. The different colours and sizes, according to the weights, make it a stylish option for home and gym. There are eight weights to choose from, the maximum being 22 lbs.
However, if you are moving up in weights you will have to get used to a different size with each progression which can throw off your accuracy.
Even though you might encounter some problems with grip and accuracy, this medicine ball is one of the best options for slamming and taking on heavy use, so if you know you’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on your medicine ball, this could be one to try.
What is a Medicine Ball?
A medicine ball is a standard piece of exercise equipment, but there are a few differences between the types of medicine balls you can buy and you will need to pay attention to these depending on what kind of exercise you want to use it for.
A standard medicine ball can be used to add resistance to standing and core exercises. They are usually 9 to 14 inches in diameter, with 14 inches being about shoulder width.
How To Use Them
There are a TON of different exercises you can do with a medicine ball - from incorporating them into your core workout or into almost any bodyweight exercise for an extra challenge.
Here are 33 moves you can master with the medicine ball:
Medicine Ball vs Slam Ball
The difference between a standard medicine ball vs a slam ball is that slam balls are, as the name suggests, designed to take on slamming exercises. This involves holding the ball over your head and throwing it down at the ground with as much power as possible.
Thus, slam balls need to be a lot more sturdy and able to take on the extra pressure. The explosive exercise also exerts a lot of pressure on your body so you can build strength quickly by incorporating slamming into your routine.
Medicine Ball vs Wall Ball
There are also some differences you might want to look for in a wall ball. In contrast to a slam ball, a wall ball is designed to take on impact and bounce back, for example off of a wall or through passing exercises with a partner.
Wall balls will also have improved grip, vs slam balls and medicine balls, which makes them easier to catch.
What is the Best Material?
Medicine balls were once made out of leather which is the sturdiest material. However, because leather is hard to clean and needs regular conditioning, most brands have moved towards synthetic leather or rubber.
Both of these materials are sturdy enough to take on regular use but if you are looking for a slam ball or plan on using your medicine ball for some tough exercises, make sure you get one that is made from high quality rubber, like the ones featured in this medicine ball review.
Which is the Right Medicine Ball for Me?
Picking the perfect medicine ball for you can be difficult when there are so many options.
In this review, we have looked at just a few of the possibilities but, since this is such a standard piece of equipment, it can take a while to find the perfect fit.
Best for Slamming
Of course, the best slam ball is the J/Fit Dead Weight Slam Ball which is made specifically for this kind of explosive exercise.
This ball is made of sturdy tire like material and has a high weight range of up to 50lbs, which is great if you are really looking to build strength.
Best for Water Exercises and Wall Exercises
The only option in this review which has been found to be water safe is the Valeo Medicine Ball.
If you are rehabilitating from an injury and using water aerobics to reduce the pressure, this is the best medicine ball to incorporate into your workout to build strength slowly.
The Valeo is also the best medicine ball for wall exercises as it provides a decent bounce thanks to the sturdy rubber and doesn’t lose its resilience over time.
Best for Grip
If you are focusing on slow movements such as core exercises and need to have a sturdy grip of your medicine ball, the best ball for grip is the SPRI Dual Grip Xerball. It features two handles and a dimpled surface so you won’t be losing grip of this medicine ball anytime soon.
The overall best medicine ball has to be the AmazonBasics. With durable material, a decent bounce and a textured grip, this medicine ball covers all the basics.
However, the overall best medicine ball for slamming is the J/Fit Dead Weight Slam Ball. This slam ball takes on all that the AmazonBasics medicine ball is missing by providing heavier weights, up to 50lbs, and a sturdy ball to take on that extra pressure from explosive slam exercises.
These two are great picks and the right one for you will depend on the exercises you are looking to do. For a bouncy, all purpose medicine and wall ball give the AmazonBasics a try and for a sturdy slamming option go for the J/Fit.