10 Best Medicine Balls in 2020 (Review)
A medicine ball may look like a beach ball, but it’s far more functional. Unlike a beach ball, a medicine ball offers the ability to perform fitness exercises to boost your full body strength, improve your balance, and more.
That said, you can only get these results if you are working with the right product. Of course, with so many weight options, materials, and brands, choosing a top-quality option that fits your needs can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve put together this review of the best medicine balls in 2020—so you can find the perfect ball to add to your home gym.
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The Best Medicine Balls
1. AmazonBasics Medicine Ball
The AmazonBasics Medicine Ball is suitable for a wide variety of strength building and core exercises. Because of its textured surface, it’s also great for partner exercises that require throwing and catching the ball.
There are various weight options available, this ball comes in 4, 6, 8, 12, 14, or 20 lb. versions. Each weight comes in a designated color that doesn’t fade, allowing you to switch weights at a glance if you purchase more than one. While you can’t buy them as a set, and they don’t come with a stand, they will fit on any standard medicine ball rack.
Thanks to the sturdy rubber construction of these balls, you can also use them either commercially or at home for intensive workouts. Their unique design allows for proper bounce, just like professional gym weighted balls—they are excellent for slamming exercises.
2. Valeo 4 lb Medicine Ball
The Valeo 4 lb Medicine Ball is another high-quality rubber medicine ball. Thanks to its durability and texture, it’s suitable for various medicine ball workouts, including ab exercises, tricep exercises, and more.
Aside from this 4-lb. option, you can get it as a 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-lb. medicine ball. The various sizes are color-coded, and some weights maintain uniform size. For example, the 4 lb. ball is 7.25” in diameter, the 6 and 8 lb. Medicine balls are 8.5”, and the 10 and 12 lb. balls are 9.5”.
You can use each ball on your own to improve your balance or work with a partner on various coordination, strength, and plyometric training exercises. If you have no experience with med balls, you’ll be happy to know that this one comes with an exercise wall chart to guide you through various exercises.
3. j/fit Soft Wall Medicine Ball
The pliable exterior of the j/fit Soft Wall Medicine Ball makes it one of the safest exercise balls on the market. Unlike med balls with a hard exterior, the soft exterior of this ball lets it absorb impact and reduces bounce during exercises.
It’s also safer for exercises with a partner since the ball’s soft exterior is less capable of causing injury. When it comes to durability, this weighted ball again gets high scores, thanks to its heavy-duty, triple-stitched softshell.
Whether your goal is weight loss or building muscle, this weighted ball can satisfy your needs. You can get it in various sizes from 4 to 30 lbs. to challenge yourself, too.
4. Cap Barbell
The Cap Barbell Medicine Ball is a top-notch rubber medicine ball with a thick construction that works well for various ball workouts. Even though its quality is comparable to that of other balls on our list, its price is very affordable, making it a great value product.
Whether you are doing medicine ball training alone or throwing the ball to a partner, this medicine ball works great. Its tacky surface ensures a firm grip, regardless of how sweaty your hands get.
Aside from the 10 lb. ball, you can get this med ball in sizes as small as 2 lbs. for less intensive workouts, or you can go as heavy as 12 lbs. for strength and stamina training.
5. Titan Soft Wall 6 lb
The Titan Soft Wall 6 lb Medicine Ball is one of the best soft medicine balls. Like most good wall balls, it has a soft exterior that minimizes the risk of injury when throwing it against a wall or using it with a partner.
Even though its exterior is soft, it’s highly durable, thanks to its tough synthetic leather exterior with double stitching to hold it together. Unlike other soft medicine balls, this med ball also has a handle on each side for comfy gripping for more technical medicine ball training exercises.
It is not suitable for slam exercises, but it has other features that make it appropriate for various activities that burn fat and boost your cardiovascular health. If you want to use it to build strength, it’s also available as a 20 or 30 lb. ball that you can use on a squat rack or for lifting and throwing exercises.
6. Champion Sports Leather
The Champion Sports Leather Medicine Ball is just as durable and effective as the other medicine wall balls and slam balls on our list. Yet, it keeps things affordable without cutting corners on quality.
Its exterior is synthetic leather, which is soft to the touch but tough enough to withstand the most intensive medicine ball training. If you need weighted medicine balls for weightlifting, aerobics, Pilates, CrossFit, or yoga, you can get one of these as light as 4 lbs. or one as heavy 22 lbs.
While the company sells a total of eight weights, you can’t buy the balls as a complete set. They are sold individually. However, Champion does offer a five-ball rack for these, designed to make storage easy even in tight spaces if you’d like to assemble your own set.
7. SPRI Dual Grip
If you need a medicine ball that offers more grip than regular med balls, the SPRI Dual Grip is the way to go. Instead of being just a round ball, it has two convenient handles on the side that let you perform a wider range of exercises, including rotational core exercises, upper body and lower body exercises, and locomotor drills.
It’s an excellent choice for working on not just strength, but also arm flexibility for sports that require explosive arm swings, like golf and tennis. This ball features a synthetic rubber body that delivers durability and minimal bounce. It also includes an instructional manual to guide your training.
You can get it in various sizes for moderate to high-velocity strength building and bodyweight exercises.
8. SPRI Xerball 2 lb
Unlike the SPRI Dual Grip, the SPRI Xerball 2 lb. Medicine Ball is a more traditional medicinal ball—but its traditional design doesn’t mean it isn’t better than most other slam balls or wall balls on the market.
Most of its superior quality comes from its thick rubber exterior and dense rubber insides. Depending on what type of exercise you need it for, you can add or remove air from it. For instance, for slam exercises or wall exercises, you can deflate the ball a bit to reduce its bounce.
Its versatility makes it practical, and it offers impressive value as fitness equipment for core exercises and more to boost your endurance, power, and stability. Depending on your strength level and workout needs, you can opt for the 2 lb. ball or go as high as 25 lbs.
9. Champion Sports Rhino Promax 20 lb
Unlike other medicine balls that use synthetic leather, the Champion Sports Rhino Promax 20 lb Medicine Ball uses real leather for optimal durability. That makes it one of the toughest dead weight slam balls you can buy.
Aside from being durable, this ball is big, giving you more of a cardio, agility, and strength workout than smaller medicine balls can offer. Regardless of how you use it, its size ensures you get a full-body workout with every muscle in your body feeling the burn. Even though it’s large, the ball remains ergonomic for a comfortable grip.
10. JBM 8 lb
Looking for an affordable, versatile, and durable exercise ball to expand on your lunges, squats, slams, pushups, and other strength and cardio training? The JBM 8 lb Medicine Ball can get you the results you want.
It’s another top choice among medicine balls, especially because of its highly durable body that also delivers impressive bounce. It has a textured surface that ensures your exercise routine isn’t interrupted by the ball constantly slipping out of your sweaty palms.
Aside from the 8 lb. weight, you can get this option in seven sizes from a 2 to 15 lb. medicine ball to meet your unique needs.
3 Things to Think of When Choosing a Medicine Ball
Medicine balls come in different shapes and sizes. If you pick one with med ball features that don’t match your unique physical and training needs, you won’t get the results you want. To avoid this, keep the following in mind when shopping:
The weight of a med ball will determine how well you can use it to achieve your fitness goals. If it’s too heavy, you may struggle with using the ball for your fitness routines and possibly injure yourself. If it’s too light, you won’t get the level of resistance required to see the results you want.
Generally, a 2 to 3 lb. medicine ball is the lightest option. Anywhere from 2 to 5 lb. balls are okay for beginners, especially those who require the ball for aerobics and other light exercises. For intensive core or strength training, some experts recommend a 20 to 50 lb. medicine ball, though you may find heavier options—as high as 100 or 150 lbs.
The important thing is to pick a weight that will challenge your current strength level enough to give your body a workout, but not so much that it strains your muscles beyond what they can handle. Start light and gradually work your way up by building your strength and endurance.
Most top-quality balls come in one of three materials – rubber, genuine leather, or synthetic leather.
The first medicine balls were strictly made of leather. They were weather-resistant and durable, but using animal skins to build the balls isn’t sustainable. Plus, present-day leather med balls require more maintenance and care than their rubber and synthetic leather counterparts.
Previously, synthetic leather balls weren’t the most durable, but technology has improved over the years, leading to tougher balls with supple exteriors. The common problem with such balls is the seams tend to wear out before the actual leather does. On the upside, it offers all of the benefits of a leather ball minus the high maintenance needs.
Textured rubber medicine balls are a far more popular option because they offer a better grip and are ideal for various types of exercises. That said, most of them aren’t great as slam balls because of their high bounce and tendency to split upon high impact with a hard surface.
Such risks can be reduced by slightly deflating the ball. In most cases, they are suitable for non-release workouts, for passing to a partner, or as wall balls.
The style of a med ball will determine what you can accomplish with it. For instance, double grip or handled medicine balls aren’t ideal for passing, or as wall or slam balls. However, the grips on such a ball make them suitable for non-release exercises, such as kettle ball style workouts.
Then, there are sand-filled medicine balls. Because of their minimal bounce, they are a fantastic choice for slam exercises—excluding rubberized balls, especially when fully inflated. The high bounce of such balls can lead to injuries from it rebounding painfully into you.
Instead, rubberized balls work great for abdominal and core workouts.
Wall balls, on the other hand, are popular among Cross Fit enthusiasts, especially for explosive exercises, such as squats and hand-to-eye drills.
What Are The Main Benefits of Training With a Medicine Ball?
By adding a ball to your fitness routine, you can look forward to the many benefits of a medicine ball, such as:
Building explosive power and body strength
Explosive power allows you to release maximum force within the shortest time. It’s great for sprinters, various types of ballplayers, and any other sport that requires sudden movements.
Combine this with medicine ball exercises that increase body strength, and you have a body that can respond and move faster with more power and less risk of injury.
Improving your core
A stronger core means a stronger body for various athletic and regular physical activities. It also improves your endurance, flexibility, and posture, reducing the risk of back pain and muscle injuries.
Improving your balance
Even if you aren’t a runner or gymnast, the added balance that comes from using medicine balls for squat exercises, planks, pushups, and other exercises, will keep you more grounded and boost your agility and accuracy.
When using medicine balls for even the simplest workouts, you use more of your muscles. That leads to exercising more parts of your body, burning more calories, and boosting your overall fitness.