Building your home gym can be daunting, but luckily there are a few budget-friendly essentials to get you started. Among those essentials are the best medicine balls for upper, lower, and full-body exercises. You can use a medicine ball for lunges, weighted squats, sit-ups, and countless other strength training and cardio exercises. SELF spoke with personal trainers to learn more about this versatile piece of equipment.
“A well-rounded training program will incorporate not only different training focuses (strength, power, flexibility) but also different equipment modalities. Often overlooked and underutilized, medicine balls provide exercise versatility where you can develop power, strength, and speed through different planes of motion,” Alexa Cohen, a New York City personal trainer, tells SELF.
Best Weighted Medicine Balls
If you’re looking for the best medicine balls, there are a few things to consider. First, think about which exercises you want to hit. Are you looking for something with a heavier weight for more strength-focused exercises like squats and lunges that work your butt? Weighted medicine balls that are lighter can also help with slamming exercises, core exercises like Russian twists, and so much more. Ultimately, weight, texture, size, and budget are what you want to take into account. Below we rounded up eight highly rated medicine balls with weight, recommended by experts and reviewers.
Plus, we added in two non-weighted exercise ball options, in case you’re looking for even greater versatility!
1. Technogym Medicine Ball
Amanda Marguisty, a certified trainer at Always Moving Forward (AMF), is a fan of Technogym’s medicine ball because of its high-quality design. “The material and construction are extremely durable, making them a favorite for my gym,” she says. She explains that she would rather invest in high-quality equipment that can be used often and longer than have to purchase cheap equipment multiple times a year. Marguisty especially loves its slight bounce back during slamming exercises because it helps to improve hand-eye coordination and strength.
2. Amazon Basics Medicine Ball
Amazon Basics Medicine Ball
Amazon’s Basic Medicine Ball is a great starter medicine ball for someone who wants to keep their at-home workout routine simple and affordable. The ball weights range from four to ten pounds, and they have a durable rubber shell with a slightly textured surface. This budget-friendly medicine ball has you covered for any classic medicine ball exercise like Russian twists or ball toss exercises.
3. Hammer Strength Medicine Ball
Jen Tallman, fitness and cycling instructor in NYC, suggests med balls as an excellent equipment choice for someone who might have wrist issues. “Medicine balls are one of my favorite pieces of equipment because of its versatility,” she says, adding that it’s much gentler for gripping and training for your fingers. You can train your core with medicine ball oblique twists or train your lower body and upper body simultaneously with wall ball squats. In particular, Tallman is a fan of Hammer Strength. “The Hammer Strength medicine balls are my favorite because they come in a large range of weight (4 pounds to 30 pounds), and the textured surface provides extra grip with fewer chances of slipping from your hands.”
4. Rogue Medicine Ball
Rogue Medicine Ball (4 lb.)
Rogue’s Medicine Balls are so popular that three of the trainers we chatted with selected it as their number one pick. Alan Filaro, a trainer at Filaro Fuel, says “When searching for the right medicine ball, it is essential to invest in its durability and functionality. The Rogue Medicine Ball interior filling is substantial enough to help the ball keep its shape across repeated use. It is also forgiving and flexible enough for athletes to safely stop or catch the ball at high velocity. The weight ranging from 4 pounds to 30 pounds makes it capable of challenging you in both agility and strength workouts.” Rogue gives you a wide variety of weight options, and the med balls are double-stitched for extra durability.
5. Cando Firm Medicine Ball
Cando Firm Medicine Ball (Set of 5)
Designed with at-home and clinical (physical therapy) applications in mind, CanDo’s Firm Medicine Ball is a useful addition to your home gym collection. CanDo offers weight options from 2 pounds to 30 pounds to enhance any core-strengthening or stability workout. The durable and textured rubber makes it easy to hold on during those tough ab exercises. You also have the choice to order a value ball set if you want to use different options for weight training at home.
6. Ziva Dual Grib Rubber Medicine Ball
Ziva Dual Grip Rubber Medicine Ball
Ziva’s medicine ball is great because it has handles, which make it easy and safe to hold on to during high-intensity workouts or push-ups. You don’t need to worry about dropping your ball (a huge relief for someone clumsy, like me). This weighted ball is made of no-bounce rubber, so if you’re looking for something without bounce, this is a top choice.
7. Yes4all Slam Ball
Another highly-rated Amazon option, the Yes4All Slam medicine ball comes in a few weights and sizes, giving you plenty to choose from for your needs. This ball is high density and filled with sand to enhance its balance and firmness. It is non-bounce and specifically designed for CrossFit exercises, if that is in your workout wheelhouse.
8. Champion Sports Rhino Promax Slam Ball
Champion Sports Rhino Promax Slam Ball (6 lb.)
The Rhino Promax Slam Ball is the only leather medicine ball on our list. The leather makes the grip comfortable, soft, and controlled. This ball was built with bounce in mind. It has more give than a traditional med ball, but is also extremely durable. If you want an exercise with bounce in your home gym, try out a kneeling slam.
Best Non-Weighted Medicine Balls
Caorline Citelli, an LA-based Pilates trainer, explains that not all of our at-home workout balls actually need to be weighted. “One of the best things about a nonweighted Pilates ball is its ability to make core work harder or easier,” she explains. “The ball can create a new ground zero and transform your traditional crunch by adding exaggerated extension and flexion. It’s also a great way for my advanced clients to challenge stability.” In contrast, the ball is often used during recovery for injuries to the spine (typically low back or neck). The nonweighted ball can easily be a great tool for beginners who are perfecting form and are not quite ready for additional weight.
1. Bala Pilates Ball
Bala is famous for its ankle weights, but they also offer sleek, matte pilates balls. They have a rubber shell in black, pink, or sand. It comes with an at-home pump, so you can either inflate the ball for more support or leave it half-full for more of a challenge during core exercises.
2. Probody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball
Probody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball (9 in.)
The Probody pilates ball might have the cutest color options on this entire list. At nine inches, this mini ball is perfect if you’re on the go. It’s great for your core, strength, and posture exercises.