You can add fun to your crossfit workouts using med balls. Find out the best medicine balls in this review and which one to buy.
Medicine balls are weighted balls that you can use to do fun exercises. It’s made as an equipment you can use to add more weight to core training, including lunges and stepping. The ball trains multiple muscles at once and helps to develop balance and stability. It works well if you are doing crossfit, and has versatile uses for other types of exercise.
One of the most popular exercises is the wall ball throw. It’s a workout that uses your entire body, and can improve your athletic performance. You can use a heavier weighted ball once you start to progress along your routine.
There are good medicine balls to choose from. Here are 5 of the best ones:
Best Medicine Balls
|Brand||Weight Size||Recommended Store|
|Valeo||4 - 12 Lbs|
|CAP Barbell||2 - 12 Lbs|
|j/fit Max||6 - 30 Lbs|
|Champion Sports||4 - 15 Lbs|
|Dynamax||4 - 20 Lbs|
1 – Valeo Medicine Ball
The Valeo Medicine Ball is the most popular choice on our list (even users of other balls recommend the Valeo brand). The ball is as large as a basketball and is available from 4 to 12 lb weights. The size of the balls are almost uniform, making it useful when you need to change to a different weight without changing dimensions. It has a sturdy rubber construction allowing easier grip.
The Valeo ball gives you a good workout but is still more affordable than other brands. One thing you need to note is it isn’t optimal for slams. Several customers complain that the ball can tear or crack open, in some cases only after a few months of use. Another complaint is that the ball smells like rubber and some customers are disturbed by it. That said, many customers use this ball for several years without issues and are happy with the quality and price.
- Available in different weights
- Sturdy rubber construction
- May tear or crack up if slammed around
- May have a disturbing rubber smell
2 – CAP Barbell Medicine Ball
If you’re a fan of CAP, the CAP Barbell Medicine Ball is a good choice. The balls are color coded for weight to make it easier for you if you want to own an entire set (from 2 to 12 lbs). The price is also very affordable. The ball bounces lightly and has a good grip (but note that the 2 lb ball is not made for bouncing). However, some users say the ball doesn’t bounce hard enough.
Even though CAP is a good ball, many customers report the ball tears and blows up after only a little use. There is also an odor problem that may come with the ball. Some users feel that the ball is too large to be used comfortably. Although some customers have issues, other customers use the ball for exercise 3-5 times a week without any problems.
- Available from 2 – 12 lbs
- Affordable price
- May tear up after some use
- May have an odor problem
3 – j/fit Medicine Ball MAX
The j/fit Medicine Ball Max has a 14 in diameter for all weight versions. It’s available in 6 lbs up to 30 lbs sizes, and has a textured vinyl skin so you can grip and throw it with ease. It has a soft texture that may or may not be what you need (some users want hard texture). It only comes in one color and it has a higher price than other brands on this list.
The j/fit ball isn’t intended for slam exercises (they sell a different ball for that). If you happen to get an old model that hasn’t been updated, the ball might tear apart only after a few weeks of use unless you handle it with extra care. Make sure you get the most recent model. Similar to other balls, this ball may have a distinct odor too.
- Available from 6 lbs to 30 lbs
- Uniform size for all weights
- More expensive than other brands
- Not intended for slam exercises
4 – Champion Sports Leather Medicine Ball
The Champion Sports Leather Medicine Ball has a durable construction so it’s comfortable to grip and control. It’s a good ball for beginners and made from leather, so it’s softer than other rubber medicine balls. However, some customers report that their ball is not balanced, like the core is off center to one side. It makes the ball bounce with an erratic pattern, making it difficult to use in exercise. Other customers feel that the ball is too soft and not slippery to grip with sweaty palms.
You can choose from 4 lbs to 15 lbs weight size, and it’s available in various colors. It’s unlikely you’ll hurt your foot if you drop the ball on it, or break any furniture. The price of this ball is similar to others on our list. Despite the customer complaints about this ball, it receives mostly favorable reviews. Some customers have used this brand of medicine ball for years without any issues.
- Available from 4 lbs to 15 lbs
- Available in various colors
- Core may be off center
- Ball may be too soft for some people
5 – Dynamax Medicine Balls
Dynamax Medicine Balls have a 14 in diameter and have vinyl coated nylon construction to maintain shape during your exercise. You can find these balls from 4 lbs up to 20 lbs, and use it for core exercise as well as rotational movements. You can use it for both arm and leg training, and the ball is strong enough to withstand pounding and beating (for striking exercises).
This ball receives almost no negative reviews from customers. Similar to the Champion Sports ball, some customers feel this ball is heavy to one side. Other than some minor complaints, the ball gets many votes from crossfit enthusiasts. What makes this ball not as popular as other brands is because it has a higher price than the other balls we review.
- Available from 4 lbs to 20 lbs
- Great for crossfit users
- Price is expensive
Medicine Balls Buying Guide
Medicine balls aren’t expensive compared to other gym equipment categories. Even so, you still want to make sure you get your money’s worth. The wrong ball can be too heavy for you or not comfortable for your hands. You can go with the brands we recommend above, but you can consider other ones too. Here is what you ought to inspect when choosing a medicine ball.
The Weight Size
Some people buy a medicine ball for the first time and don’t know what weight they should choose. If you choose a ball that’s too light, you’ll want to buy a heavier ball. If the weight is too heavy, you may grow into it but there will be a learning curve at first. Some balls are lighter than their stated weight, so you want to read reviews to find out if their weight is accurate. Unless you have special considerations, a middle weight ball (like 8 lbs or so) is a good choice to get you started.
The Ball Size
Some manufacturers make medicine balls that have the same size regardless of their weight. You can buy a set from the same manufacturer if you want this feature. Different weights at the same size will allow you to progress your weight training without having to adjust to a new size. On the other hand, you may want to choose balls that are big when the weight is heavy. Some people prefer to have small balls for light weights and big balls for heavy weights.
The Fabric of the Ball
One other criteria to consider is the fabric of the ball. Some people feel that leather texture can be not comfortable, while others don’t like the feel of vinyl. You also should notice the seams because some balls can tear apart when used for slam ball exercises. It’s good if you can visit a store and try how the ball feels in your hands. If not, then you can look at online videos that show the particular brand you want to purchase.
Do Fun Exercises With a Medicine Ball
One special consideration to note before you buy a medicine ball is to know what exercise you are going to use it for. The type of exercise determines whether you need a softer or harder ball, a light weighted ball or a heavier one.
Even so, if you are just starting out, choosing one is better than thinking too much. You can always experiment at the local gym with various weights before buying one for your home gym. When you have a med ball, you will be able to do fun exercises.