A medicine ball will rarely make you feel better immediately because it’s often used to make things harder – it can add a whole new burn to a basic sit-up for instance – but it will make you feel better in the long run. It was originally designed for rehabilitation purposes, after all.
It’s a worthwhile addition to any home gym, but first it’s worth understanding the types of medicine ball available. We’ve included a quick guide explaining the key differences, before selecting the best medicine balls so you can find the right addition to your home gym set-up.
Three Types Of Medicine Balls Explained
A slam ball is designed to absorb impact so it’s usually filled with gel or sand. That means no matter how hard your hurl it into the ground, it won’t bounce or roll away. A slam ball is primarily used for… well, we don’t need to spell it out – but it’s also useful to have around for throws and certain progressions of abs exercises, as well as something unstable to rest your feet on to make a plank harder.
Rubber/grip medicine balls
Rubber/grip med balls, like the slam ball, can be used to make an exercise harder by using it as a weight. While they’re not so good at absorbing shock, they excel as a prop for certain exercises where the slam ball flounders: for instance, any move which requires the medicine ball to roll along the ground, such as the passing medicine ball press-up or the medicine ball roll-out. Although they have a slight bounce, they can still be used for a medicine ball slam – the bounce can be used to increase the speed of reps because you can catch the medicine ball as it comes up, thereby increasing the cardio demands of the move.
Medicine balls with handles
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. For instance, Russian twists and toe touches can be completed with much greater fluidity. You can also add exercises such as woodchops or star jumps to your routine when you’re packing a medicine ball with handles.
The Best Medicine Balls
Best slam ball: FRX Sports Non Bounce
Everyone up to the Hulk himself can find the right weight for their ability in this range, which starts at 2kg and goes all the way up to 75kg. FRX med balls also have a tyre-tread-like texture, making them much easier to grip with sweaty hands – plus they’re much cheaper than their competitors.
Buy on Amazon | From £12.99
Best rubber/grip medicine ball: Amazon Basics
Grip medicine balls rely on their firmness in order to bounce, and Amazon has nailed that with the rubber coating, making this ball ideal for throwing against the ground or the wall. What’s more, the rubber is textured to help you get a firm hold. The weights range from 2kg to 10kg.
Buy on Amazon | From £16.99
Best medicine ball with handles: The Gold Coast Professional
The Gold Coast’s range of medicine balls is ideal for smashing out sit-ups in quick succession as the ergonomically designed handles and textured, anti-slip rubber coating provide the securest of grips. Gold Coast med balls are good value too and include a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Buy on Amazon | From £34.99 + £4.99 delivery