Nothing says old school training like a medicine ball. They’re even said to have been used by Hippocrates in the early 1700’s! These can be found in one form or another in nearly every gym. Great for performing core exercises and used in conjunction with plyometric exercises med balls come in a variety of weights, styles, sizes, and colors. Let’s take a look at some of the options available and how each is used.
There are three major types of medicine balls available with nearly an endless number of options for weight, size, materials, and grip. Some are suitable for ballistic plyometric and core exercises, some for throws and catches, and some for slams. When choosing which one is best suited for your needs there are a few considerations to take into account which I will cover in the reviews below.
Ready to add a splash of color to your home gym? These colorful balls come in a variety of weights from 4 to 12 pounds in two-pound increments. They are solid rubber with an inflatable core. They come with a standard basketball type needle for inflation, but the pump is not included. The 9.5-inch diameter is the same from the four-pounder all the way up to the 12-pound ball.
According to Amazon.com
Valeo’s medicine balls feature sturdy rubber construction with a textured surface for superior grip. The ball’s durable construction allows it to bounce off hard surfaces. Includes an exercise wall chart. Helps develop core strength and improve coordination, balance, and endurance.
They come with a nice sticky grip similar to a basketball. That along with the smaller size will allow for easier handling when performing throws and catches. That being said they are SOLID. Catch one to the face and you certainly won’t be a happy camper. Something to consider if these are used with an overly enthusiastic partner. These are also great to add a balance factor to the standard pushup and great for the Russian Twist. They do have a good bit of bounce and can be used for slams, but use caution as the rebound can jam a finger if not paying attention. These will also work great for wall throws but make sure it’s a solid wall and not drywall. It will scuff or worse bust a typical house wall. Just use common sense here.
Another issue that people appear to have is a strong rubber smell. This is to be expected since it is, well, rubber. This seems to be a common complaint with rubber fitness equipment and can be remedied with some dish soap, leaving it to dry in the sun, and time.
Overall these are a great option for your at home gym. They are excellent for throws and catches, core exercises, and balance exercises. The size and grip will make for easier handling. Use caution when performing slams as they will bounce and can cause injury or a broken lamp. They are rock solid and while this means they’ll last you a long time it’s something to consider based on how you plan to use them.
Check out the Valeo Medicine Ball
Another excellent choice from Rogue Fitness. This style is commonly used in more Crossfit and athletic type applications. The size 14″ diameter can be a bit of a factor for some people, but the larger size is actually shown to allow you to generate the most power. With the hands further apart they are actually more in line with the shoulders. This gives you more power behind the push as opposed to having your hands closer together with the smaller sized balls.
These are great balls for performing high-intensity ballistic type exercises. The only limitation to the number of exercises you can do is your imagination. Offering great bounce for wall throws they are forgiving enough to be safely caught and thrown at high velocities. Same as the Valeo balls these are great for throws and catches, core exercises, and balance exercises.
Given the sewn vinyl construction, they should not be used for floor slams. This will actually void the warranty should there be any damage associated with using them in this manner.
According to Rogue Fitness:
Individually constructed, stitched, and tested at our manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ohio, Rogue Medicine Balls are made for high-speed, high-intensity training. Each 14” diameter ball features a flexible but durable nylon thread seam construction with a moisture and scuff resistant coated vinyl shell. The interior filling is substantial enough to help the ball keep its shape through repeated smashes, but also forgiving enough for athletes to safely stop or catch the ball at high velocity.
Rogue Medicine Balls are sold individually and are available in a broad spectrum of weight increments from 4 LBS up to 30 LBS. We started by making sure all seams are double stitched then added a top stitch to the heavy range of 14 thru 30LB variants.
No matter your size or skill level, medicine ball training is one of the easier ways to improve your endurance, explosiveness, and core strength. Use them for anything from wall ball throws to traditional trunk twists, squats, sit-ups, presses, and more.
Check out the Rogue Medicine Ball
If slams are your thing then this is the ball for you. Ranging in weight from 8 to 100 pounds it’s safe to say you will probably never outgrow these med balls. They offer a zero bounce return so they are perfect for slams. They also have an excellent rubber grip which means they are great for balance and core exercises as well.
For individual use, they come with a two-year warranty. For commercial gym use, they come with a one year warranty.
The great thing with these balls is they are fantastic for building explosive power commonly used with Olympic lifts. Requiring you to work large amounts of muscle with each slam they train your body to work in unison. There is also added benefit due to having to pick the balls up off the ground after each slam. Talk about exhausting!
According to Rogue Fitness:
Feels like a Gel-Filled ball with a textured surface for excellent grip
Extremely durable, perfect for repeated heavy use
2 years for individual use, 1 year for commercial gym settings
Used by CrossFit gyms, commercial gyms and rehabilitation facilities around the world. The only product suitable for ball slams.
Check out the D-Ball Medicine Ball
So there you have it. A quick breakdown of the different types of medicine balls. Base your decision off your intended application for the time being. If the budget permits then the best option is to go with more than one type. That will give you the greatest number options as far as exercises go.
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