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When it comes to training, the simplest methods are often the best. Picking up heavy things, throwing heavy things, swinging kettlebells and running fast don’t require much in the way of fancy equipment, but they supercharge your results.

Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, racks and rigs aren’t complex, but they are essential items of home gym equipment.

You can also put medicine balls in that group. I love medicine balls – so much so that I own a whole bunch of them–all different types, all different weights, all different uses.

A lot of people don’t realise there’s differences between medicine balls. We’ve moved on a long way from the old-school heavy leather, and now there are a wide range of balls, sizes and fillings all with a different purpose in mind.

In this article I’m going to run through the different medicine ball types, tell you what each is best for and which ones you should buy (and why). At the end of it you’ll know everything there is to know about medicine balls, helping you to make the right choice when faced with a whole bunch of different options.

If you don’t want to go any further, here’s my best picks depending on your usage…

 
  
 
Best for...
Why we love it
Ratings
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
Best for... : General fitness users
Why we love it : Excellent quality, grip, robust and user friendly. Great price relative to competition, huge range of weights
Ratings: 5*
Rogue Medicine Ball
Rogue Medicine Ball
Best for... : Wall Ball
Why we love it : Scuff resistant vinyl and double-stitching makes this the best wall ball med ball on the market
Ratings: 4.9*
Rogue D-Balls
Rogue D-Balls
Best for... : Throwing exercises
Why we love it : Filled with a dense gel, this is a smaller, heavy ball that’s great for throwing. It’ll last you years!
Ratings: 4.7*
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
Best for... : Strongman lifts
Why we love it : Functional, heavy Atlas stones with an iron core and rubber exterior. Easier on clothes and floor, unlikely to chip.
Ratings: 4.6*
Medicine Balls From My Gym
Medicine Balls From My Gym (I’m A Gym Owner)

If you’re reading this I’m going to assume you know what a medicine ball is, so I’ll spare you the patronizing bit and move straight onto the details – the weights, the types, the use cases etc. These are the bits that help you make the true decisions.


Below You’ll Find My Recommendations Of The 4 Best Medicine Balls

We’ve discussed the type of medicine balls there are and what their best use is, so here’s my recommendation for each different type…

Best Slam Ball – Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball – Excellent quality and value

Best Medicine Balls
Features
Our rating
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
product-image
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
Features
  • Tough, durable rubber
  • Excellent grip
  • Massive range of weight for all types of training
  • Fantastic price
Our Rating
Our #1 Rated Best Medicine Balls
5 out of 5
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball

For the general home gym user, the absolute best quality and value blend are these rubber tread slam balls from Titan. They’re much cheaper than a lot of the rival slam balls out there, but they do their job perfectly. You could drop these things off a skyscraper and they’ll come back looking for more.

I love the tread grip – when you get into those high rep, sweaty workouts it makes the ball easy to hold on to. Without the grip, sweaty hands make med ball work a nightmare. You can get the med balls with linear grips, but they’re nowhere near as good as the tread grip. The slight detraction is some people find a tread grip less comfortable, but it’s not a big deal.

The Titan slam ball is low bounce, which is perfect for slam exercises (you don’t want a ball bouncing back up at high speed towards your face). It’s a rubberized outer, which is tough and durable but soft enough to use for exercises. The range comes in weights from 10LB through to 150LB, so there’s something available for everyone.

Pros

  • Tough, durable rubber
  • Excellent grip
  • Massive range of weight for all types of training
  • Fantastic price
  • Versatile training options

Cons

  • Some people don’t like a tread grip

Verdict

Tough, grippy, durable and available in a variety of weights makes the Titan Slam ball the go-to slam ball choice for me. It does everything you need it to at a price point that beats all of its rivals.


Best Wall Ball – Rogue Medicine Balls – Built to endure hard work

Best Medicine Balls
Features
Our rating
Rogue Medicine Balls
product-image
Rogue Medicine Balls
Features
  • Double stitched
  • Scuff-resistant vinyl
  • Consistent sizing
  • Lots of weight variety
Our Rating
Our #2 Rated Best Medicine Balls
4.9 out of 5
Rogue Medicine Balls

There’s a confusion when it comes to medicine balls used for wall balls, because a lot of people think that they can use the same ball for slams etc, which just isn’t true (as my members found out when they burst the ball!) A wall ball tends to be much bigger, softer, less grippy and lighter. It’s designed for high-rep use, not power use.

The reason Rogue medicine balls get my vote is because they’ve built a ball with the use it’ll go through in mind. These balls are available in a wide range (4 – 30LB), they’re all the same size (14 inch diameter), they’re made from a scuff-resistant vinyl and they are double-stitched, meaning they’re not going to break apart and leak the filling.

Rogue Medicine Balls

If you’re a fan of wall ball exercises or are looking for a high quality medicine ball, I’d strongly urge you to go for this one. You might look at the price and think you can get cheaper elsewhere, but you won’t get the same quality. Other manufacturers have problems with their stitching and the vinyl cracking – that won’t happen with these. They’re built to last.

And the reviews back them – over 250 reviews and a 4.9 average rating.

Rogue Medicine Balls reviews

Pros

  • Double stitched
  • Scuff-resistant vinyl
  • Consistent sizing
  • Lots of weight variety
  • High quality

Cons

  • More expensive than rivals

Verdict

These softer medicine balls have a tough time reputationally – they’re subject to damage when they’re not used properly, so people write them off as junk. However, these medicine balls from Rogue are great for use as a wall ball, but they’re made from tougher stuff which should see them last a long time.


Best Medicine Ball for Throwing – Rogue D-Balls – Small, dense and great for throwing

Best Medicine Balls
Features
Our rating
Rogue D-Balls
product-image
Rogue D-Balls
Features
  • Double stitched
  • Scuff-resistant vinyl
  • Consistent sizing
  • Lots of weight variety
Our Rating
Our #3 Rated Best Medicine Balls
4.7 out of 5
Rogue D-Balls

One of the best uses for a medicine ball is power and throwing training. Achieving maximum velocity in rotation and release is one of the best ways to improve a throwing arm, but you can’t really go throwing dumbbells at the wall. Cables and other rotation options don’t mimic the movement well enough. Enter the medicine ball.

The issue is most med balls are way too big to be practical, so you need something smaller and more dense. This is why the D-Ball from Rogue fit the bill really well. They’re a much smaller diameter than most medicine balls (9” for medicine balls weighing from 8-25LB), making them perfect for throwing exercises.

Rogue D-Balls

The D-Ball is filled with a gel and the exterior is made from a textured rubber shell. This combines to make a solid ball with almost no bounce, but enough grip to make it useful for throwing. Additionally, the gel provides enough structural integrity to the ball to make it useful for other medicine ball exercises such as elevated push ups. They’re available up to 40LB (but the 30+ balls are 10.6” diameter).

They’re a popular addition to the Rogue line up…

Rogue D-Balls Reviews

Pros

  • Smaller than other balls, so better for throwing
  • Made from a tough, textured rubber
  • Doesn’t bounce, so great for throwing against hard surfaces
  • Plenty of weight range
  • Gel filled for structural integrity

Cons

  • Relatively expensive, given the materials are fairly standard

Verdict

If you’re after a medicine ball for specialist use such as throwing, look no further than this one from Rogue. It’s an excellent ball, tough as old boots and will help develop real-world throwing strength. A perfect addition to a throwing training program.


Best Heavy Medicine Ball – Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones – Best for outright strength training

Best Medicine Balls
Features
Our rating
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
product-image
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
Features
  • Floor and clothing-friendly way to have Atlas stones
  • Super heavy range available
  • Tonnes of additional training options
  • Plenty of weight range
Our Rating
Our #4 Rated Best Medicine Balls
4.6 out of 5
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones

I’m a big fan of weighted carries and odd-object training, but it’s not always practical or convenient to have concrete Atlas stones hanging around the gym. To get around this, Rogue developed the rubber Atlas stones.

They’re a triumph.

Made with an iron core and a rubberized outer, these are more grip-friendly than concrete atlas stones, won’t shred the material of your training tops (or skin) and won’t get damaged if they’re dropped (concrete can chip and crack really easily). They’re also much more floor-friendly than the concrete stones.

Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones

They’re an excellent addition to a home gym, give you a tonne of new training possibilities, don’t take up much room and are unrivalled on the market in their niche. They’re surprisingly small (even the 200LB ball is only 18” diameter) and as with everything Rogue, they’re really well made.

Pros

  • Floor and clothing-friendly way to have Atlas stones
  • Super heavy range available
  • Tonnes of additional training options
  • Plenty of weight range
  • Relatively small, so easy to store

Cons

  • Expensive, so only worth buying if you’re going to make the most of them

Verdict

Yes, these Rogue Atlas Rubber Stone medicine balls are specialist items but they’re fantastic if you’re into grappling, MMA, strongman, weightlifting etc. They’ll provide you with a lot of training options without dominating the whole gym. They’re a unique but useful item of equipment.


What are the different types of medicine balls?

Back in the day there was one type of medicine ball – a heavy, leather ball that didn’t bounce and was a difficult thing to grip when your hands got sweaty. They were heavy, but not particularly functional – you couldn’t slam them, throw them and they weren’t that heavy, so it ruled out a lot of true strongman style training.

Nowadays though we have different types of medicine balls…

Slam ball

A slam ball is the most functional of them all. They come in a variety of weights and sizes, textured and untextured. A slam ball is usually made from a rubber or polyurethane outer shell and filled with a dense gel, crumbed rubber or sand. They’ve usually got a bit of ‘give’ in them, so they have almost zero bounce capability.

A slam ball can be thrown hard against the floor, a wall etc, making it perfect for power training and general explosive movements.

Traditional medicine balls

These are usually made from leather or faux leather, but you’ll often see cheaper versions made from rubber or plastic. They tend not to be textured and they have limited bounce capability. They’re excellent for power development, core work, using as a push up base and carry exercises.

They are usually much bigger than the other types of medicine balls because the filling tends to be less dense. They also keep their shape well.

Wall ball

These are a type of medicine ball that is designed to be thrown at a slow to medium speed at a wall or target. They tend to be made with a plastic fake leather, with a lace-up section where the filling is added. These are NOT designed to be thrown hard at the floors or walls – the filling will leak out of these if they’re thrown hard at a surface (as members of my gym found out recently)…

Wall ball

They’re not especially functional beyond the wall ball exercise, but they’ve got a place.

Dynamic medicine balls

There are medicine balls with handles designed for dynamic purposes such as rotational work and throws. You’ll have seen them with handles and sometimes with attached fabric straps. You’re able to grip them really well when you need a firm hold, in exercises such as Russian twists for example.

Dynamic medicine balls vary a lot, so choose carefully. The ones with handles aren’t great for throwing for example.


What type of medicine ball is best?

This depends on the type of training you do. If you’re using your medicine ball for slams, over the shoulder tosses etc, you’ll be best off buying a slam ball. These can take an absolute beating and come in at a reasonable price. There’s also a huge variety of slam balls – textured or smooth, different weights, different fillings etc.

If you include a lot of smooth, static movements such as Pilates exercises, a traditional medicine ball is likely to be better for you. It doesn’t have to withstand high impact, nor does it have to be especially grippy. Likewise medicine balls with handles can help precision movements when you’re rehabbing injuries or building specific core strength.

When you’re looking to develop huge rotational power, throwing strength and the like the best option is one of the dynamic balls. Some of them even come with additional strap handles to allow you to generate large forces.


Best medicine ball weight

This is a difficult one to answer because it depends on the type of training you do with the medicine ball. I also think there’s not a single answer – I’ll explain why.

A medicine ball is fixed weight, unlike a barbell which can be adjusted. If you’re using the medicine ball for multiple exercises, each requiring a different weight then your only option is to buy a variety of balls.

I own medicine balls from 6kg through to 20kg, which suits my gym members perfectly. As a rule of thumb for men I’d go with a 10kg (22LB) and a 15kg (33LB) ball to cover most bases. For women, an 8kg (17.6LB) and a 12kg (26.4LB) ball is usually sufficient. Of course if you have the money and the use, buy more. Owning more equipment is rarely a bad thing!


4 Best Medicine Balls For Killer Home Workouts – Final Thoughts

Medicine balls are fun, functional, offer a huge amount of variety and can help to transform your fitness and physique. In a world of different choices, you’ll now understand more about what you need. Based on your training style and medicine ball requirements, one of these will be a great option…

 
  
 
Best for...
Why we love it
Ratings
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
Titan Rubber Tread Slam Ball
Best for... : General fitness users
Why we love it : Excellent quality, grip, robust and user friendly. Great price relative to competition, huge range of weights
Ratings: 5*
Rogue Medicine Ball
Rogue Medicine Ball
Best for... : Wall Ball
Why we love it : Scuff resistant vinyl and double-stitching makes this the best wall ball med ball on the market
Ratings: 4.9*
Rogue D-Balls
Rogue D-Balls
Best for... : Throwing exercises
Why we love it : Filled with a dense gel, this is a smaller, heavy ball that’s great for throwing. It’ll last you years!
Ratings: 4.7*
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
Rogue Rubber Atlas Stones
Best for... : Strongman lifts
Why we love it : Functional, heavy Atlas stones with an iron core and rubber exterior. Easier on clothes and floor, unlikely to chip.
Ratings: 4.6*

Steve Hoyles

Steve is a Personal Trainer, Weightlifting Coach, and Gym Owner. He has written about fitness for over a decade. He lives with his girlfriend Rachel and their two sons.

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