The 8 Best Medicine Balls of 2021

Add some resistance and strength training to your workouts

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Our Top Picks
"Excellent for just about any exercise regimen."
"It can easily be bounced on any hard surfaces."
"Softer to hold and easier to catch while moving with ease."
"Can endure the hardest slams without any damage."
"Has a high-grade rubber that gives athletes a different feel."
"Provides better movement-based, dynamic workouts."
"Handles help intensify rotational core and leg exercises."
"Versatile and easy to use."

Medicine balls have come a long way and now come in a variety of weights and textures. Some have handles and some don't, some bounce and others don't. Using a medicine ball adds a whole new dimension to your training since it takes you through all planes of motion (unlike traditional weight training). This type of training translates well into how we really move in the real world.

Here are the best medicine balls for all your needs.

Best Overall: Valeo Pound Medicine Ball

Valeo -Pound Medicine ball

The best medicine balls are all about functionality. Valeo Medicine balls are well-made and have excellent utility for just about any exercise regimen. 

Available in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-pound weights, they have a simple, clean design with color-coding by weight. These medicine balls have a sturdy rubber construction, with an easy-grip rubber surface that is similar to that of a basketball. Great for strength training, balance training, plyometric workouts, and dynamic exercises—you can easily throw, catch, and bounce these balls.

Best Budget: AmazonBasics Medicine Bal

Medicine balls are one of the simplest pieces of workout equipment. The AmazonBasics medicine ball is a well-made, beloved, and inexpensive one that works well for any number of uses.

These rubber balls can easily be bounced on hard surfaces. They feature a unique textured exterior design providing a reliable grip. You can choose from a dozen weight options, each color-coded by weight, ranging from 4 pounds for core workouts to 20 pounds for strength training. Despite the low price, the AmazonBasics balls are durable (although not ideal for slamming).

Best Soft: Tone Fitness Soft Weighted Ball

Not everyone wants a medicine ball that feels like a heavy, overinflated basketball. Many workouts require a softer weighted ball, like the Tone Fitness Toning medicine ball. Great for strength and core workouts as well as balance, leg, and hand-eye workouts, these weighted balls are softer to hold and easier for many to catch and move with ease. 

There are three types of Tone Fitness soft weighted balls—6-pound, 8-pound and 10-pound—each in its own color, like lime or blue. The balls range in size from a 6.1-inch to a 7.1-inch diameter for sizes more amenable to many people’s hands compared to large medicine balls. From single-leg squats and toning workouts to crunches and v-ups, these soft balls are the optimal choice for plenty of workouts.

Best for Slamming: POWER GUIDANCE Slam Ball

Many medicine balls bounce well on a surface, but if you expose them to repeated slamming they’ll crack or explode. The Power Guidance Slam Ball is specifically designed to withstand the hardest slams over and over again. This medicine ball can handle the most intense workouts without taking any damage. 

The slam ball comes in seven weight options with diameters ranging from 9 to 11 inches. The ball absorbs your throws without bouncing or rolling. The rubber tire-like tread on the PVC exterior provides a great grip even with sweaty hands. The no-inflate ball is great for a variety of serious athletes who want to incorporate slamming and medicine balls into their high-intensity exercise routine.

Best Leather: ETHOS 20 lb. Wall Ball

Ethoa leather ball

Though many medicine balls on the market are made of high-grade rubber, there are still plenty of athletes who prefer the feel and the benefits of a leather option. If you're someone looking for a more traditional medicine ball, the Champion Sports Exercise Medicine Ball is a great pick.

It has eight weight options from 4-5 pounds to 21-22 pounds. The comfortable exterior surface of synthetic “leather" grips well even with sweaty hands and tough conditions. The unique exterior is particularly durable, and it provides athletes with a different shape and feel than rubber models. This ball is perfect for aerobics, CrossFit, slamming, and other workout styles.

Best for Women: Cap Barbel Medicine Ball

What makes the best medicine ball for women depends completely on the needs of each individual and her workout goals. Many women surely opt for the larger, heavier balls marketed at men, to have an intense workout. However, other women prefer medicine balls that contain less weight and a smaller diameter, as well as great grip. The CAP Barbell Rubber Medicine Ball has become a popular choice for women for these exact reasons. 

Smaller and lighter weight medicine balls allow women to do movement-based, dynamic workouts. The CAP ball is easy to bounce and comes in six different weight options, each in a two-tone color design. These balls are ideal for core exercises and can easily be incorporated into leg and arm workouts as well.

Best for Men: SPRI Dual Grip Xerball

Instead of a traditional medicine ball, many men prefer the “Xerball,” a hybrid option from SPRI. With the same functionality and purpose as a medicine ball, this pick features twin handles as well, allowing you to perform a more diverse range of workouts. 

Use this rubber ball as a traditional medicine ball, or take advantage of the handles for something new. The SPRI Xerball is particularly well suited for rotational core workouts as well as arm and leg exercises. The handles also let you strengthen your golf or tennis swing. The ball, which comes with an exercise guide, features an easy-grip textured exterior and a weight range up to 20 pounds. The unique design is ideal for guys who are familiar with weight routines but are hesitant to give medicine balls a try. Despite its strange design, it consistently remains one of the best-rated options out there today.

Best for Beginners: Fitness Gear 12 lb Medicine Ball

Fitness Gear 12 lb Medicine Ball

New users will love the Fitness Gear Medicine Ball for its versatility and ease of use. Choose the 12-pound ball to for a great start to your new workout routine.

This ball has a textured non-slip rubber surface that grips easily for new athletes with any sized hands. The ball is well-weighted for a wide range of upper and lower body workouts and allows for inflation, so you can fully bounce it. Fitness Gear recommends this ball for ab workouts in particular, but you can continue to use it for more advanced workouts as you progress.

How to Use a Medicine Ball in Your Workouts

By Paige Waehner

Most of you know that a stability ball is an excellent way to work every part of your body, including your abs, hips, and thighs. Using a ball, whether you're doing crunches, push-ups, or using it as a weight bench, targets your abs, back and stabilizer muscles for a more dynamic workout.

But what about doing these things with a medicine ball? Many of us may have used the old-timey ones in gym class or we may even have one sitting in the corner gathering dust.

Time to dust it off and put it to good use.

Why a Medicine Ball?

Instead of the scary gym class medicine ball, our current version is an excellent tool for building strength, balance, stability, and coordination.

  • They come in 1-lb increments, giving you tons of options for different exercises
  • They can be used for almost every exercise and movement you can imagine: Seated, standing, lying down, static movements and dynamic movements.
  • They don't damage floors if you drop them the way dumbbells can
  • They're fun to throw back and forth
  • They allow you to work on action and power that doesn't stress your joints at the end of the movement because the ball is released
  • They have a low risk of injury

Medicine balls have come a long way and now come in a variety of weights and textures. Some have handles and some don't, some bounce and others don't. Using a medicine ball adds a whole new dimension to your training since it takes you through all planes of motions (unlike traditional weight training). This type of training translates well into how we really move out in the real world.

Choosing a Medicine Ball

I like to recommend that my clients have a variety of medicine balls if they can. The average weight you'll want to use will probably be between 2 and 10 lbs, but it's nice to have increments. I recommend you have 4, 6 and 8 lbs. to start because some exercises will require more weight than others.

My favorite medicine balls:

  • The 4 lb Valeo medicine ball is high quality and has great texture so you don't drop it. It bounces so you could use it for exercises like the squat, dribble and toss.
  • The 6 lb Spri Xerball Medicine Ball is a huge favorite of mine because it, too, is very high quality and it has a great bounce.
  • The 8 lb ZoN Soft Medicine Ball is great because it's soft, so it doesn't bounce. I really like using this for push-ups.

Like a stability ball, using a medicine ball requires a lot of work from your abs and back, so choose a weight you can handle, usually between 2 and 10 lbs. The most movement begins at the core and without strong muscles, you risk injury as well as looking silly in the gym. Using a medicine ball can help you train those trunk muscles the way they work during daily activities, not just at the gym.

Getting Started

Sometimes you get a piece of fitness equipment and realize you have no idea how to get started or, even more confusing, how to integrate it into what you're already doing.

The great thing about medicine ball training is that it can be aerobic/anaerobic (tossing the ball back and forth) or you can use it as a strength training tool (as in medicine ball crunches).

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