If you do CrossFit, should you buy a medicine ball, slam ball, or wall ball? Do you need all 3? And what is the difference?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best medicine balls for CrossFit and fitness enthusiasts.
To learn about the difference between a medicine ball, a slam ball, and a wall ball, click here.
In a hurry? Here are the best medicine balls .
You can read full reviews for each medicine ball at the bottom of this article.
What Are Medicine Balls? (“Med Balls”)
Medicine balls have more of a “history” in the fitness world than slam balls and wall balls do.
They are made from rubber, leather, or plastic, and usually have a hard shell.
1 of the 9 fundamental CrossFit movements is called the “med ball” clean, though it is often done with a 20lb wall ball instead.
You will hear different people use different words to describe a medicine ball.
Some will say “wall ball”. Chances are, you can perform the same movements with either piece of equipment.
You will be better off using a slam ball to do exercises where the ball hits a surface (wall, floor) aggressively.
An example would be the med ball slam.
Medicine balls have a softer surface and are made from less resilient material, meaning they will wear out quicker.
For the rest of this article, assume that “medicine ball” is basically the same as a “wall ball”.
Training With a Medicine Ball
Here are some tips for implementing medicine balls into your training, exercises you can do, and 2 example workouts.
Implementing Wall Balls Into Training
Medicine ball exercises are fantastic for developing explosiveness and power.
They are also good for rehabbing injuries and doing higher rep exercises normally done with a barbell or dumbbell.
Exercises that can be done with medicine balls
If you do CrossFit, the best medicine ball exercises you can do will be full body, compound exercises.
Think of movements like lunges (overhead or front rack), squats, sit-ups, wall ball shots, and medicine ball tosses.
Medicine balls are also a great tool for accessory work.
Doing extra sets of unilateral exercises like single leg squats and deadlifts will help defeat your weaknesses.
Here are some good medicine ball exercise videos to check out:
Top 33 Med Ball Exercises
100 Core Exercises with a Medicine Ball
Medicine Ball Workout Example
Here are 2 workouts you can try. One is a “traditional” CrossFit workout, and the other is a good challenge for any fitness enthusiasts.
5 Rounds For Time:
- 3 Muscle Ups
- 30 Medicine ball (Wall Ball) shots (20/14lbs)
- 10 Deadlifts, 225/185lbs
This is a modification from a 2009 CrossFit regionals workout.
If you have muscle-ups, a good time to finish would be under 14 minutes.
Complete a total of:
- 100 wall ball/medicine ball shots
- 100 overhead medicine ball lunges
- 100 medicine ball sit-ups
Each time you rest (putting the ball down or stopping for more than 3 seconds), you must run a 100m (50 out, 50 back) shuttle with your medicine ball in hand.
How To Choose A Wall Ball Weight?
Generally speaking, you want to choose a wall ball weight you can pick up and hold in a front rack position without much trouble.
This way, you can perform the standard movements like wall ball shots, lunges and squats without struggling to hold it.
The standard CrossFit workout weight is 20 lbs for men and 14 lbs for women, but you can always scale and work your way up.
Exercises done with more than 30 lbs should probably be performed with a slam ball.
Top Medicine Balls Reviewed
1. ROGUE MEDICINE BALLS
Rogue does it all, and the medicine ball is no exception.
Their equipment is always pricey, but if you want to train like the CrossFit pros do, they know some people will pay a premium.
This author’s humble opinion is that, as a CrossFit athlete that’s used this equipment, Rogue offers a good option, but you can probably find a cheaper one of similar quality.
In my experience, their ball tends to get lumpy and lopsided after a few months.
This makes your wall ball shots tend to come off the wall at weird angles difficult to catch.
2. Garage Fit Wall Ball
Cheaper but still well built, the Garage Fit medicine ball is a fan favorite.
Non slip-grip, sturdy, and well balanced are the words most reviewers use to describe this one.
And for what it’s worth, their most expensive (heaviest) medicine ball will cost you less than half the Rogue variations will.
3. Titan Fitness Soft Medicine Ball
Titan always does a nice job of building cheaper products that do well, and their wall ball options meet that standard.
This one has a softer feel than the Rogue and Garage Fit option, which makes it ideal for newer athletes and kids.
But some reviewers mention the same “lopsided” problem the Rogue balls tend to develop after a little use.
4. Rep Fitness
If I were buying a medicine ball today, it would probably be this one.
Some reviewers say the surface is slippery, so if grip is important to you, it may not be the right option.
Medicine balls (wall balls) are a great way to train explosiveness and power.
They are also great for rehabbing injuries and can be used as a substitute for barbells and dumbbells.
To extend the life of your equipment, perform heavier/more explosive movements (or any where the ball is hitting a surface hard) with a slam ball.