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What Size Medicine Ball Should I Use?

What Size Medicine Ball Should I Use?

Nicollette Guido |

What Size Medicine Ball Should I Use?

When looking for the perfectly sized medicine ball, you must do as Goldilocks does—find a medicine ball that’s just right.

Performing a medicine ball workout with a weighted ball that’s too heavy can set you up for failure, making workouts more difficult and increasing your chances of getting injured. On the other hand, a medicine ball that doesn’t weigh enough may thwart your progress.

Typically, medicine balls range in size from 2-pound softball-sized balls to 50-pound slam balls. To choose the exercise ball that’s right for you, consider your prior experience, strength proficiency, and what type of medicine ball workout you’re looking to perform.

If you’re wondering “What size medicine ball is right for me?” or “What size medicine ball should I start with?,” we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in.

What Sizes Do Medicine Balls Come In?

A range of sizes with different weight parameters can often be found at your local gym or through fitness-geared retailers. For example, when you shop Tru Grit Fitness, you can find a range of medicine balls between 4 and 30 pounds and several slam balls that range from 15 to 55 pounds.

While there can be variations in what every store or gym will provide, here is a simple size chart of different medicine ball weights.1

  • 2 pounds (1 kg)
  • 4 pounds (2 kg)
  • 6 pounds (3 kg)
  • 8 pounds (4 kg)
  • 10 pounds (5 kg)
  • 12 pounds (6 kg)
  • 15 pounds (7 kg)
  • 20 pounds (8 kg)

Typically, medicine balls that exceed 20 pounds are considered slam balls, rather than wall or medicine balls. These are specific types of medicine balls that are geared toward functional training, which emphasizes core strength and stability. A heavier ball is often thrown or ‘slammed’ on the floor to activate the muscles in your back, shoulders, glutes, core, and legs.

How to Find Your “Just Right” Medicine Ball

The key to picking what size medicine ball to use is choosing a weight that encourages speed and offers a challenging amount of resistance.2 As such, find a weight that’s compatible with your fitness level, age, and lifestyle.

If you’re just starting out and are learning how to perform common medicine ball exercises, it’s generally recommended to start with a lighter ball and build to a heavier ball as you perfect your form. However, if you’re a tried and true medicine ball training enthusiast, it’s recommended that you incorporate a heavier weight into your routine.3

To that end, we’ve detailed experience-specific weight recommendations below. However, be aware that these do not apply to every individual and it’s best to choose a weight that works for you and your body:

  • Beginner – For beginners or individuals with no prior weight training experience, it’s generally recommended to opt for a weighted ball that is 4 lbs, 6 lbs, or 8 lbs.
  • Intermediate – For intermediate fitness enthusiasts (those with at least a year of strength or functional training), opt for a 10 lbs, 12 lbs, or 15 lbs-medicine ball.
  • Advanced – For advanced fitness enthusiasts with over 2 years of consistent strength training or functional experience, a medicine ball that weighs 15 lbs or more is suitable.

Ultimately, the best medicine ball is one that will give you enough resistance but isn’t impossible to throw around (which is recommended when using a medicine slam ball) or lift overhead (which is recommended for a medicine wall ball). This is one of the key differences between using a medicine vs slam ball.

Are Medicine Balls Good For Beginners?

Medicine balls make for an incredible exercise, especially for those new to functional movements. To that end, beginners can benefit from incorporating a med ball into their routine in a number of ways:4

  • #1 Builds power – Power is the ability to use one’s maximum strength in an increasingly short amount of time. Explosive movements such as overhead slams target multiple target groups in your back, shoulders, glutes, core, and legs to build strength and improve endurance.
  • #2 Improves mobility – As you age, it’s optimal to target your functional mobility, or the free movement of your joints. Functional movements include picking up, throwing, and catching objects, such as a medicine ball. Additionally, performing squats, lateral steps, and lunges with a medicine ball in hand can improve your coordination, mobility, and aerobic capacity.
  • #3 Builds balance and coordination – With a medicine ball in hand, your core is destined for an ab-igniting workout. Many different exercises with medicine balls, such as Figure 8s and shoulder presses, necessitate that you stand in place, requiring you to engage your core muscles throughout the duration of the routine. Over time, these types of exercises can improve your balance and coordination and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Asking yourself, “What medicine ball should I start with?” is only half the battle. While the size and weight of your medicine ball matter, consistency is another big factor. As such, cultivate a routine of medicine ball exercises that meet your body where it’s at and prepare it for where you want to go. Generally, combining static and dynamic movements can help you to meet your fitness goals.

What the Science Means

That’s a lot of numbers to look at, but what does it all mean? At the base level, these studies show that battle ropes are effective at activating muscles throughout the body, which is a key component if you’re looking to build strength and muscle.

These studies also show that different battle rope exercises can target different muscle groups. And keep in mind, the exercises tested are far from the extent of exercises you can do—the great thing about battle ropes is that they’re extremely versatile.

You can move the ropes laterally to focus more on obliques and adduction or you can add in squats, lunges, or jumps to light up your lower body. Battle ropes also come in a variety of sizes and weights, meaning you can customize your workout to your fitness level and goals.

Crush Your Fitness Goals With Tru Grit

Consider your experience level and fitness goals when choosing a medicine ball to incorporate into your workout. While beginners should opt for medicine balls that weigh no more than 8 pounds, more experienced athletes can opt for medicine balls that weigh 15 pounds or more.

Find your perfect fit with Tru Grit.

We offer an array of top-of-the-line fitness equipment, including medicine balls and slam balls in a variety of sizes and weights. Whether you’re looking for a handcrafted precision weight ball made of scuff-resistant material or a durable slam ball made to last, you’re bound to find one that’s just right for you.