Fitness equipment morphs really quickly, but a number of the best equipment choices have been around for a long time and continue to remain the top choices for professional trainers. This article outlines the best choices you can make regarding any kind of exercise ball. I am not going to rank a bunch of different products because this is not a sales website, nor am I interested in anything but the best products. These products are exactly what you will find in the best gyms, athletic clubs and training studios.
Since you probably came to this article to get insight into the best products available in anticipation of making a purchase, I’ll take a little time and put a few links in here where you can get an idea of costs, colors and shipping.
These are the kinds of exercise balls we are going to feature:
- Medicine ball (med ball)
- Slam ball
- Stability ball (Swiss ball)
The best medicine ball
The medicine ball is all about adding weight to dynamic movement to get an amazing training experience. Whether it’s tossing, throwing, twisting or just carrying, the medicine ball is an essential tool for the fitness-focused individual.
Dynamax makes the best medicine ball, period. There are other brands but they’re all trying to mimic the Dynamax brand. All of these balls are the same size regardless of weight, making them simple to carry, toss and use. These are the ultimate medicine ball on the market today.
They typically come in these weights (in pounds): 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20
I recommend the 8 and 14 pound balls for general purposes. These two weights tend to offer the best weight for just about every exercise you’ll do. If you need another weight for a specific purpose, then by all means do what you need to do.
The best slam ball
The best slam ball should do 2 things: Be heavy enough to double as a medicine ball and be dense enough to be slammed a million times without busting. This slam ball will do both perfectly. The original slam ball was awesome and the patent was sold to another company so it is no longer available. From there we saw slam balls coming from everyone under the sun and providing various levels of quality. A number of other manufacturers are copying this slam ball, but in my experience, they’re not of the same quality. This slam ball is about as close to the original as you can find. The REP Fitness slam ball comes with a great warranty too!
They typically come in these weights (in pounds): 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40
The 10 and 15 pound option are by far the most versatile and useful. The 20+ weight balls are great, but very limited in what you can use them for.
Remember a slam ball should have no bounce (like a medicine ball). The slam ball is designed to make you work and work hard, not make slamming movements easy by bouncing up into your arms. A quality slam ball will hit the floor and have zero bounce not only to avoid popping up and hitting you in the face, but also so it is dense and rugged enough to be slammed into walls, floors and any other flat surface you want to exercise on.
The best stability ball (Swiss ball)
Ivation brand makes a 2,000 pound load capable ball that beats all others. The cool thing is that it costs about the same as other balls of much lower quality. It will come with a pump which is standard with most stability balls.
They come in standard sizes: 55cm, 65cm and 75cm.
65cm is by far the most common and versatile size. 55cm is a little small and is great for exercises where you are holding the ball between your legs and in your hands while the 75cm ball is for people over 6 feet tall primarily and, in my opinion, is too big for most exercises but is great to use for balance movements where you are sitting, kneeling or standing on the ball. If you want to get one ball, get the 65cm option.
This is the best stability ball on the market and has been for some time. Most stability balls are pretty good, but this article is about the best products, not good ones.
And there you have it! Almost 20 years working as a professional trainer and training manager gives me plenty of real world experience and I can tell you that the products above are not only the best on the market currently, but also happen to be very affordable.
Best to you my friends!
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