I love to save money. In fact, I have an entire home gym equipped with enough items to run bootcamps in my yard with less than $200 of investment. Here is a pic below of a small slice of my homemade equipment. What a beautiful array of clubbells, sandbags, and slosh tubes!
I also have 6 homemade medicine balls which cost about $5 tops to make each. Essentially I filled cheap basketballs with sand. CLICK HERE for a free copy of The Low Cost Gym ebook for instructions to make your own home gym.
The benefit of making your own medicine ball is obvious – cost. A 20 pound medicine ball at your local store could run you anywhere from $50 to $120. A 10 pound ball still might run you $35 plus.
However, there are some draw backs to using a sand-filled medicine ball. #1: They take a long time to make (think of slowly putting sand through a tiny funnel. Yep, count on a few hours each ball).#2: They work perfectly for every exercise we use except the Medicine Ball Slams. The way I make my own Medicine Ball, the plug won’t fail you, but slamming a ball filled with sand on hard cement with all your might is going to at some point literally split a seam. You can slam the ball after Get-up Stand-up Slams, but if you decide you want to go to town throwing the ball up against a cement wall or slamming it down as hard as you can, the homemade version isn’t going to hold up.
Even those leather, store bought versions can’t hold up to that level of slamming. For that, you need a good slamming ball – one made of thick, rubber. They even make “no bounce” slamming balls (see pic below). Why wouldn’t you want your medicine ball to bounce? Well for starters you could nail yourself in the face if you aren’t careful. Plus it forces you to slam hard to get some air off of the bounce and it works great for throwing around a track without having it bounce 50 feet each throw.
When it comes down to it, the best option would be to rely heavily on the cheap homemade versions, but have a nice “slamming” ball for those fun-filled days at the track. If you can’t afford both, my suggestion is to save money for now and go for the homemade version. You can always add more equipment later.