Med Ball | The professional guide to choosing the Med Ball

The med ball is one of the few training pieces of equipment in the world, which can boast for itself a history of more than a century.

Most isotonic machines and free body equipment with which we use today in the present cannot boast such histories, but they date back their birth to between the 18th and the 19th century.

Of course, some might object that the dumbbells used by the ancient Greeks called might be similar to modern dumbbells, but let us disagree…

Halteres Manubri da palestra antichi greci Di Portum da Wikipedia in inglese, CC BY-SA 3.0

The relatively new intrinsic nature of modern exercise equipment obscures the fact that there exists a type of tool, used in almost all gyms in the world, which has a history that is lost in the mists of time.

Welcome to the world of the medical ball

No other training equipment is treated with as much contempt as the med ball. Slammed, thrown, raised, kicked.

You may be wondering why all this hatred, well the answer is simple :

KAREN WOD Benchmark

Exercising with the medical ball works! The results are incredible, but training with this type of equipment can be really devastating. An example ?

KAREN the Crossfit WOD Benchmark that belongs to the group of the infamous “Girl”… devastating!

For Time: 150 Wall Ball Shots

In this video A young Jason Khalipa performs the WOD Benchmark of Crossfit Karen in Rx version.

An ancient method of training

Few know the long history of the medicine ball. This article traces the long history of the medicine ball, starting from ancient Greece, to its resurfacing in the nineteenth century, up until its current use.

Some ancient surviving texts and certain post-rupestrian paintings suggest that as far back as ancient Greece athletes practiced with some form of ball.

The study of J. Berryman on Hippocrates, considered the “father of modern medicine”, highlighted how the famous Greek doctor recommended some form of ball game for patients to improve their health.

Previous studies, such as that of E. M. Plummer , suggest that Athenian athletes used balls as part of their gymnastic training.

In Rome, we have two strong examples of medical balls used by people. The first is the famous “girls in bikini” mosaic of Villa del Casale di Piazza, shown below.

Dating back to the 4th century A.D. , the mural shows two separate cases of  balls used. In the upper left we see a woman with a larger ball shape, presumably heavier, while in the lower right two women engaged in a game with a lighter ball.

Wonderful art aside, a more detailed example comes in the form of a book, the famous “Exercise with a small ball” published in the second century by Galen. In the short treatise the author tried to provide all the information necessary to keep himself healthy.

Just like Hippocrates, Galen was one of the leading medical authorities of his time. His word and his recommendations therefore had a certain meaning.

Galen on the medical ball says:

The most deserving form of exercise of our attention is that which has the ability to procure body health. This exercise, beneficial for health, determines a balanced condition, without undue accumulation of meat or lean weight

How many people have followed Galen’s prescriptions is hard to know, but it seems we have enough evidence to believe that some form of ball was used for gymnastic and medical purposes at the time.

The birth of the medical ball

Knowing exactly when the modern medical ball really came into use for the first time is not an easy thing.

The first use of the term medicine ball comes at the end of the nineteenth century, precisely in 1876, when it is said that the modern version was invented.

This Mr. Roberts, presented the exercise with the medical ball as a versatile means to exercise the whole of the body. It is said that Roberts, an instructor at the YMCA gym in Boston, was the first man to use the term “medical ball” in a gym.

From archival data arrived to us it is clear that later, Roberts, aware of the potential of the medical ball had in his work on the exercise, which included notes and explanations of proper use. Thanks to this work, the medical ball has been increasingly successful over the years.

Popularity and spreading

The medicine ball became hugely popular in the latter part of the nineteenth century and in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Pioneering health and exercise guru Bernarr Macfadden was a champion of the medical ball. Macfadden was a fascinating character: one of the first supporters of healthy eating and of regular exercise, was in various degrees a prophet, eccentric, braggart, entrepreneur, showman and famously self-centered.

(Example: he changed his name from “Bernard” to “Bernarr” because he wanted it to sound like a lion’s roar! )

Exact pronunciation

The medicine ball is called in many different ways (not always correctly) here are some of common use :

  1. Medicine ball (From English)
  2. Conditioning ball (Term related to Metcon)
  3. Med ball (Abbreviation of Medicine Ball)
  4. Wall ball (Erroneously from exercise used in Crossfit and Functional Fitness called Wall Ball Shot)

Medical ball vs Slam ball vs Atlas stone

If you’re a regular at a gym, you’ll find yourself facing a wall with dozens of different balls, with different textures and weights. Today we want to give you a hand explaining the difference between the medicine ball, slam ball and atlas stone

Here they are :

Medical Ball

Palla Medica da CrossFit Wall Ball

Cannon medicine balls can be used for a lot of exercises, from squats, to med ball clean, thrusters and so on, but they are known above all to make wall balls.

The ball is made of leather, so as to ensure a non-slip grip and be very durable. Our medballs are sewed with double seams so they could survive for a long time. All wall balls are equal in size regardless of their weight (from 2 to 15 kg).


Material: Leather

Diameter: 35 cm

Weight: from 2 kg to 15 kg

Carefully centered, double seams for greater resistance.

Our medicine ball “Cannon medicine ball” can be purchased at this address.


The Kingsbox Slamball is the perfect accessory that can be used for functional exercises, rehabilitation and much more. It will help you improve strength, endurance and agility. The Kingsbox Slam Ball are made of high quality rubber that makes them extremely resistant to falls from any height and ensures their long life.

In addition, the rubber is non-slip which allows you to have a good grip in all training conditions. The size of balls up to 15 kg is always the same, regardless of their weight, while those 15, 20 and 30 kg are larger and can also be used as atlas stone.

Weight: from 4 kg to 80 kg

Material: rubber

Color: black

They don’t bounce

Our Slam Ball is available at this address.

Atlas Stone

Atlas Stone per CrossFit e Strong Man

The marble stone has exceptional characteristics: it is more resistant than concrete, has a better grip and is also slightly smaller. We are sure that this product is the most durable on the market.

Weight and girth:

20 kg, 81 cm

30 kg, 85 cm

40 kg, 100 cm

60 kg

80 kg, 136 cm

110 kg, 120 cm

Material: marble

10% tolerance possible

Our marble Atlas Stone is available at this address.


As we have seen in this interesting article, the use of the medicine ball is lost to the beginning of time. Now that you know all about medical balls, all you have to do is pick the one that suits you best.


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