The instructions are fairly straightforward. The balls are filled with sand and then sealed to prevent leaking. The medicine ball seen in the video below is 23 pounds and has been used regularly for approximately 18 months. It is one of several DIY balls that I have in the gym. Heavy medicine balls are often difficult to find locally hence my reason for building these balls.
This particular ball was first sealed with a flat tire repair kit. I then added a second layer of protection with a thin coat of epoxy which was then covered with Gorilla Tape (the black area seen in the picture above). The end result is a durable and compact medicine ball.
Non-bounding Medicine Ball
A common question that I receive about DIY med balls is in regards to their non-bounding nature. A basketball filled with sand obviously does not have much (if any) bounce to it. I personally prefer a non-bounding ball as you can throw it with maximal force without concern over it flying back at you (like this).
I do realize however that a small rebound can be useful when throwing the ball for multiple reps. With this in mind, I want just enough rebound to allow for an easy catch after each throw. I do not want the ball crashing to the floor like a dead weight, as it would interrupt the flow of the exercise.
Therefore, I use a large tire as a rebounding surface for the ball. The tire adds a small amount of rebound that wouldn’t be present when throwing against a solid wall (ex. brick or cement). The tire is also a much more forgiving surface which extends the life of the ball.
As you can see below, I angle the tire slightly to prevent it from tipping. This angle also helps to provide just enough rebound after each throw.
As for finding one of these large tires in your area, take a look at this past entry. I was fortunate to acquire these tires for free.
The video below shows a brief demonstration of a one arm throw with the homemade medicine ball. A conventional stance is used for the right arm and a southpaw stance for the left arm. Train both sides equally.
As you can see, an inexpensive DIY medicine ball can be a useful power training tool. Sledgehammer swings make a nice addition to these throws for a brief power training circuit. I often have fighters perform these exercises after I’ve finished holding the mitts for them.
The combination of a free tire, a $5 DIY medicine ball and a sledgehammer make for an inexpensive, yet highly effective power training kit.
For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below: