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Homemade Med Ball With Tire Rebounder

Homemade medicine balls have been discussed on this blog several times before (ex. here and here).  There are also a few variations listed within the homemade equipment archives.

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.

Finding A Tire To Flip

Video Demonstration

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.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

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For more homemade equipment ideas, please refer to the link below:

Homemade Exercise Equipment Archives

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11 comments

11 Comments so far

  1. Roberto Aguilar September 24th, 2010 1:35 pm

    Great Idea Ross! and great music selection.

  2. Sam September 24th, 2010 2:26 pm

    Ross, how much do your sandbags in the video weigh?

  3. Administrator September 24th, 2010 5:43 pm

    Sam, I’ve got over 10 sandbags (some DIY and others custom sewn for me). There are bags ranging from around 80 pounds to 200+ pounds.

  4. Sam September 24th, 2010 6:22 pm

    1) Will sandbag be optimal for maximal strength training?
    2) If possible, can we see your custom sewn bag?
    3) Where did you buy it? And how much was it?

    Thanks, Ross.

  5. Ian September 25th, 2010 8:31 am

    Ross-

    Good insight about using the tire for a rebounding surface.

    My DIY sand-filled medicine ball has zero rebound as well, and it will be nice to get a little bit of return off of each throw.

    As for giant tires, I went to the dump the other day (there is no garbage service where I live, so every few weeks I have to load up the truck and drive 45 min to the dump! makes you appreciate modern convenience!). There were several MASSIVE tires, just like you show here.

    I thought I had struck gold! I grabbed one, and was just about to throw it into the truck, when one of the workers came over and stopped me. Apparently at this particular dump, everything that is dropped off is the property of the dump and cannot be removed.

    But later on, I stopped by the local tire store and grabbed a used truck tire for free, which has been great for sledgehammer swings. It isn’t quite big enough to use for a med. ball rebounding surface, so I will have to keep my eyes peeled for a bigger tire at some point.

    Anyways, thanks for the post.

    -Ian

  6. Bryan September 27th, 2010 1:25 am

    That is so cool, never thought of making a medicne ball out of a basketball.

  7. Joe Hashey September 30th, 2010 12:05 am

    Ross,

    Thanks for sharing! Great idea with the tire rebounder.

    Joe

  8. Lawrence 'Warmachine' March 20th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Thanks Ross for this. I made 2 med balls some months ago after seeing this. V cheap yet effective! They r silver from the duct tape. Anyway, there was a Supermoon in the sky yesterday. The hippie that I am, I took the larger one and did 100 overhead jump thrusts with it. This was to symbolise ‘catching the moon’. It worked cos the went in and out of sight as I did it! Miraculously…I now have superhuman cosmic strength (kidding)!

  9. Lawrence 'Warmachine' March 20th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Thanks Ross for this. I made 2 med balls some months ago after seeing this. V cheap yet effective! They r silver from the duct tape. Anyway, there was a Supermoon in the sky yesterday. The hippie that I am, I took the larger one and did 100 overhead jump thrusts with it. This was to symbolise ‘catching the moon’. It worked cos the Supermoon went in and out of sight as I did it! Miraculously…I now have superhuman cosmic strength (kidding)!

  10. Steve Dunk October 3rd, 2011 10:42 am

    Great website. Thank you for taking the time to make all this. Any advice on weight loss without loss of strength?

    Steve.

  11. Julien April 20th, 2013 10:14 pm

    I was shopping on amazon for a medicine ball and I couldn’t get anything under 60$ at the cheapest. I went and got I basket ball for under 6$ and filled it with sand like you suggested and voilà! I know own a 20 pound+ med ball for only 6$ and very durable…

    I used some crazy glue on the ball to seal it and then put a lot of duck tape over it… We’ll see how that goes.

    Thanks for the advice Ross!

    Julien

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