Tornado Ball Training Update

Following my recent sledgehammer training update, I received a few inquiries from individuals who were interested in possible alternatives. They liked the idea of swinging a sledgehammer but didn’t have a hammer or a place to swing it. Fortunately, it is not difficult to create an inexpensive work-around.

Below you can see the same homemade tornado ball that I first demonstrated on this site several years ago. It weighs 27 pounds and has been beaten over and over again. It is still holding up well.

Tornado ball training


The tornado ball started as a homemade medicine ball. The medicine ball consists of a basketball filled with sand. After filling the ball with sand, it was sealed with a flat tire repair kit. The basketball was then wrapped thoroughly in tape to strengthen the outer layer.

Next, the medicine ball was enclosed within a basketball net. The basketball net was then wrapped in strong gorilla duct tape. Lastly, I attached a handle to the end of the basketball net. The handle is simply an old pant leg that was thickened at the end with pipe insulation.

Low-Tech, High-Effect

There is no denying that my tornado ball is as low-tech as anything I have ever built. It looks crazy and when I explain that the handle started as an old pair of pants, it sounds crazy as well. Most athletes who first see the tornado ball are probably wondering if I have a few screws loose in my head. Perhaps I do, but that doesn’t take away from the effectiveness of this low-tech tool. A heavy tornado ball is excellent for explosiveness and conditioning.

A brief demonstration can be seen below.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the tornado ball works well indoors or outdoors. When swinging the ball inside, I use a small piece of foam to absorb some of the impact. When using the ball outdoors, I swing it into a small hole that was formed by repeatedly pounding the ground with the ball.


“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” – Thomas A. Edison


  1. What is the loop attached to the basketball made of if i may ask, and how did you securely fasten the loop to the basketball net?

    1. @Brent – The loop is actually part of the net. There are larger loops on one end of a net (where it would attach to a rim). You simply wrap all of these larger loops together with duct tape. The result is a single (large) loop that will eventually attach to your handle.

  2. I don’t use it anymore, and after watching this video I think I’ll start using it again but I obtained a giant rope… about 3-3 1/2 ft. long and thick enough that I can grip it without my fingers touching… never weighed it but I’d say it was easily 25-30 pounds… Anyways I used this as an alternative to sledge hammer training and it was highly effective. All I had to do is tape the ends so it wouldn’t detangle, and so I could grip it and it was as tough as nails. Before I could drive out into the woods and use it without disturbing the peace but we moved about a year ago and there’s no woods or quiet areas in sight around here so I stopped using it. After watching this I really… REALLY want to use it again!

  3. This is very cool! Do you know/have any sense of whether it will hold up if used regularly on concrete? Thanks for all the ideas/insights/inspirations!

    1. I always use a mat or piece of foam (my gym floor is concrete under the anti-fatigue matting). Worst case scenario however, you can always add more gorilla tape if/when needed. It’s definitely strong tape.

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