What are the Different Types of Fitness Balls?

Woman working out with a weighted ball
A ball is a ball is a ball, right? Not when you’re in the gym.

Just like a basketball isn’t a softball, not all balls in the gym serve the same purpose. There are the large, inflatable balls people like to do crunches on and small, firm balls used for trigger-point therapy. Other balls may look more similar – like a slam ball and a medicine ball, for example. But swap one for the other, and you may be in for trouble.

Here’s your guide to All Things Spherical in the gym.


Lifters using slam balls in the garage gym

Slam Balls help you train explosive power and improve conditioning. These weighted balls are super durable, made with a double-thick shell and reinforced air valve so you can slam them against the floor thousands of times without worrying about them breaking. Their grippy shell ensures a solid grip on the ball during even the toughest workouts. Slam balls are made from thick rubber and filled with sand, and they have a soft, shifting feel. They come in different sizes (diameter and weight).  

You could use a Slam Ball for wall balls – but good luck. They’re pretty heavy and wobbly (due to the shifting sand) to toss high overhead. These suckers are meant to be chucked downward, not upward.  


Lifter using a medicine ball on a bench

By comparison, Medicine Balls aren’t rubber, they’re usually handmade out of leather or synthetic materials. They’re not filled with sand and are not as durable as Slam Balls; they’re not designed to be thrown at full force against the floor thousands of times.  

Instead, Medicine Balls are designed for training dynamic movements, such as throwing, training core strength, improving coordination, and developing explosive movements. Use Medicine Balls for wall balls, cleans, throws, and more. Like Slam Balls, med balls are still super durable, hand stuffed and double stitched with extra thick threading. But they’re softer, grippy, and well-balanced for wobble-free workouts. 

Med balls also come in different weights, but all have the same diameter.  


A balance ball trainer

If you’re new to the gym, you may confuse a Balance Ball Trainer for one of those large, inflatable exercise balls. But a Balance Ball is only one-half of the ball, attached to a flat platform. Balance Balls can be used round side up or flat side up for different balance challenges. These half-balls are great to help you improve your balance, coordination, midline strength, and more. They’re never going to roll away, like an exercise ball. 


A peanut roller

OK, this ball is actually two balls connected in the shape of a peanut, hence its name. A Peanut Roller isn’t for strength-training. It’s for mobility and to reduce muscle soreness pre- and post-workout. The peanut-like shape of this roller can reach areas around your spine, hips, hamstrings, quads, and more – spots that other foam rollers can’t easily access. 


A globe pull-up bar

Look up for the last collection of gym spheres, the Globe Front Mount Pull-Up Bar. The use of this unique pull-up bar’s a little more obvious: It’s a pull-up bar with small globes (3.1” diameter) and large globes (4” diameter) to hit different muscles and improve your grip. Hold onto these iron globes and enjoy a new variation of pull-ups.