Picture of How to make your own medicine ball
This instructable will show you how to make your own medicine ball, for use with all different kinds of exercises, for a fraction of the cost of purchasing one!
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Step 1: Get a basketball!

Picture of Get a basketball!
I bought my basketball from Wal-mart for $6, so you can definitely find one for under $10.
To fill the basketball, you have a few choices:

1.) I cut two slits in the ball, making a triangular flap.
I then taped the flap back, and filled my ball with sand.
Closing a flap is a little messy, but I had intended on taping the ball anyway, so it made my filling quicker.

2.) You could use an awl or a drill to put a hole in one of the black stripes on the ball.
Fill the ball with a small funnel, and then patch with a radial tire patch kit.

Step 2: Fill the ball

-If you fill using my method, you can use a dowel or a broom handle or something to occasionally pack down the contents as you fill it.
-If you fill using the small hole/funnel method, I think the only thing that you can do to pack down the contents is occasionally shake the ball to make sure that everything settles.

To fill the ball, I used an empty drink pitcher to pour sand through the opening cut in the ball.

Using a bag of play sand purchased from Home Depot ($4), the ball ended up at just below 25 lbs.

Dry sand has a density of around 1600 kilogram/cubic meter
Wet packed sand around 2000 kg/cu.m.
Some lighter household materials that would work for this instructable are:
Coarse salt is around 800 kg/cu.m.
Fine salt is around 1200 kg/cu.m.
Granulated sugar is around 850 cu.m.

Or improvise for your contents!
Just remember, sand makes a pretty heavy medicine ball by itself!
vladivastok2 months ago


oh yesh, this is awesome. I love to do 'ABCs' with a medicine ball, but my 6lb ball us getting too easy, and I can't afford a heavier one. Fortunately I have the materials for this! I will post photos when it's all done.
HEY YOU4 years ago
Nice work

If you have access to a metal stamping shop, try asking for some small metal slugs to fill the ball... My basketball is only 3/4 full and weighs about 25 pounds, I find the ball pretty easy to hold.

Just a tip for your consideration....apply a back massager (or anything that vibrates) to the side of the ball while filling it up. This way the air will work it's way out and more sand can fit in.
kelsium4 years ago
Thanks for the great instructable. I have been looking for a cheap medicine ball and this is perfect.
samthor5 years ago
I've found cutting the top of a soda/ water bottle works well as a funnel.
spivurno5 years ago
Awesome, awesome instructable! Saved me a mess load of money!
jc817 (author)  spivurno5 years ago
Hey, anytime! That's what I'm here for haha
you should fill it to nearly the brim with sand then miz with some water the sand will expand making it Alot heavier
I followed this instructable a couple months back with a deflated basketball I found while on a run. My ball came out to exactly 20lbs. I use it for ab work mostly. Great job!
benthekahn6 years ago
What if the ball was filled with water through the normal air inlet?
jc817 (author)  benthekahn6 years ago
I thought about it, but haven't tried it yet. The ball would be lighter (I think) since common sense makes me think the density of sand is more than the density of water. But I sure wouldn't want to risk any of the seams bursting if it WERE filled with water.
sand is more dense then water, but water fills more area. Something "filled" with sand is probably about 1/3 air.
jc817 (author)  benthekahn6 years ago
True. I still don't think you'll be able to cram 3 and 1/8 gallons of water into one basketball though. So the sand will still be heavier, air and all.
awsome instructable, I can't wait to do this over thanksgiving break I think that if someone is smart enough to make one of these for themselves then they should be smart enough to know not to drop it on thier foot. LOL
taokodr7 years ago
Awesome entry! My medicine ball turned out to be ~25 lbs. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all the extra Gorilla glue ;-) Peace! GB!
jc817 (author)  taokodr7 years ago
You can never have "extra" gorilla glue in my book! Consider it an incentive for a new project! ahaha glad you liked the instructable.
Darkshot7 years ago say haha before you say you should put a is hockey tape just regular ol' electrical tape?
jc817 (author)  Darkshot7 years ago
I had to laugh, I assumed it was a joke. As with all weights and exercise equipment, among other things, dropping it on your foot will hurt.
Theres my disclaimer :)
Darkshot jc8177 years ago
rofl.... i like you man :) your cool and yeah i droped a 25 pound weight directly on the center of my foot one time in weight trianing... lets just say it left a dent in the foot but not a bruse....which is weird :)...the dent came out after a few days but it hurt for like 3 days after that =/
No. It's a soft tape kind of like athletic tape. It's designed to givea rough, but still somewhat soft, surface to the handle of hockey sticks so that they can keep grip during the game. Lacross and field hockey sticks would use the same stuff. Worst case, athletic tape might work too.
sgt.paper7 years ago
awsome i droped it on my foot and broke my toe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jc817 (author)  sgt.paper7 years ago
Haha i should put a disclaimer then huh?