These machines are great for what they’re used for, but smaller pieces of equipment allow us to execute quick and highly effective workouts without bells and whistles.
If you’re looking to refine specific skills or put additional focus on certain muscles, having an agility ladder and a medicine ball in your home gym will allow you to get in some remedial practice.
Maybe your legs are right where you want them, but your arms deserve a little more focus.
Maybe you’re comfortable with the speed at which you can run, but you don’t feel agile enough to tackle challenging hikes or obstacle courses.
Practice makes perfect, and these tools allow us to specialize in our practice.
Targeted focus delivers real, visible results that are easy to track and measure.
If you want fine-tuned control over your personal fitness goals, supplementing your arsenal of heavy-duty workout equipment with a few small pieces for spot training is the only way to go.
- Using Medicine Balls
- Using Agility Ladders
- Best Medicine Balls with Reviews 2023
- Best Agility Ladders with Reviews 2023
Using Medicine Balls
Medicine balls are for more than just weight training.
There are certain exercises where it is unsafe to use something like a barbell, because it’s difficult to balance.
You can’t bounce or throw a barbell safely, which limits which muscle groups you’re able to engage.
Medicine balls have been used in gyms for decades because they serve a purpose the barbells simply cannot.
Using a wall as your workout partner, you can throw and catch your medicine ball.
You’re gaining strength while improving your coordination at the same time. Nobody wants to get hit with a ball that heavy, and your eyes will have to stay sharp.
Another advantage of using medicine balls over barbells while exercising is the balance they provide.
Barbells balance their weights on the left and the right, where medicine balls balance from the center. This means your action of lifting, hugging, or pressing the medicine ball will have to serve as its counterbalance.
It’s a little more challenging to use a medicine ball because the weight is so dense, but the result is a more concentrated focus on your active muscle groups.
Using Agility Ladders
Agility ladders serve a purpose that is vastly underrepresented by other pieces of exercise equipment.
If you want to become lightning-fast, develop a cat-like balance, and teach your brain and muscles to communicate at maximum speed, you’ll need an agility ladder for this purpose.
Every agility ladder exercise is basically a running drill.
You’ll use the spacing of the rungs and the outer walls of the ladder as a grid while running and jumping.
Having clear points of focus drives your brain to think a little harder, incorporating your mind into your exercise routine. In doing this, you train yourself to have better mastery over the way your body interacts with your workout.
Best Medicine Balls with Reviews 2023
Despite how straightforward medicine balls seem, they aren’t all created equal.
Depending on your level of fitness and current skill, you may need to make some special considerations when it comes to purchasing your medicine ball.
1. AmazonBasics Medicine Ball
If you’re a beginner or you don’t need intense training, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a regular medicine ball.
The AmazonBasics Medicine Ball is all you’ll need for the light stuff. It comes in different sizes.
- 10-pound weighted medicine ball for upper, lower, and full body exercises
- Constructed with sturdy, firm rubber with weight labeled on both sides of ball; lightly textured surface provides a superior grip
- Can bounce off hard surfaces
- Designed for classic medicine ball workouts, including ball toss, weighted twists, squats, sit ups, and more
- Ideal for developing core strength, balance, and coordination
When you’re just starting out, sticking to an 8 pound ball is the wisest option.
Since these medicine balls are so affordable, you can always purchase the next size up when you’ve outgrown your need for the smallest one.
These are also a great alternative for people who won’t be using their medicine balls every day.
You won’t need a heavy-duty medicine ball if it’s not going to be put through intense use that would increase the risk of damage.
The durable rubber coating and the textured grip surface will provide you with everything you need.
2. Empower Fingertip Grip Medicine Ball
If your hands get sweaty or you have a weak grip, you may find that the surface of regular medicine balls don’t feel secure enough while you’re using them.
- DESIGNED FOR WOMEN: Our medicine balls for women are designed with a woman’s body and needs in mind. Sculpt, tone and increase cardio and improve core strength.
- BURN MORE CALORIES: Toss, swing and lift weighted medicine ball to blast calories. Combining cardio and weight training results in burning more calories.
- CORE STRENGTH: Greatly improve your balance, core and posture with regular use of our weighted medicine ball.
- FASTER RESULTS: Our sand/air mixture shifts inside the ball during use engaging stabilizing muscles to maximize your workout.
- SOFT MEDICINE BALL: Made from high quality vinyl with a soft, fingertip-grip surface.
If you’re worried the ball is going to fly out of your hand, or it feels to difficult to grasp properly, you’ll love the innovative design of the Empower Fingertip Grip ball. Most other medicine balls have a rubberized surface that’s similar to a basketball, but with more divots.
Empower really breaks the mold.
The grips on the Empower ball are large, oval-shaped indentations.
They’ll grab onto the palms of your hands, and your fingertips will have a deeper place to rest. Since the grips cover more surface area on your hand, you’re less likely to accidentally throw or drop the ball.
If you want peace of mind with your medicine ball, these special grips will keep you safe.
3. Valor Fitness Slam Ball
Valor makes equipment for hardcore workout pros, and the Slam Ball is no exception.
While most medicine balls only come in low weights, the Slam Ball goes as high as 50 pounds.
If you plan on making your medicine ball a regular part of your workout routine, you may find that most medicine balls come in low maximum weight variants. Valor shatters this stereotype.
- FITNESS IN YOUR HANDS – Increase your stamina, muscle mass, power, and hand eye coordination with this ball. No more heavy weights and barbell to get the physique or fitness level you desire!
- MADE TO ENDURE YOUR SLAMMIN’ WORKOUTS – The dense wall that makes up the outer shell around the slam balls is made to absorb intense contact through a long period time. Don’t worry about how hard you will have to go because this ball can withstand all.
- GRIP WITH NO SLIP – Textured design to provide grip to your intense sweaty workouts. The slightly coarse shell and the circumferential rings give your hands a grippy feel to grab onto the excersize ball during the sweatiest moments.
- PERFECT FOR ANYONE – Slam ball exercises can be done in any stage of fitness, beginners or experts. They are both versatile and safe. Some of the exercises that can be done with slam balls are slams, weighted sit-ups, weighted squats, throws, twists, etc.
- ADDITIONAL- Dimensions of SB-20 are 10” x 10” x 10”. Sold as an individual slam ball.
Using a slam ball means you’ll be able to graduate to heavier weights as you become more comfortable using your medicine ball.
As you gain strength, go for the next size up. The Slam Ball is also great for experienced lifters, who won’t see benefits from using a traditional low-weight medicine ball.
If you’ve already got a few years of experience under your belt, opt for one of Valor’s heavier alternatives.
Best Agility Ladders with Reviews 2023
There are inexpensive agility ladders that will get the job done when used infrequently, and heavy-duty agility ladders that will last you for the rest of your life.
Think about how you intend to use your agility ladder before you make your purchase.
1. Yes4All Durable Agility Ladder
Yes4All’s agility ladder is just as basic as they come, and they’re also a great value for the price.
Coming in varieties of 8 rungs, 12 rungs, and 20 rungs, they’re inexpensive enough to purchase as a complete set to help you improve your agility skill.
The nylon and plastic construction makes these ladders affordable, but the quality of the materials makes them durable enough for light use.
- BUILDING UP SPEED FOR ANY SPORT: Agility ladder and hurdles are great for a variety of sports, improving coordination, agility, great warm up exercises tool for soccer, football, basketball, tennis, and physical therapy
- BOOST FOOTWORK FOR VARIOUS TRAINING LEVEL: Exercise ladder is designed with 8, 12, and 20 rungs; Rung-to-rung distance can be adjusted up to 15 inches, making soccer equipment suitable for different skill sets levels; Instruction is included
- DURABLE FOR LONG TERM USE: Fitness agility ladder features a durable nylon construction and sturdy plastic rungs, making football ladder lay well, perfect for a variety of agility training exercises
- EASY TO CARRY: Convenient carrying case is included for easier storage, making footwork ladder perfect both indoor and outdoor; Speed ladder is beneficial for athletes to maintain mobility
- FAST SET UP: Simply loosen the straps and rungs to set up on surfaces; Rung ladder doesn't take up much space but fun for training; A training ladder for footwork is a gift for soccer athletes, coaches, and fitness enthusiasts
This agility ladder is equipped with a snap-button system that will allow you to just the positioning and rungs on the ladder.
If you want to expand an existing ladder or reduce it for more focused agility exercises, it’s simple and convenient with Yes4All’s version.
2. Speedonym Non-Adjustable Agility Ladder
It may seem like a drawback that Speedonym’s agility ladder is not adjustable, but a lot of people will find that it’s exactly what they need.
This ladder is the standard size and specifications for professional agility ladders – 12 flat rungs, spaced at exactly 17 inches apart.
The vast majority of agility ladder workouts can be executed with this ladder.
Another bonus of a non-adjustable ladder is that it’s less likely to be damaged. It doesn’t have any moving parts, and its construction is solid.
Since it’s not made to be taken apart, the materials are a lot more durable than most on the market.
3. Power Systems Pro Agility Ladder
Power Systems makes the most hardcore agility ladders on the market, and that’s why so many professional training gyms use this brand.
They’re a lot more expensive than alternatives, but it’s worth the money. It’s nearly impossible to break them, and the size is so large that users will never outgrow them.
- Kit includes: 2 ladders, high-impact adjustable PVC slats, stakes, carry bag, and handle
- 30 foot long ladder can be separated into 2 15-foot sections
- Unique quick-change latch lets you adjust the placement of the slats, and lock them into position
- Use narrow spacing for short/quick steps or wider spacing for longer strides
- Indoor/outdoor use, includes stakes and anchor loops
They’re also much heavier than other agility ladders, and the weight means they’re less likely to slip and slide while someone is using them.
The Power Systems Pro Agility Ladder also comes with a unique feature that’s exclusive to the brand. Since most ladders snap or slide for adjustment, they sometimes become weaker from overuse of their adjustable parts.
The Power Systems ladder adjusts with heavy-duty latches, which will not damage the sides or lose integrity over time.
It may be an expensive investment initially, but you’ll probably never need to replace this agility ladder.
Agility ladders and medicine balls are simple solutions to common issues, and it’s worth spending a few bucks to tie up the loose ends in your workout routine.