Valeo Medicine Ball
- Classic medicine ball workout helps develop core strength, improve coordination, and fine-tune balance
- Sturdy rubber construction can bounce off hard surfaces
- Textured finish provides a solid grip
- Come in four-, six-, eight-, ten-, and 12-pound weights
- Exercise wall chart is also included
Valeo medicine ball features sturdy rubber construction with a textured surface for superior grip. The ball’s durable construction allows it to bounce off hard surfaces. Includes an exercise wall chart. Helps develop core strength and improve coordination, balance, and endurance.
QUICK COMMENT ON WEIGHT SELECTION: Before getting into the meat of my review, here’s a quick tip for my fellow newbies regarding shopping for medicine balls: one of the biggest difficulties in shopping for a medicine ball is that you NEED to know in advance exactly what type of exercises you intend to use it for, because that will determine the type of ball you need (i.e., soft or hard, large or small, rebounding or non-rebounding, etc), and its optimum mass for your needs … and there’s a scarcity of helpful information out there, especially on choosing the latter (mass). The Valeo is of the hard variety, and is intended primarily for things like plyometrics (ex: P90x) and rebounding. That narrows things down quite a bit, but it still doesn’t give online shoppers a feel for how much mass they need. Here’s my key point: the equation for Kinetic Energy is 1/2(Mass x Velocity squared). In other words, the KE of an object of known mass increases with half the square of its relative velocity. So, what does that mean to the average lay person ? Essentially, if you’re doing low speed plyo movements, the KE isn’t that dissimilar from it’s motion while at rest, but once you start doing higher velocity movements (ex: rebounding), the kinetic energy involved in starting/stopping those movements goes up DRAMATICALLY, which is why you need a lighter ball for rebounding than for plyo. So, if you’re using say 10 or 12 for moves like ‘chops’, I recommend starting 2+ lbs lighter for rebounding until you are well acclimated … especially for WALL rebounding (where you replace gravity’s role). In fact, you might even want another (even lighter ball) specifically for wall use – like (example) 12 for low speed plyo, 10 for vertical rebounding, 8 for wall rebounding. Hope that helps.
Ok, on to the review.
STRONG LIKES for Valeo Medicine Ball:
* DURABILITY: The rubber material used in construction seems extremely tough, and well suited for long term heavy use, which is important for use in rebounding.
* REBOUNDING: I haven’t had a chance to experiment with inflation levels yet, but rebounding seemed pretty decent straight out of the box – a moderately firm overhead slam of a 10# ball onto concrete rebounded to around waist high, which seemed ok.
* GRIP: The grip is very securely non-slip.
MINOR DISLIKES for Valeo Medicine Ball:
* SMELL/MATERIAL: The smell and tactile feel of the exterior is very similar to that of a car tire, which most will either dislike, or at best tolerate. Because the material is uniform, it’s probably permanent and unlikely to fade … which could be an issue for people with sensitive noses who use/store these in smallish indoor rooms (ex: physical therapy). The smell also tends to linger a bit on your hands. The material can also leave minor scuff marks on hard abrasive surfaces, and tends to attract dirt, necessitating periodic rinsing. In my case, I’ve avoided the problem by moving from my patio (slate) to my garage, which has a poured concrete floor sealed with heavy duty epoxy-paint.
* OVERHARD: These balls are quite hard, which can be either an advantage or a slight disadvantage, depending on how you use it. A harder non-slip ball is great for things like ball-pushups, but an over-hard ball that’s close to your weight tolerance can be quite jarring to use for say wall-rebounding, and leave you wishing for something a bit more forgiving. Also, for rebounding, don’t even think about trying to use these against indoor dry-wall (not strong enough), wood floors (too noisy, bouncy, loud and scuff-prone), or carpeting (wont rebound enough) … smooth concrete (preferrably epoxy-sealed), or a rebounder rig, is best.
* INFLATION: Most web-based descriptions of this product appear to go out of their way in avoiding mention that this ball must be inflated for use. The manufacturer provides a standard needle, but is unhelpfully vague in how much pressure is optimal.
Bottom line: despite the annoying car-tire smell and texture, this is a very solid and durable ball that’s well suited for both outdoor rebounding, and indoor plyometrics … although first time shoppers (like me) are recommended to be mindful of the different weights needed for both types of use (i.e., less weight is needed for rebounding than for plyo). Recommended.