Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do You Ugi?

Ugi, Ugi, Ugi – what a fun name for a fun ball. I liked saying it – Ugi, Ugi, Ugi – then I learned I was saying it wrong (sigh). I was pronouncing it “yoo-gee” when it is really pronounced “you-guy”. Oh well, at least the ball is still fun!

I’m a self-professed, old school gym rat. I love to push the weight, feel the iron in my hand, the strength in my body. This means I have a tendency to overlook other, very important, types of fitness regimens – such as stretching, yoga, and functional fitness. So, one of my goals this year was to incorporate these other types of workouts into my routine. I’m getting better at the stretching and doing plyo’s – I even pick up a kettle bell on a routine basis now. Now, I’m trying functional fitness – thanks to the Ugi system.

What is functional fitness you ask? The goal of functional training is to emphasize the transfer of fitness gained from exercise into improved performance in daily activities, such as shoveling snow from your sidewalk.
The body knows movements rather than muscles. Traditionally we use a machine-based strength training which focuses on isolating muscles to increase the size of a given target muscle but does not demand the 
coordination required to build optimum strength and performance. Simply put, it forces you to use muscles you didn’t even know you had.

I was more than thrilled when Ugi agreed to let me take their system for a test drive – and I love that the ball they sent was pink – perfect for my Sweat Pink Sisterhood!

So what is an Ugi ball? Essentially, it’s a squishy medicine ball. When you kneel or lean on it, all your stabilizer muscles are called into action to keep you from falling off. It comes in various weights so you can choose the right one for you. They sent me an 8lb (if you are an advanced exerciser I would go with the 12lb – which I may order myself). You can use the ball for any exercise you would use a medicine ball – as well as many others.

Ok, enough technical mumbo jumbo – on to what you really want to know – does it work? In a word, yes, and it was so much fun to use! The DVD was great to follow and had exercises that I hadn’t tried. By the end of my 30 minute workout, I had a nice “glisten” – oh who am I kidding – I sweat!  I can easily see this becoming part of my weekly routine. You can make it as easy, or as tough as you want by the exercises you choose and the time you spend doing each one. You can get a whole body workout done in 30 minutes – anywhere - no gym required!

Your Ugi kit comes with:
  • Ugi ball in the weight of your choice, available in 6, 8, 10 or 12lbs.
  • Five total body workouts on DVD with instructions, tips, tricks, modifications (utilizing 140 different exercises)
  • A stand-up, easy-to-follow Ugi workout guide that has all 5 total body workouts, easy to pack and carry no internet needed!
  • A no-nonsense guide to making good eating choices
  • Access to an online video library of Ugi exercises
  • Free downloadable Ugi interval timer for the iPhone (other smartphone platforms to come) 

My opinions –

The Pros:
Easy to use DVD. This is a big one for me, if it appears too complicated; I will turn it off in a heartbeat. If I don’t like the way the instructors talk – again, off it goes. Luckily this DVD just had music – no annoying (slowing me down) talking. 
Instructions are super easy to understand – if you can look at a picture – you can get it.
Exercises are good, simple, effective and will make you get a sweat on.
The time is totally customizable – short on time is no longer an excuse.
It is travel friendly; I threw it into my jeep and took it on a week-long trip to visit family – no excuses right?
There are a whole range of other things you can do with the Ugi besides just what is provided – check it out - uses Ugi.

The Cons:
The cost? It will set you back a shiny nickel or two. But if it will get you off your keester and make working out fun – isn’t it worth it? After all, one trip to the doctor’s office will set you back a couple of shiny nickels also. Plus, it isn’t any more expensive than other fitness programs on the market – some of which I’m sure you’ve tried! ;)

To find out more about Ugi, visit them on their website and facebook page.


BlushnCheeks said...

I totally needed this while I have been away from Cross Fit for two months. This looks awesome. Thanks for the review and about the talking thing. I hate that too. This looks just right for me for portability.

hiker mom said...

This looks awesome! Not sure if I would spend the money over maybe some new running shoes etc, but it sounds like a great workout!