I tried it: Ugi at Home

At seven o’clock this morning, I was standing in the living room of my apartment, holding what can only be

ugi

At seven o’clock this morning, I was standing in the living room of my apartment, holding what can only be described as the combination of a stability ball, medicine ball and beanbag chair. I was ready to Ugi.

Ugi (which sounds like "you-gi" and stands for "U Got It") was created by three fitness-loving Canadian moms. The workout component of the program features a butt-kicking series of exercises developed by celebrity fitness trainer Sara Shears. The Ugi DVD includes five different workouts (one for each day of the week) that take you through 30 challenging exercises, lasting one minute each. The exercises are also laid out in the handy fitness guide, which allows you to mix and match moves to create your own plan. In addition to the workout, there is also a food compontent to the program, the Ugi healthy eating guide, which offers straightforward tips about using your diet to further your workout goals.

Cost: The Ugi at Home kit is $189 (ugifit.com) and includes the Ugi ball (the site has tips for choosing the right weight for you), Ugi workout guide, Ugi instructional DVD, Ugi Good Eating guide, and access to the online video library. There is also a free Ugi interval timer app for your iPhone (with plans to expand to other smart phones in the future).

Pros: After my first Ugi workout, I was impressed. And the more I did it, the stronger I felt. Last summer, I spent 12 tough weeks slugging it out at bootcamp trying to slim down for my wedding, and I felt like the Ugi program let me fit all of those great bootcamp-type benefits into my workout’but in half the time, in the privacy of my own home, with minimal equipment (just the Ugi ball and a mat). I’ve been Ugi-ing for just over a month now, and mentally high-fived myself when one of my co-wokers recently asked if I’d lost weight. Next stop: Michelle Obama arms, just in time for summer.

Cons: During some of the more challenging moves in the workout, I found myself wishing that the DVD had verbal cues in addition to the written cues on-screen, just to remind me of proper form. There is an explanation of the moves in the workout guide, so I’d definitely recommend checking it out first before diving into the DVD. I’d also like to see the stretch series that’s provided in the exercise guide added to the DVD menu.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a challenging workout that will kick your butt and boost your strength, this is a great choice. At $189 plus shipping, it is not the most budget-friendly option, but compared to a personal trainer or gym membership, you may find that it is worth the investment for the long-term benefits. Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider first to ensure that the workout is safe for you.

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