Designed by celebrity trainer Sara Shears from Vancouver, BC, UGI is a versatile fitness program that uses an updated version of the medicine ball, one of the oldest forms of strength and conditional training. The UGI ball is both heavy and squishy, which allows you to kneel, stand, and plank on it, as well as throw it around and lift it. The softness makes the surface unstable, which means that your body has to work extra hard to stay steady, leading to a more challenging workout.
Short for ‘U Got It!’, UGI is designed as a 30-minute program for 5 days in the week, that combines strength, cardio and core training into a fun, high-energy drills. Scientifically engineered to use entire muscle groups at a time, the program comprises a series of one-minute exercises efficient enough to challenge the whole body. For users who are really pressed for time, they can further modify the workout to fit their schedules. The intervals can be scaled down to 30 seconds, creating a 10-minute workout. Alternately, if you’ve got a whole hour in hand, you can put two workouts together.
While several fitness clubs across the world have introduced UGI Fit classes over the last few years, the program is essentially designed as one you can do at home, with the help of a DVD and the ball, available in four different weights of 6, 8, 10 and 12 pounds. Like with any workout, beginners and those with chronic joint pains should consult a trainer before attempting to exercise with the UGI ball.
You can use UGI to target specific areas of your body that require additional work – in case of runners, these often include the glutes, hamstrings and quads, as well as core muscles. The resistance offered by the ball improves your flexibility and balance, while the fast-paced nature of the program is designed to burn fat faster as well as boost your cardiovascular and functional fitness. Users can also download the UGI app for the iPhone, which will time each exercise. Having to do 30 exercises in 30 minutes means you’re pushing hard for the entire workout with no breaks, and the app ensures no time is wasted.
UGI is known to increase your balance and stability; it also burns fat at a very fast pace and keeps your workouts fun and unpredictable, Moreover, the UGI program is flexible and can be customized as per your time and fitness levels. However, one major obstacle is that the UGI ball an expensive piece of equipment to own, especially if you don’t plan to use it regularly.