Total body makeover


Want to knock fat burn and fitness out of the ball park? Try this Ugi workout

 If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to get your fitness fix, then look no further than Virgin Active’s Ugi class. It’s a high-intensity workout using the Ugi ball – a weighted but squishy and bouncy ball that not only gets chucked around for resistance, but is also used to create angles to perform moves on – kneeling, leaning, standing… you name it.

The Ugi workout makes use of functional movements to challenge the whole body – especially the core – to boost strength as well as cardio. ‘The class comprises a series of one-minute exercises efficient enough to change your body completely,’ says Gillian Reeves, national exercise manager for Virgin Active UK.

The great thing is that the Ugi ball can help you get a great workout whether you’re a beginner or expert. While they’re all the same size in diameter, they come in various weights to challenge different people. You’ll be using your whole body to shift the weight and create a serious cardio and fat-burning workout, leaving no muscles untouched.

Ugi is available at selected Virgin Active Health Clubs nationwide, for further information or to find your nearest club, please visit You can also buy your own Ugi ball at

How to do it
Perform as many reps as you can of each move in a one-minute window. Once the 60 seconds is up, move on to the following exercise following the same structure without rest. Once a full set of each move has been performed, take 30 seconds’ rest and go back to the start to repeat.

Beginner: 3 sets
Intermediate: 4 sets
Advanced: 5 sets

Alternating side lunge
Areas trained: thighs, bottom, core

-Stand with feet together holding the ball at your chest.
-Lunge one leg out to the side, keeping the other straight.
-Push off the floor back to the centre and repeat on the opposite side.

Safety tip
Keep your toes and knees pointing forwards throughout

Straight-leg deadlift
Areas trained: bottom, rear thighs, lower back

-Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms straight holding the ball.
-Bend forwards at the hips, keeping the legs straight, to lower the ball towards your ankles. Keep the ball close to you as you lower.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Safety tip
Keep your gaze forward and belly pulled in

Decline press-up
Areas trained: chest, rear upper arms, core

-Start in plank position on your hands, with your shins on the ball.
-Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the ground, keeping your body straight throughout.
-Push back up to the start and repeat.

Safety tip
Keep your core strong and don’t let your lower back overarch

Areas trained: bottom, legs, shoulders

-Start in plank position with hands on the ball, feet apart.
-Jump both feet forwards to straddle the ball.
-Jump them back into plank position and repeat.

Safety tip
Keep your chest up throughout

Plank mountain climber
Areas trained: core, sides

-Start in plank position with forearms on the ball.
-Drive one knee towards your chest then return to the start.
-Repeat on the opposite leg.

Safety tip
Keep your hips in line with the rest of your body

Seated toss
Areas trained: stomach, core, shoulders

-Start sitting on the floor with knees bent and feet off the floor, holding the ball at your chest.
-Toss the ball in the air then catch and repeat.

Safety tip
If this is too difficult, keep your feet flat on the floor

Areas trained: thighs, core, back

-Place one knee and both hands with arms extended on the ball. The other leg should be extended out to the side.
-Switch leg positions quickly so that now the opposite leg is on the ball and the other leg is extended. Alternate.

Safety tip
Keep your chest up and gaze forwards

Areas trained: core, sides

-Start in plank position with hands on the floor and one foot on either side of the ball.
-Jump your feet up onto the ball, then back down to the start and repeat.

Safety tip
Keep your core strong and hips in line with the rest of your body throughout

Ugi roll
Areas trained: thighs, bottom, back, core

-Adopt a side lunge position with the ball in front of the bent leg and the furthest arm reaching across the ball. Extend the opposite arm up and behind you.
-Shift the lunge to the other leg while rolling the ball across the floor and switching arm position, keeping your back flat.

Safety tip
Keep your eyes on the ball throughout