The Ugi ball workout

Try something new this year! These aren’t all new concepts, in fact some are old and making a big comeback as fitness has been leaning more and more toward the basics.  Incorporate some of these concepts, practices and tools into your workouts.

Homegrown in Vancouver, Ugi is a 30-minute workout in which you complete 30 exercises using the Ugi ball.  The Ugi ball is like a weighted bean bag (available in different weights). You lift it, throw it, catch it, roll it and use it to challenge your core stabilizers by kneeling or standing on it. Use it to work out at home, outdoors or attend a class.

Body Weight Training
Classic exercise moves that use body weight for resistance. They can be preformed within very small spaces and with no equipment. You can’t go wrong with the classics: squats (lower body), push-ups (full body), pull-ups (upper body), planks (core).

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Think maximum output in minimum time. Commit to a 15-25 minutes vigorous program designed to push your limits with high-intensity bursts of cardio, strength and plyometric intervals separated by short rest periods. Put together your own program, find loads of workouts online, work with a trainer or in a small or large group setting, find specialty HIIT gyms or spaces (like CrossFit). They’re popping up from coast to coast.

Small Group Training
The benefits of personal training and group fitness merge to create small group training: one trainer for up to twelve participants. It’s the cost-effective way to benefit from more personalized coaching and training, while enjoying camaraderie, support and encouragement and some friendly competition from fellow participants.

Obstacle Courses
Parkour, military, zombie, mud and other themed obstacle courses are growing in popularity. These aren’t activities you will do daily or weekly, they are events, like marathons, that you sign up for and train for. Will power, physical and mental endurance, agility, strength, power, and cardio fitness are all put to the test. Be prepared to get dirty, scratched and bruised, and possibly a little frightened along the way. Sign up with a group of friends for added fun.

Functional training
Functional training improves coordination, balance and endurance in ways that mimic the movements we perform in our day-to-day activities. When you shovel snow, kick a ball, lift and move a box or furniture you recruit several muscle groups to work together as you push, pull, bend and rotate. Try these tools at home, outdoors or in a class to train movement:

  • TRX Suspension Trainer is a set of straps you anchor to a wall, door, tree, goal post or structure.  Build functional strength using body weight resistance, core strength and movement.
  • ViPRTM is weighted (available in different weights), rubber cylinder that is used to lift, swing and move in various patterns and sequences to train movement and strength together using multiple muscle groups at once.

Your body will benefit from greater challenges if you add variety to your exercise routine. You will have more fun working out by keeping your activities fresh by trying new activities.  Tell us what you plan on trying first.

Katya MohsenKatya Mohsen is a personal trainer with more than 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on