By Melissa Pheterson
March 02, 2011

We want to give the Ugi ball a big hug - and not just because it's a squishy bean-bag-meets-stress-ball.

This weighted workout ball (in 6, 8, 10 and 12-lb. versions) provides a total-body "express" workout with 30 moves in 30 minutes (all detailed in a guide and DVD). Says Sara Shears, who designed the Ugi with two other busy moms: "I wanted to create a single piece of equipment that would give core, strength and cardio training all in one, all in half an hour. And I wanted to create a workout at home, at work or outside that's on par to a personal trainer or group fitness class."

The "squish factor" makes the workout fun, and a little unpredictable, as the wobbles challenge your stability. "You'll never plank the same way twice," Shears says. Old standby moves become new again. And you even get to "shotput" the ball around the room, then go fetch.

Ugi's easy on the eyes, too, in a choice of four cheery colors. "We felt most exercise equipment was dull gray or black," says Shears. "We wanted a style element to create a cushion you'd actually want in your living room - not bulky dumbbells shoved into the corner."

At $189, the Ugi at Home fitness kit includes a workout guide and DVD with five 30-minute workouts. Get it here.

Blogger Melissa Pheterson

Melissa Pheterson is a health and fitness writer and trend-spotter. Follow her on and on Twitter @preggersaspie.