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My Very Own Ugly Ball!

I just posted my review of the DailyHiit 30 Day Challenge earlier today – what a journey that was!  So check it out if you are looking for a great total body fitness program that you can get done in 15-30 minutes a day.

ugiballpinkOne of the pieces of equipment they use frequently is the Ugi Ball.  It is a weighted, squishy ball that you can use like a sandbag, or to balance on when doing exercises.  It has enough firmness to offer support, but is unsteady enough to make you use muscles to keep your balance better.  They are really nice looking, and generally the reviews are extremely positive, but for the price, I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase one (of course if anyone wants to send me one to review, just send me a message 😉 ).

So I poked around the intarwebs a bit and discovered this gentleman’s homemade version, which is dubbed the Ugly Ball.  Having been around a sewing machine enough that I didn’t feel too intimidated, I printed out his pattern and set out to find material.

My local craft stores did not offer what I needed, but having a business that sells massage therapy equipment means I have contacts with manufacturers, and one of my representatives was kind enough to find some material they use to upholster massage tables and chairs with.  It’s perfect for this project, because I know it is soft but very durable.  I picked up some foam, some quilting batting, matching color thread and a 14″ zipper and set to work.

It took about 30 minutes to cut the pattern out so I ended up with 12 individual pieces, and an additional 2 hours or so to do the sewing.  My version is rather lumpy, I stuffed it with old t-shirts as well to help fill it in a little more.  I weighed it, it comes to just under 5 pounds, and it’s easy enough to shove a bag of bolts from the hardware store in the middle if I need to add a little more to the weight later on.  Here’s the finished product:

myuglyball1 myuglyball2

Can’t wait to be able to use it!

Review: The January 2013 DailyHiit 30 Day Challenge

In the past few months I have made small changes to my overall diet and exercise routines.  I’m trying to eat more simply – less processed foods, more fresh stuff, and have been trying out HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts to see what kind of results I get.

dailyhiitI discovered the BodyRock/DailyHiit people, who have HUNDREDS of videos up on YouTube (their channel is here).  They began a 30 Day Challenge back in January, but I wasn’t able to start it at the time.  I was glad I waited, because someone created a 30 day calendar with all the names of the videos in order, so I printed it out and have been working from that (CLICK HERE for the calendar PDF) – I am happy to credit whomever made it, but when I tried to find where I got it, I just couldn’t locate it again.  While the DailyHiit website is chock full of information, the organization is still lacking in some areas (Facebook comments are ripe with “where do I start!?!” and “how do I find XYZ?!?”).

lisamarie

This is LisaMarie, not me. Not sure I will get to that level of fitness, but I certainly respect her hard work and dedication!

Not sure if HIIT is right for you?  I know I was a little nervous about something that was “high intensity”, but I found that there are a lot of modifications that can be done to stay at your level and you can work up to the harder stuff as you gain strength and muscle.  Besides, just look at LisaMarie, one of the hosts of the videos…  she’s lean and strong, and they love to post pictures from people who have transformed themselves.  Plenty of people that look like me have gotten a lot out of it, so why not try it out!

I figured if anyone wants the challenge in order, you can also come back here to go day by day.  Since this will be a very long post, I will break it up into pages so it doesn’t crit you with a wall of text.  Also, I noted what pieces of equipment they used each day.  The majority of exercises can be modified to not using equipment, although there are some that you will just need to substitute another exercise in.  By the end of the challenge, I already had or purchased a yoga mat, a sandbag, and a set of Equalizers.  They also use a set of these PowerBlock SportBlock hand weights, a weighted jump rope, and I noticed that they also use these grip pads.  You can read my review of the Equalizers from the link.  I did not purchase the same sandbag they use, and the only real difference is that the one I have does not have a center handle for doing evenly-weighted swinging.  Aside from that I love the sandbag, I think it’s my favorite piece of gear.  I love the design of the hand weights they use, but at $160 for the set, I am going to have to make do with something else for now.  I never got the jump rope, I simply do not have the space in the room I exercise in to use one without taking out light fixtures.  I will likely pick up a pair of the grip pads, however, I have found times when those would come in handy for sure.  Now on to the 30 day review…

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