At-Home Workouts (with the Ugi Ball, a sand bag, and the Equalizer…and how to improvise)

I like to work out at home—it’s easier than going to the gym (even though I have a gym one block from my house), and it’s simpler than going to a personal trainer (the one I like is 35 minutes from my house). I don’t need a trainer—I have a degree in exercise science. I am a certified fitness specialist by the Cooper Institute and a certified Health/Fitness Instructor by the American College of Sports Medicine. But often, I am way better at designing other people’s (clients’) workouts than I am at designing my own. Over the years though, I have come up with some great tools and fast workout ideas that I can implement at home for myself. Even when I’m renting and I can’t jump up and down and be loud all over the place.

I decided this would be the weekend I’d start making videos. And boy, did I ever! I have three to share. Sorry about the flashes in some of the videos—the wind was blowing and I think the wind/sun combo caused that. {You will never hear me complain about too much sun, so I decided to just go with this!}

The first one is just me talking about what at-home equipment I like best (and how to improvise if you don’t want to buy anything).

The second is my warm-up that I always do for my at-home workouts (and often in yoga classes I teach as well).

The third is an overview look at what the exercises were that I did in my own at-home workout this weekend (note: the video only shows each exercise with some variations to make the exercises more difficult if you choose to, not the whole workout).

Here’s the first one:

Here’s the second one:


Here’s the third one:

The workout:

Squat and Overhead Press with Sandbag (add low bicep curl)

Step back lunges with sandbag on shoulder

Split Squat with sandbag row to side

Burpee with shoulder press (add push-ups and jump)

Deep Squats with Ugi up to 75%

Single Leg Deadlift with Ugi

Dips on the Equalizer (no video)


Do 12-20 reps of each one. Repeat up to 3 times. Choose your rep number by your fatigue level! You should feel like you are not sure you could do another rep when you stop. Rest for 30 seconds between sets.


News/Notes: I’ve been busy this weekend! Aside from videotaping myself, I’ve met up with friends and also have done quite a bit of work. The online education world is slightly unpredictable in the summer. I have extra classes for one university and no communication from my manager at another. I’m trying not to be frustrated, but I don’t have an extraordinary amount of patience for people not communicating what is happening (even if it’s to tell me there’s no course for me to teach) in a timely manner. But…either way, I have enough to do right now!

The weather is great, and I’m looking forward to many things this week—I have work, time with my mom to celebrate my sister’s birthday, and relatives from California coming into town. I am also planning a baby shower for next weekend, and can’t wait to see everyone who’ll come to town for that.

I have an in-depth post coming soon about detoxing and cleansing, and I’m really excited about the info—but it’s taking me slightly longer than I expected to get it all together. You’ll be the first to see it, I promise 🙂

Do you work out at home? 

What equipment do you use? 

Have you made your own equipment or improvised for your at-home workouts?

Have you tried an Ugi, sandbag, or Equalizer?

17 thoughts on “At-Home Workouts (with the Ugi Ball, a sand bag, and the Equalizer…and how to improvise)”

  1. Lisa_healthy_diaries

    This is such a great post Lisa! It was so fun to see you on video! Now I really feel like I know you and wish we could hang out! 🙂 I actually just cancelled my gym membership last week. Maria & I have been working out from home more often and I figured with baby Roberto on the way, it’ll be much easier for me to workout from home once he’s here. Plus, ill be saving $60 a month to but towards baby expenses! So far I have a treadmill, dumbbells, exercise ball, a couple resistance bands and a yoga mat & block. I’ve slowly been adding to my collection and I really want a sandbag and equalizer next. I love the workout you put together and will definitely be using it to tone things up after baby!
    Thanks for all the great info!

  2. congrats on doing your video posts, lisa! always fun to have something new to share on the blog (well, apart from written content, i mean).
    sounds like a busy but interesting week coming up! glad you have family time to look forward to.
    i have never used an ugi, sandbag or equalizer (strength training is not an area i have experimented in…). i DO complete core/body weight/balancing/stretching stuff in my own condo unit, after i run. and i am lucky to have a gym in our building!
    “I don’t have an extraordinary amount of patience for people not communicating…” -> yes! i hear you! this is a pet peeve for me, too! hope your summer schedule works itself out!

  3. Yes work out at home and love it!!! I have made my own sand bag but have gotten an equalizer, still need a Ugi ball, that is next on the list! xoxo

  4. Gina (Candid RD)

    I LOVE working out at home, because if I didn’t have that ability I wouldn’t be as diligent about working out.  I don’t like having to get in the car to workout….you know?  I love 5 lb and 8 lb weights, plus Jillian Michael’s DVDs, the ab ball, and my ellitpical (and sometimes I run to my parent’s to use their spinner).
    Thanks for the tips, and for the workout rec!

  5. Awesome post!!! I love doing at home workouts….I actually do have a makeshift sandbag that I fill with heavy books and stuff!!!! I’ll definitely be trying out some of these exercises!

  6. I workout at the gym I work at and at home. I like equipment, but I’m not reliant on it either. You’re own body weight can be great to work with too! That looks like a killer workout. You know I love your workouts, so that one is definitely on my list to do!

  7. Awesome videos!  I like working out at home too.  How heavy is that sandbag??  It looks super huge!  Good luck with the baby shower!  Can’t wait to hear about it!

  8. LOVED seeing you on video, Lisa! You did so well!!!! ANd you are build like a freaking shit brick house and I want your bod. Seriously. I also want an ugi, an equalizer and a sandbag. But have none of the above. I need to start saving up!!!

    I am really looking forward to your posts on detoxing and cleansing. I was actually gearing up to try and do my first serious one. I dont know if it’s the breastfeeding still or what but there’s this stubborn layer of fat that is just not going anywhere. Especially in my stomach. It’s starting to get to me…how hard I am working…and I am just not getting tighter. I’m trying to be patient but between that and not having the energy I’d like (I just reintroduced maca root and it seems to be helping a bit), I need help!!!

     I actually have a lot to contrubute about hormones even more now! I’d just like to get it under control. Can’t wait to read!

  9. Yup, I’m an at-home workout girl too!  Your videos are great — thanks so much for taking the time to share them with us!  I can’t wait for your detox/cleanse post!!

  10. I love these videos. And this is going to sound really creepy but it is nice to put a voice to everything I read and see haha. I’m excited to read what you have to say about detoxes/cleanses. I am going to be starting one soon that will hopefully tackle elevated enzyme levels I am experiencing.

  11. Um I LOVE these videos, please keep them coming! I actually just canceled my gym membership because I found myself doing more workouts at home. I’m more into the short intense workouts and doing Yoga and walking too. 

    Looking forward to your post about detoxing. I’m pretty sure I had a couple gallballder attacks the past couple weeks and have been avoiding all grains and all dairy and feeling so much better! Lets just hope my skin stay’s clear too!

  12. “Hi, my name is Lisa..and I am a babe.” This is what your title should have been!! I love these videos!! Thank you for sharing. 

  13. I dont go to the gym so if i workout i do it at home. I usually use Xcos, they do the trick for me 🙂 i also love the UGI ball and foam roll.. or to keep it simple just one of those big medicine balls. other than that… power yoga for strength 🙂

  14. Started watching the first video, and as soon as you picked up the Ugi ball, I thought, “Wow, look at her amazing arms!!!”  Really, that’s what I said in my head. 
    Yes, I workout at home.
    I generally don’t use any equipment (just my body)
    I’ve not tried the Ugi, sandbag, or Equalizer, but it is fun to try out new things and find what you like the best and all of that 🙂

  15. I only workout at home now the results are about the same as it would be at the gym since ive tried both but i always push  harder when at the gym and try to beat everyone around me!

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