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No matter how strong or fast you are, there's always room for improvement. Identify your weaknesses and combat them to become the best athlete you can be—just like NFL running back Donald Brown this off-season. “Donald has the perfect blend of intelligence, power, speed and quickness that you don’t get too often in a player,” says Jim Leo, president of PitFit Training.
However, the Indianapolis Colt RB is not without defects. When Leo first assessed Brown, he found his balance lacking. Leo says, “We started to work a lot on his balance, which is probably one of his biggest weaknesses.”
To truly narrow in on balance work, Brown trains on an Indo Board, a skateboard-like tool that provides an unstable surface when placed on a pad or roller. Leo says that simply standing and maintaining balance on the Indo Board is challenging for the legs, hips and core, forcing muscles to adapt and balance to improve.
Brown performs more complex exercises on the Indo Board to imitate game-time movements. “We might do a Shoulder Press on the Indo Board or switch to a Single-Arm Kettlebell Press to further challenge balance and core stability,” says Leo. “We’ll even do some exercises that require multi-directional balance, like Kettlebell Swings or a Clean and Jerk."
Balance training is great for developing small stabilizer muscles in the body and improving the path of muscle activation from the ground all the way up to the upper body. However, Leo emphasizes that the Indo Board should be used for becoming a better athlete, not for developing pure strength and power. “We are not looking to increase his Bench or Squat,” he says. “We are working on his fine motor skill movements and balance—which separates a good NFL running back or receiver from a great one.”
To find out more about the Indo Board, visit indoboard.com
Photos: Courtesy of Jim Leo