Olympic pro snowboader JJ Thomas trains on his Indo Board

When JJ Thomas, the 2002 Olympic bronze medalist and Winter X- Games gold medalist, trains he uses Indo Board Balance Trainers. JJ trains with Paul Hiniker one of the top fitness trainers in action sports.  Paul trains many of the top surfers and snowboarders in the world and is an expert when it comes to improving balance and stability through sport-specific functional strength training.  In these photos Paul takes JJ through a workout focused on improving both balance and stability by using a wide range of exercise which are all done on the Indo Board Mini Pro deck and Indo Board Gigante cushion.  Paul believes that training on an unstable surface is the best way for board sports athletes to create better balance and stability throughout their entire kinetic chain.  In these pictures Paul has JJ using kettlebells to create added weight and instability to all the movements.  Thanks to Frogs Fitness in Encinitas, CA for use of their facility.      

JJ Thomas using kettlebells on the Indo Board
JJ Thomas performs kettlebell pass-throughs on Indo Board
JJ Thomas Olympic Pro Snowboarder
JJ looking happy that the workout is over

Indo Board at Black House MMA

Black House is not your average training facility. More than a group of fighters, Black House is a private facility where the elite MMA athletes converge and train.  Black House is more than a team, more than a gym – Black House is a place where the athletes unite and use the best training tools available.  Indo Board Balance Trainers are used by Black House athletes to improve balance, stability, core strength and agility.   

Mind/Body interactive video training with the Indo Board and Dr. Terry Weyman

Dr. Terry Weyman, owner of Chiropractic Sport Institute (CSI) in Los Angeles, CA explains his new method of independent Mind/Body training using an interactive video game and the Indo Board Balance Trainer.  Terry is helping to prepare his son Tyler, a top-ranked, national class motocross rider for Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships; the most prestigious race in the U.S. for amateur motocross riders.   A complete explanation of this training method can be found below the video.    

In sports our bodies often act independently from our minds. Our minds are thinking strategy and foresight while our bodies go into trained autonomic function of performance. I noticed that when my son Tyler ( a national-class, competitive motocross rider) was playing his video game while on the couch he would be so focused that at times he would not hear us calling his name.  I also noticed when Tyler was training on his Indo Board he could balance, squat and perform difficult resistance movements all day long without losing stability or balance.  But one day I had him play his video WHILE standing on his Indo Board and he was unable to pull it off!  As soon as he got into the video it was very difficult for him to remain balanced on his Indo Board.  I wanted to know why?

The answer lies in the fact that the body is almost always multitasking, both with conscious and unconscious thought as well as conscious and unconscious movement. In competition the athlete must be able to think and make mental decisions while his/her body is in full function. (Focus with performance). The combination of the video game and the Indo Board showed the extremes one can go to in an effort to create this multitasking environment.  How do you train for this?  

The answer lies in the fact that humans have two pathways in the nervous system; Afferent* and Efferent*, as well as voluntary and involuntary movement. With this in mind I set out to figure out how to train all of these systems at the same time and create a true multi-tasking environment.  To effectively do this I believe you must train them independently, yet at the same time.  Keep in mind however, that the Wii™ and other balance games do not accomplish this since the “balance board” is integrated into the game thus ensuring the player’s balance is controlled by conscious thought rather than unconscious thought.

My method works like this: the game is held by the hands and takes mental thought. Since the game changes every second and is “unpredictable” and very sensitive, it requires constant multi-button actions that task both the right brain and left brain.  When you add an INDEPENDENT balance board with unpredictable movement, such as the Indo Board, you are training proprioception (body awareness), voluntary/involuntary physical movement and mental dexterity and thereby creating the “Perfect Storm” of multi-tasking.  

Tyler is preparing for Loretta Lynn’s, the most prestigious race for amateur motocross riders in the United States.  Hopefully this new training method will give him the edge he needs to perform at a very high level. 

 

*Afferent leg

The afferent leg of the peripheral nervous system is responsible for conveying sensory information (nerve impulses) toward the central nervous system, primarily from the sense organs, like the skin.

In the muscles, the muscle spindles convey information about the degree of muscle length and stretch to the central nervous system to assist in maintaining posture and joint position. The sense of where our bodies are in space is called proprioception, the perception of body awareness. More easily demonstrated than explained, proprioception is the “unconscious” awareness of where the various regions of the body are located at any one time.

Several areas in the brain coordinate movement and position with the feedback information gained from proprioception. The cerebellum and red nucleus in particular continuously sample position against movement and make minor corrections to assure smooth motion.

*Efferent leg

The efferent leg of the peripheral nervous system is responsible for conveying commands (nerve impulses) from the central nervous system to effectors, such as the muscles and glands. It is ultimately responsible for voluntary movement. Nerves move muscles in response to voluntary and autonomic (involuntary) signals from the brain. Deep muscles, superficial muscles, muscles of the face, and internal muscles all correspond with dedicated regions in the primary motor cortex of the brain, directly anterior to the central sulcus that divides the frontal and parietal lobes.

In addition, muscles react to reflexive nerve stimuli that do not always send signals all the way to the brain. In this case, the signal from the afferent fiber does not reach the brain, but produces the reflexive movement by direct connections with the efferent nerves in the spine. However, the majority of muscle activity is volitional, and the result of complex interactions between various areas of the brain.

Indo Board helps Braille Institute kids learn to surf

Every summer Ocean Beach Surf and Skate, Ocean Experience Surf School and Indo Board partner with the San Diego Chapter of the Braille Institute to give visually impaired youth the chance to learn to surf.   While we have been involved in introducing many differnt types people to the experience of riding waves, nothing quite compares to this.  We are stoked that the Indo Board plays a crucial role in helping these visually impaired kids understand the basics of balance and prepares them for an experience that they will never forget.  The surf instructors used the full range of Indo Board products before the surfers entered the water so that they simulate the instability that they would expereince once they were in the water and on their surfboards.  The Indo Board Original (deck with roller underneath) and the Gigante Cushion (large cushion that is placed under a surfboard) played a critical role in helping the instructors assess important variables such as balance, posture and stability before the surfers entered the surf.  This translated into great successes once the kids entered the water.  Seeing the faces of kids, most of whom had never been in the ocean – much less on a surfboard, made this an incredibly gratifying experience for all involved.  To learn more about the San Diego Chapter of the Braille Institute and the amazing work they do with visually impared youth, visit their Facebook Page.

Indo Board Original Balance Trainer
Visually impaired youth train for surfing on the Indo Original Balance Trainer
Preparing for the surf using the Indo Board Gigante cushion

"King Mo" Lawal Prepares for Battle on his Indo Board

On his way to becoming the reigning Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal has grappled with some of the worlds best wrestlers (during his career as a US Olympic Team wrestler) and battled some of the worlds best MMA fighters; but this may be his greatest challenge yet.  King Mo is scheduled to take on the computer that controls the new EA Sports MMA video game.  Here King Mo shows us just how he has prepared and that he is not taking this showdown lightly.  Mo realizes just how sharp his balance skills need to be so he uses his Indo Board to make sure that nothing catches him off guard.

King Mo on his Indo Board

Yesterday we got a call from top MMA Trainer/Manager Ryan Parsons to come down to The Boxing Club in Carlsbad, CA and meet with Ryan and current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.  Ryan wanted to set King Mo, Jason “Mayhem” Miller and his other fighters up with an Indo Board so that they could begin working on improving their balance, coordination, agility and core strength.  Stay tuned for more pictures and videos of the King Mo and Mayhem using their Indo Boards. 

MMA star King Mo trains on his Indo Board