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  • February 17, 2009

    All aboard

    Filed under: Balance, Indo Board, Skating, Surfing — Tags: , , , , — Texas Surfer @ 9:46 am
    Riding the latest wave of workouts, Indo Boards are bringing core fitness to a new level
    Monday, February 16, 2009


    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — With no wave in sight, nearly a dozen landlubbers carefully climbed on their boards.

    Get on board

    Looking as though they were ready to hang 10, they struggled to keep their poise as they listened for instructions.

    But there was no ocean in the basement of the Crunch Fitness in Union Square. Members of the Manhattan gym class were there to learn how to use the Indo Board Balance Trainer.

    The exercise board works the body’s balance control systems. It can also help users train for sports like surfing and snowboarding, which require core strength.

    Fitness instructor Terrell Pruitt took his class of 20- and 30-somethings through an hour-long session that works the entire body and provides an aerobic workout. Gym-goers did squats and lunges while trying to balance on boards perched on air cushions, which create an unstable platform.

    Keeping the board from touching the ground is the challenge and the goal. As people progress, they can balance longer.

    Crunch has been offering Indo Board classes since August. Participants in the Indo Winter Boarding class will go on a skiing and snowboarding trip Feb. 28 to Hunter Mountain in the Catskills.

    “It’s getting them aware of the leg strength that’s required, the core strength and just being able to hold themselves up on something that’s not stable,” said Pruitt.

    Those are some of the reasons why Dena Wallerson has been attending Indo Board classes.

    “It’s helped me take my skiing and running to another level,” said the athletic Manhattanite. “Normally on the first day of skiing for the season, you’re rusty and stiff and not conditioned to do it. Now, I have the stamina.”

    Off the slopes, Wallerson has seen improvement in her running form and ability to log more mileage.

    The idea for the Indo Board washed ashore in 1965, when fledgling surfer Hunter Joslin used a homemade balance board to learn to surf. He started the Indo Board Balance Trainer company in 1998 after many years of working in the surf industry.

    Around 2000, the board started gaining hype as core fitness started receiving more attention. “That’s the majority of what the Indo Board is, a core trainer,” Joslin explained by phone from the company’s Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., headquarters.

    The circular shape of the Indo Board lends itself to be more user-friendly, Joslin added, since it’s wider than a rectangular balance board, giving the user more surface to stand on.

    “By putting the board between the ground and the person, it’s a different mental aspect,” Joslin said. “It’s more challenging and interesting to the mind.”

    Indo Boards come in several different models. Some, Joslin said, are more targeted toward tricks or movements, others accommodate a user’s height. The most popular board is the Indo Original, which is the easiest model to learn on. Prices range from around $100 to $200.

    Each board comes with an accompanying roller. Many instructors, like Pruitt, use the IndoFLO cushion which helps prevent falls (but is sold separately) when working with novice boarders. The company suggests having a partner spot you in the beginning.

    “Balance begins with core engagement,” Joslin explained. You also need correct posture, he said, which also benefits from the Indo Board.

    You-Lee Rodriguez of St. George started working out with the Indo Board about five years ago. He quickly picked up on how to use it and can do different types of pushups, kettlebell exercises and jumps with the board, among various other advanced moves. He can be seen on the Indo Trainers DVD available on the company’s Web site (

    Rodriguez, an independent personal trainer who also works at Peak Performance Sports Center in Manhattan, starts off his clients using the Indo Board and roller on a thick carpet or mat, which provides for slower movement. With practice, they move to a thinner mat, followed by a wood floor.

    As clients progress, Rodriguez incorporates aerobic moves, medicine balls and strength-training exercises using 3- to 5-pound dumbbells into their workout routines.

    “You get cardio training, depending on what you’re doing,” he said, noting, “While you’re on the board, you’re working your full body.”

    Andrea Boyarsky is a features reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at

    Original Source

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