Antonio Brown has played in seven NFL seasons (all with the Pittsburgh Steelers) and is widely regarded as one of the best wide receivers in the game. Considering he’s always been somewhat of an underdog — his nickname in high school was Boney Tony because he was so thin, and he wasn’t selected until the sixth round of the draft — it’s a reputation the 28-year-old has worked incredibly hard to earn.
Antonio Brown catches 53 footballs in 60 seconds, all while in a side-plank position. #ABChallenge
Though Brown thrives on fun (he has said, “if it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing”), his side-plank catching challenge is so much more than a training game. Prior to the start of off-season training, Troutman-Enseki did a video running analysis and a functional movement assessment on Brown and found, among a few other movement inefficiencies, he had weak abdominal muscles. “The core is the athlete’s powerhouse,” she says. “It supports the upper and lower extremities as well as the cervical spine. Without good core strength, an athlete is not at the top of their game.”
Aside from getting his body in top shape, knowing he can catch 53 footballs in 60 seconds while holding a side plank gives him an important mental advantage on the field. “Proving to myself that my body can secure catches in a really difficult way time and time again gives me the confidence to know that I can catch the ball freely,” explains Brown. “It has made me an all-around better player.”