Before the 2013 NFL Draft, the knock on safety Micah Hyde was his lackluster hip flexibility—a necessity for any athlete whose job depends on rapid acceleration and deceleration and quick cuts to cover both the run and pass.

So Hyde and his trainer, Rich Power, committed to remedying this by targeting Hyde’s core. Five seasons later, the Buffalo Bills safety is coming off a Pro Bowl season with a career-high five interceptions and 82 combined tackles. A secret to his core improvement has been implementing the single-leg BOSU ball deadlift into his training regimen.

“One key to [making it through] a long, intense football season is core strength,” Hyde says. “During the season, my body needs to be physically ready for just about everything. Doing this move helps. I feel it for several days after.”

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According to Power, this exercise forces fast-twitch muscle fibers to work overtime, as all the muscles—from ankle to belly—are stabilizing to help you balance on one leg. If you fail miserably when you give this move a shot, know that you’re not the only one who struggles. Hyde admits to having trouble at times, too. Still, as you wobble to find balance, you’re still working your core, big-time.

How to Do It: Single-Leg BOSU Ball Deadlift

  1. With a BOSU ball flat side up, place one foot in the center and lift your other foot off the floor so it’s “floating” behind you.
  2. Keeping your head up and pushing your hips and floating leg back, reach down with the same-side hand as far as possible, with the goal of touching the ball’s surface. That’s one rep.
  3. Repeat on opposite leg. For an added challenge, hold a light weight in your opposite hand.

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