The Pallof press is a great anti-rotational core stability exercise for strengthening the musculature of the anterior core. The Pallof press is extremely versatile and can be performed in a standing square stance, split stance, kneeling, and half kneeling position. The cable or band attachments can be positioned at chest height (standard position), up high, or down low.
You need a resistance band or cable machine to perform the Pallof press exercise.
Beginners should start out with the square stance Pallof press as it is the easiest variation to perform, and can do 1-3 sets of 6-10 reps/side. Then, they can either add in 1 or 2 more sets, or can progress to the most advanced variations described below, or can add more weight. Beginners should use less resistance and should make sure that they use proper form before they add more reps, weight, and also perform more difficult variations. Beginners can opt for the cable Pallof press, or can do the band resisted variation.
Intermediate lifters can use the Pallof press at the beginning of a workout as a stability based warm-up exercise. It can also go at the end of the workout, after the more advanced compound exercises have been performed, or on its own or as part of a core training circuit. Intermediate lifters can do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions per side of the Pallof press. Intermediate lifters can begin to use the split stance, kneeling and half kneeling variations, and can experiment with different cable/band heights.
Women who are comfortable with Pallof presses and all of the variations described above, can perform the most advanced variation of this exercise in which you adopt a half kneeling position, the arms are extended for 2 seconds, then lifted straight up for another 2 seconds. This adds in an anti-extension component to the exercise, and the half kneeling stance makes it much tougher to stabilize the body. You can also add additional weight.
How a woman chooses to use the Pallof press is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much weight is used, the set/rep scheme used, where it falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, the Pallof press can be used to do any or all of the following:
While I am going to describe the square stance Pallof press and with the cable positioned at chest height, you can also use a split stance, kneeling and half kneeling stance, and can position the cable closer towards the ground or above the head.
The pallof press is one of my absolute favorite anti-rotation core exercises. That means you are using your core to resist rotating. You can do it with a band or cable and I am going to show you what it looks like with a band. I generally set the band up around sternum height.
A couple of things that are really important: feet are going to be pretty close together because when you set up in a pallof press and you press the weight out, the band is going to be pulling you in this direction and you are suppose to use your core to resist that movement. The problem is that a lot of people who set up for a pallof press base out really wide because they don't feel stable. In this instance they are using their stance for stability instead of using their core. You are going to start with your feet in line with your hip bones, you are going to grab the band or cable, your are going to make your shoulders are back and down, your rib cage is towards your pelvis and your glutes are tight. You are going to press it out there and roll it back in, press it out again (resisting this rotating motion), roll it back in, press it out, roll it back in.
A couple of things to keep in mind: don't let your shoulders creep up towards your ears so you are here (a lot of time people will try to upper traps for stability instead of keeping their shoulders back and down), And also don't let this (your shoulders twisting) happen. So keep your shoulders nice and level. roll the band back in, glutes are tight, roll it back in.
If this is too easy you have a couple of options: you can use a stronger band or you can step out farther. When you are out here there are a couple of different things you can do. You can do circles, you can have someone do perturbations where they come around and knock your arm a little bit and you have to resist from moving from there, you can go up and down, side by side, you can step. And that's the pallof press.
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