Have you ever come across someone performing an exercise that looks so simple that you can’t figure out how or why they’d choose to do that? That’s most people’s reaction when they first see the Pallof press! Yet, this exercise is deceptively… challenging!
What’s a Pallof press, you ask? Simply put, it’s one of the Girls Gone Strong absolute favorite core exercises! It’s an anti-rotation exercise, which means that you’ll literally be using your core to resist twisting to one side.
In general, the Pallof press can be used to:
What makes the Pallof press special among core exercises is that it truly has variations that are suitable for every level of technical ability and training experience, so beginner and advanced exercisers alike can use it in their programming.
You will need either a cable machine or a resistance band anchored to a point. In the standard position, the cable or band will be positioned at chest height (think sternum), but it can also be placed higher or lower in variations of the exercise.
While the following describes the Pallof press done from a standing square stance, with the band or cable at chest height, this exercise can also be performed in a split stance, as well as in a tall kneeling and half-kneeling position.
Pallof presses can either be used at the beginning of a workout, as a stability-based warm-up exercise or at the end after the more complex compound exercises have been performed. It can also be used on its own as an anti-rotation exercise for your trunk.
Beginners should start by mastering the standing square stance Pallof press described above before progressing to more advanced variations such as performing the exercise in a split stance, in the kneeling and half-kneeling position, as well as doing isometric holds or circles instead of continuous reps.
Aim for 3 sets of 6–10 reps. The exercise can be made more challenging by adding more weight to the cable stack, using a thicker resistance band or moving further away from the anchor point.
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