A simple step to screwing up the pallof press. At first glance, it looks like a chest-builder, a shoulder move, or even a mobility drill. In fact, it’s one of the most effective (and neglected) core exercises you can do.
Here’s how to do it—and why it belongs in your workout routine.
Pallof Press: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Tie an exercise band to a solid object at chest height.
- Interlace the fingers of both hands around the free end of the band and back away from the anchor point to create some tension in the band.
- Turn your body so that it is perpendicular to the anchor point and the band, hold your hands near the center of your chest and assume an athletic position: feet shoulder-width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent, torso straight. This is your starting position.
- Without moving your torso, slowly reach both arms in front of your chest until they are straight.
- Hold this extended position for a five-count, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for reps.
- Turn and do the same number of reps facing the other side.
Pallof Press Variety
Variations on the basic pellouf press are all about changing the position of the body rather than changing the movement.
- The Paluf press kneeling And Half Knee Palp Press (performed with one knee down and the other foot on the floor) both place subtly different demands on your core muscles and are good options.
- stand with you Feet close together. By narrowing your base of support, you place a greater demand on the core and gluteus medius.
- You can do this if you only have access to the stack cable pallet press, Which allows you to control resistance more precisely than the banded version described above.
- Finally, you can Pallof Iso holds, where you hold the extended position for up to 30 seconds, a variation that more fully challenges the stamina of your core muscles.
Why do you do Palf Press?
For many fitness enthusiasts, core training includes variations of sit-ups and leg lifts, movements that require the spine to flex (bend forward) and extend (bend backward).
And although the core muscles help with that movement, flexion and extension are not their primary functions.
“Generally, the function of the core is to prevent unwanted motion,” says Tony Gentilcour, CSCS, owner of Core Training in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Think of carrying a heavy suitcase in one hand or a wriggling baby: Although you may not see much movement in your torso, your core muscles are working hard to keep you from bending and twisting.
The pallor press makes the same claim as yours: its primary function is not to create movement but to prevent it.
Because it presents similar demands to what these muscles face in life, the lunge press is considered more effective — applicable to sports and life — than bending movements like leg lifts or crunches.
Still, for optimal development and performance, it’s useful to perform a variety of core exercises, including farmer’s walks, suitcase carries, front and side planks, as well as anti-rotational movements such as pallof presses.
Muscles worked by the pelvic press
- The Rectus abdominis — or six-pack muscles — takes a beating here, pulling the rib cage toward your pelvis.
- The internal And external obliques On either side of your waist, also contract tightly in the pallof press, keeping your lower ribs anchored to your hip bones to help with anti-rotation.
- The erector spinae The thick muscles next to your lower spine also fire to stabilize your torso against the force of the band.
- The Transverse abdomen which wraps around your torso, is engaged in stabilizing your torso.
- The gluteus medius, A The fan-shaped muscle that runs along the top ridge of your hip bone and attaches to the outside of your hip, is also highly engaged in stabilizing the pelvis.