• October 28, 2021

My Favorite Core Exercise: The Pallof Press

start and end positions for pallof press

My Favorite Core Exercise: The Pallof Press

My Favorite Core Exercise: The Pallof Press 1024 683 Positive Energy Physical Therapy

Get ready for beach season or your next athletic event by introducing the Pallof Press into your routine. With a perfect blend of dynamic and static stability, the Pallof Press will challenge your internal and external obliques while training the trunk strength required for maximal upper and lower body power.

Contrary to popular belief, the abdominal core is not designed to be utilized as a prime mover (think sit-ups and crunches). If we look at abdominal wall anatomy, you’ll notice that our “core” consists of multiple layers of muscle. These muscular layers form a cross-hatched pattern which is the perfect design for resisting trunk rotation and extension as well as promoting transmission of force between the lower and upper body. The Pallof Press targets this area, making it a staple of core training and athletic development.

Follow the steps below to execute the Pallof Press:

  1. Set-up: Standing parallel to a cable machine or band attachment, clasp the handle in both hands, palms together. Position yourself a few feet away from the cable to add tension. Make sure you assume an athletic position with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your torso upright.
  2. Move: Bring the handle up to the center of your chest and press out. Exhale while fully extending your arms and pause for a 1-2 second count. Extend your arms fully, noting how your body wants to lean toward the cable. Don’t let it. Inhale and return to the starting position.
  3. Perform: Repeat for 8 to 12 reps on each side.

You can modify the Pallof Press to meet your personal goals and needs. Perform the exercise in a half-kneeling, tall-kneeling, single leg, and split squat position for an added positional challenge. Try a couple sets at the end of your workout and let me know what you think!

-Matthew Varca, PT, DPT, PRC