Exercises You Should Be Doing: Pallof Press

I’ve got a pretty busy day today.  Between my increased client load, some new client assessments, getting my own training session in and preparing for my first speaking engagement tomorrow night, I’ve got a booked day. (American Business Women’s Association, prepare to have your socks rocked.  I’m gonna blow your minds with my Anterior Pelvic Tilt talk.)  In light of that, I’ll be making today’s post pretty short for the sake of my sanity.

I’ve mentioned before that sit-ups suck and should (in almost all circumstances) be avoided.  Click here if you’re interested in reading why.  I’m often asked by people how, if I avoid sit-ups, I train my clients mid-sections.  I usually go into brief detail about the function of the abs and why training them using sit-ups makes little sense and why training them the way I do makes much more sense.  Then I will usually have them do the Pallof Press.

They instantly become aware of the role the abs play in simply keeping the body upright and resisting forces that would try to move the torso.

Here how to do it:

-Stand in front of a cable column, with the handle at chest height. (You can also use a band attached to a doorknob or held by someone else if you don’t have a cable column.)

-With your feet a little wider than shoulder width, grasp the handle and pull to the middle of your chest.

-Brace you abs as tight as you can.  Imagine someone is going to punch you in the stomach.  This will help you get your abs as tight as possible.

-Once your abs are braced, push the handle straight out and then return to the center of your chest.

-Make sure your abs stay tight through the entire set.  It’s easy to lose the contraction as you get further into your set.

-Avoid letting your hips or shoulders tilt to compensate for the load.

-Once you’ve completed your reps for one side, switch sides and repeat.

I like to start my clients with 2-3 sets or 8-12 reps.

Give them a shot and let me know what you think.


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