Everyone wants a good set of abs. Bodybuilders want defined, popped abs for aesthetic purposes. Athletes want strong abs to improve performance and decrease injury risk. The regular joe may want strong abs to improve posture while sitting all day. The problem is, almost all populations train their core the exact same way: repeated trunk flexion (aka crunches and sit ups). Your ab muscles are capable of far more than that – it is best to train your core to be strong in all the ways it is capable of moving. The pallof press is one movement that is guaranteed to challenge your core in a new way.
Pallof Presses train your core to actively resist rotation. This means your abs aren’t actually moving. Your trunk is resisting an outside force from twisting your body around. This makes your entire body to tighten up and work in unison in order to prevent you from getting thrown across the gym by a heavy weight stack or thick resistance band.
The Set Up
Find a cable stack or wrap a resistance band around a pole. Your body will be perpendicular to the line of force. Grad the handle with your inside hand. Wrap the free hand around the inside hand for a secure grip. Walk out a few feet until you feel a decent resistance. Put your feet shoulder width apart, with a slight knee bend. Raise your hands to your chest and take a breath in. Make your core as hard as possible. Press from your chest out. You are lengthening the lever (your arms), which will create much greater torque on your core. Slowly bring your hands back to your chest and repeat 8-10 times each side.
I recommend doing 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for each side.
1. Narrow your feet – this will make this exercise a lot more challenging
2. Add some weight!
1. Widen your feet – increasing your base of support allows for a more stable position to press from
2. Drop to a knee – the half kneeling position allows for even greater stability than the standing variation
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