Pallof Press — Complete Form Guide & Video Tutorial

The Pallof Press is one of the most underutilized exercises in fitness. Named after the physical therapist John Pallof, the Pallof press is incredibly useful for targeting your core and building strong abs.

resistance bands pallof pressThe abdominal muscles are among the most useful muscles in your body. Of the several muscles that make up the core, the abs are the most prominent and powerful in the group. The body’s core is used in almost any full body activity.

While most people consider the core as an important group of muscles, far too many forget about directly targeting the ab muscles. Most of us just toss in a few sit-ups or crunches at the end of the workout and call it a day. But there are tons of exercises much better suited at working the abs. The Pallof Press is definitely a top contender for targeting the abs directly and building a strong core.

What Muscles Are Worked With The Pallof Press?

The abdominal muscles wrap around the lower ribs and spine much like a corset. This corset of muscles help to stabilize the spine and disks, preventing them from unnatural movements. The abs also help to compress and protect the internal organs. This means there is a real evolutionary advantage to having great abs.

pallof press muscles usedThe four most targeted muscles of the Pallof press are:

  • Transverse Abdominals
  • Scapular Stabilizers
  • Gluteals
  • Rectus Abdominis

The Pallof press challenges your ab muscles by forcing them to stabilize your body throughout the movement. The motions of the Pallof press are basically the same doing arm rows with a resistance band. The only difference being the position of your body in relation to the weight.

Why the Pallof Press is Important

The point of the exercise is to maintain stability in opposition to the resistance from the band. The abs and obliques will be activated throughout the entire exercise, but the rest of the body will also be forced to make micro-adjustments to maintain stability.

In addition to fine-tuning your core, the Pallof press helps with practicing balance and control.

How To Do The Pallof Press

You can use a weighted cable or resistance band to perform the Pallof press. Both work well for the exercise so long as you choose the right amount of weight/band resistance. Just make sure the height, weight, and distance of the band/cable are comfortable but challenging.

Bands are great for the Pallof press because you can easily adjust the difficulty by increasing or decreasing the distance between your body and the anchor. Bands are also not supported with a pulley system, as opposed to a weighted machine is, so they seem to require more energy to maintain stability.

step one of pallof pressStep 1. Start by holding the band or cable to your chest with both hands, elbows tucked in by your sides.

 

Stand with your feet around shoulder width apart, perpendicular to the anchor of the band. Your core should be activated throughout the exercise.

step 2 pallof pressStep 2. Move your arms straight out while remaining motionless. Keep your core activated and bring the band back to your chest.

 

Perform a high number of reps or around 3 sets of 15. Maintain stability and control for the entire exercise. Do not rotate your hips or lean with your spine.

 

When Should I Do The Pallof Press?

When and how often you want to do the Pallof press depends on your own individual goals. If weight loss is your goal, and you have 20 lbs + of fat to burn, you may want to start by adjusting your diet and exercise routine. We have a free one-day meal plan to get you started. In addition, we also recommend the 24-minute workout, which has been optimized for burning fat. If your goal is pack on more muscle and gain some bulk, check out our favorite muscle building exercises.

The Pallof press is an amazing way to target your abs and obliques. Because it’s a high rep exercise, it is best suited for anyone looking to tone, define, or round out the muscles in your waistline.

Add the Pallof press to the beginning of your ab routine. Activating your core is a great way to warm up before moving on to more challenging ab exercises.

Use the Pallof press in conjunction with the following exercises to build an impressive workout routine without having to go to the gym.

TRX Spider Man
TRX Row
TRX Single Bicep Curl
TRX Fallout
TRX Single Leg Squat
TRX Pushup
TRX Bicep Curl
TRX Y Fly
TRX Hamstring Curl
TRX Tricep Extension

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Then I’d recommend you read the program overview letter for our Old School Muscle Program (OSM).

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  • The awesome Old School Muscle workout plans
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Read the Old School Muscle Program overview letter here to see how our plan can help you gain lean, solid muscle and keep you training safely and effectively… whatever your age!