Core strength and overall body stability are critical to healthy mobility. By incorporating resistance training into your physical therapy, you can more easily challenge your body at a beginner level to achieve high levels of core stability and strength. With the pallof press, you use resistance bands or a cable machine to introduce resistance into your rotational pull. This set up allows you to find body control against resistance. This helps with core strength, body stability, balance, body stiffness, and overall body strength.
Our chiropractors demonstrate how to do the pallof press both facing forward and directionally so you can get a well-rounded workout. We dive into the benefits of the pallof press, how often beginners should do the pallof press, and why it’s such a great warm-up for general workouts, physical therapy, and as a daily habit for your body, health, and wellness.
What is a Pallof Press
A pallof press is an anti-rotational core exercise that utilizes resistance bands or a cable machine to introduce resistance into your workout.
You keep your torso, limbs, and body in a line while pressing the cable away from your chest. Your aim is to let your body twist or rotate into the pull of the cable as you go through the movement.
How To Do a Pallof Press
There are two pallof presses: front-facing and to the side. In in a front-facing pallof press, you face the cable and pull it in to your chest. Keep your elbows tucked down and at your sides. You want your body standing up straight in a line and engaged: hips above ankles, shoulders above hips, core lightly activated, glutes engaged.
For this front-facing pallof press, you press the cable directly above your head, extending your arms upward. You want to be sure you do not lean forward or backward into or away from the cable. You will hold your arms extended above you for 10 seconds, come back to your rest position, and then repeat five times.
For an anti-rotational pallof press, you do not face the point of contact. Instead, you position yourself so the band is on your left or right side. You then press the band directly out in front of you, arms extended from the chest. Do not let the tension pull, twist, or rotate your body. Hold for another count of ten. Switch sides.
Benefits of a Pallof Press
The pallof press is a go-to for physical therapists because of the strength, stability, and balance it provides to patients. This is a beginner-friendly physical therapy exercise that helps introduce resistance to the body.
The pallof press will help with posture and proper body alignment as well as core strength and stability. Balance will improve as you work through staying steady through the pull or twist.
Additionally, you will gain strength in the arms, shoulders, core, and legs as you continue this workout. It has many benefits and requires very little set-up to complete.
We recommend the pallof press for:
- Core strength
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Body stiffness
- Less strain on wrists than similar, floor-based exercises (ie planks)
- Learn muscle control
How Often Should I Do Pallof Presses
The pallof press has many different applications in the workout and physical therapy space. Dependant on your focus, you can apply the pallof press into your weekly routine in a few different ways.
To learn the technique and apply the physical therapy aspects of the pallof press, it is recommended to do three to five sets of five reps each from both the left, right, and front. Do each movement slowly and with control to get the benefits.
Pallof presses can also be a wonderful warm-up addition to your general work. You will do two to three sets of ten to fifteen reps each in this instance.
Tips for Pallof Presses
As with most physical therapy exercises, it is important to complete pallof press rep with precision and control. You want to slowly move with control against the resistance cable to build the muscle memory and stability.
As you work through your reps, focus on keeping your neck relaxed, your core engaged, and your shoulders and hips in proper alignment. Between each set, re-engage your muscles and check your positioning.