Pallof Press (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)
Pallof Press is an anti-rotational core exercise that is done standing with a resistance band. I love to incorporate Pallof Presses into my warm-ups to challenge the core and to get athletes to start firing and bracing their core.
In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Pallof Presses including important coaching tips, muscles worked and a few alternatives.
How To Do Pallof Presses
- Resistance Band (Preferably a thin one)
- A Band Anchor (A squat rack works perfectly)
- Start by looping a band around the vertical beam of a squat rack.
- Stand* far enough away from the rack to get proper tension on the band and face perpendicular to the rack.
- You should feel the band pulling and trying to rotate you, but not so much that you cannot maintain your balance.
- Grab the band with one hand and then place the other hand over top.
- Start with your hands right in front of your sternum.
- The feet should be shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the hips and knees.
- Now, in a controlled tempo, press the band straight out in front of you and then return it to the starting position.
- Repeat for the required amount of reps.
*Can also be done kneeling or on a single leg. Check the variations listed below for more info.
Keep the movement slow and controlled. Don’t rush through the exercise.
Try to keep the opposite foot off the ground for the duration of the set. Touch the ground only if necessary to regain balance.
Press straight out in front of the sternum. Don’t allow the path of your hands to drift off in one direction or the other.
How Many Reps?
Recommended sets and reps are 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Pallof Presses work the core statically by keeping the torso stabilized against the rotational pull of the band. It’s what is referred to as an anti-rotational exercise.
Although not the emphasis, Pallof Presses will also work the shoulders as well.
Pallof Press Variations
Kneeling Pallof Press
The Kneeling Pallof Press is a variation where we are varying the starting position.
Instead of standing, start in a kneeling position with the knee opposite the resistance on the floor (or on both knees). The pressing motion of the upper body remains the same.
Single Leg Pallof Press
If you’d like to increase the challenge of the Pallof Press, get more glute involvement and work on your balance – give the single leg version a go.
Single Leg Pallof Presses are a more advanced version of Pallof Presses and will challenge even seasoned lifters.
Single Leg Pallof Press Alternatives
If you don’t have access to a band to do Pallof Presses, a good alternative to warm up the core and also work glute activation would be Lateral Bridges.
Lateral Bridges are basically a side plank with some added movement.
Start in that side plank position, one elbow on the floor, the other on the hip. Shoulders (as well as the hips and feet) should be stacked vertically, one directly above the other.
Now, lift the hips off the ground to achieve the full side plank position.
From here, drop the hips down and lightly tap the floor and then raise the hips back up to their original position. Continue for the desired number of reps.
More Links and Info
If you’d like to see more Core Exercises, head over to the Core Section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of core movements, all with step-by-step instructions.