Pallof Press is an anti-rotational exercise that stresses the core and glutes. I love to utilize the Pallof Press in the warmup on lower body days as a simple, but effective, glute activation movement.
In this guide I’m going to show you how to do a Pallof Press, what muscles it works and a couple alternatives if you’re unable to do them.
Table of Contents
How To Do a Single Leg Pallof Press
- Resistance Band (Preferably a thin one)
- A Band Anchor (A squat rack works perfect)
- 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. You should feel the band pulling and trying to rotate you, but not so much where you cannot maintain your balance.
- Grab the band with one hand and then place the other hand over top.
- Start with hands right in front of your sternum.
- Lift the leg furthest away from the rack up off the ground.
- 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.
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.
Single Leg Pallof Presses work the core statically by keeping the torso stabilized against the rotational pull of the band. It also strongly activates the glute med in the same fashion.
Single Leg Pallof Press Variations
Regular Pallof Press
The most common variation to the single leg version of the Pallof Press would be the double leg version, with both feet planted firmly on the ground.
This variation will still work the core, but to a much lesser extent the glute.
Kneeling Pallof Press
The Kneeling Pallof Press is another variation where we are varying the starting position.
Instead of standing on one leg, start in a kneeling position with the knee opposite the resistance on the floor. The pressing motion of the upper body remains the same.
Single Leg Pallof Press Alternatives
If you don’t have access to a band to do Pallof Presses, a good alternative to warmup 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 their original position. Continue for the desired number of reps.