Press pallof: a most intense exercise to train the abs


If you want to work your abs hard, the pallof press cannot be missing from your exercise routine. It seems simple, but it is not. Discover the technique to do it correctly and show off your flat stomach and rock solid core.

When it comes to training your abs, you have a multitude of exercises with which to work the trunk together or the upper, lower or oblique muscles. One of the least known, despite being one of the most effective, is the pallof press, which you can do in the gym with the help of a pulley, or at home simply using an elastic band with which you generate some resistance.

How do you do the pallof press?

The pallof press is a strength exercise that mainly affects the oblique abdominals, although, in reality, all the muscles in the area are involved to achieve the same goal: core stability. It is an anti-rotation exercise, in which, with a minimum movement, you will achieve maximum tension in the abdominal area.

  • It is a different and intense way to train your abs. To perform the pallof press, you must be lateral to the pulley, separating yourself enough so that, when you pull the cable, you create tension.
  • You should use the pulley with one grip, holding it firmly with both hands. The knees should be slightly bent and the feet apart, approximately at the height of the shoulders and hips. The important thing is that you find a stable posture that allows you to pull the pulley with some effort, until the cable is at chest level.
  • The difficulty of the exercise lies in the fact that maintaining the initial posture is already going to cost you, because the pulley will pull, causing the trunk to turn. The point is precisely to prevent this rotation.
  • Once the stable starting posture is achieved, the pallof press consists of extending your arms forward, holding for a few seconds and returning the grip of the pulley to the chest. You must keep your abdomen and glutes contracted. With this apparently simple movement, you will work intensely the entire bundle of fibers that shape your abs, with special intensity on the oblique’s, which must be used thoroughly to avoid rotation of the trunk.
  • The essential thing in the pallof press is to avoid movement and any twists that manage to destabilize you. You can start by doing 1 or 2 sets of 8 – 10 reps and, when you master the technique, reach 3 – 4 sets of 10 – 15 reps.
  • To intensify the abdominal work, the pallof press admits different variations, for example, modifying the height of the pulley to train abdominals from different angles, performing the exercise with a forward leg to intensify the work of the muscles of the lower extremities or, even increase the load on the pulley so you have to push yourself even harder.

Benefits of the pallof press that will make you adore it

The pallof press is one of the most demanding exercises to train abs in the gym. Including it in your routine will make your upper body muscles work intensely. Among the benefits of its practice, we must highlight:

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  • It is one of the best if what it is about is to strengthen the oblique abdominals, always somewhat complicated to work with traditional crunch-type exercises.
  • Its results when it comes to increasing the strength and stability of the core are proven, so it is perfect as a complement to the training of almost any sport discipline: running , cycling , swimming , skiing.
  • Although the effort focuses on the abs, it also involves hard work on the muscles of the shoulders and upper back.
  • With the pallof press you are able to reinforce the natural “corset” formed by the upper, lower and oblique abs, which translates into extra protection for the spine.
  • It is a super effective exercise and a safe way to train abs while minimizing the risk of injury.

The fact of fighting against the rotational movement to which the tension of the pulley tends makes the stability and the balance itself improve in an evident way.

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