Girls, until the summer is not so long. And what does that mean? It’s about time to declare war on the last winter kilos! A defined and slim belly – this has always been considered the epitome of healthy and fit and is strived for by women and men alike. When it comes to building muscle and losing belly fat, the plank with all its variations is considered THE ultimate magic bullet. But unfortunately, we find the forearm plank a bit too boring. Do you feel the same way? Then we have good news for you! The Pallof Press exercise for a flat stomach is the new favorite of all fitness enthusiasts and even much more effective than planking! What exactly is behind it and how do you do the Pallof Press correctly? We’ll explain all of that, as well as the best variations for more variety, right below!
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What is the Pallof Press exercise?
Next to the legs, the abdomen is one of the biggest problem areas for women, where we most often put on fat pads. There are now so many exercises and types of training that promise us a visible six-pack that we have already lost track. The Pallof Press exercise is a so-called “anti-rotation exercise” or a kind of counter-movement. Or in other words – the benefit of the exercise comes from the isometric contraction of the back muscles. The Pallof Press not only trains the abdomen, but additionally strengthens the legs, buttocks as well as the back and core muscles . Especially if you have lower back problems or weak wrists, the Pallof Press exercise would be a great and even more effective alternative to planking.
The Pallof Press exercise works the whole body, but you feel it especially in the middle of your body. To perform it, you will need either a cable machine, or a resistance band anchored to a fixed object. In the standard position, the cable is positioned at chest level, but depending on the variation of the exercise, it can be placed higher or lower. In order for you to maintain balance while resisting, you force your abs, arms, back and lower body to work together. And that’s what makes the Pallof Press exercise more effective than the Plank .
How to perform the exercise correctly
The Pallof Press exercise is not a complicated movement in itself. But in order to get the most out of your workout, you should learn how to do it properly. The focus here is mainly on stabilizing the body and the core. Positioning and proper form are very important in the Pallof Press exercise and tilting or twisting during the movement can lead to injury.
So it’s best not to start too intensively and pay attention to proper form in the beginning. And this is how the Pallof Press exercise is performed.
- Set the cable or resistance band at chest height.
- Then grab the free end with both hands and move sideways about 1 meter away from the cable.
- Interlace your fingers around the band and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Pull shoulder blades back, keep back straight and tighten abdominals.
- Then fully extend the hands forward and hold the position for 5 seconds.
- Return to the starting position in a controlled and slow manner and repeat.
- To prevent twisting, keep the abdomen as tight as possible during the movement.
- Do approximately 15-20 repetitions and then switch sides.
Helpful tips for correct execution
To make sure nothing stands in the way of your long-awaited six-pack, we’ll give you a few more tips on how to perform the Pallof Press exercise correctly and perfect your form.
- Make sure that the band is taut.
- Avoid any twisting movements and keep your core stable. If you notice that you are twisting in your torso or hips, it is better to use a fitness band with a lower resistance or reduce the weight on the cable pulley.
- To increase tension throughout your body and activate your abdominal muscles more, exhale deeply as you press.
Kneeling Pallof Press
Already perfected the Pallof Press exercise and need some variety? To make sure you don’t get bored with your workout, we present two popular variations. In the kneeling Pallof Press, you use your knees as a support base instead of your feet, which increases instability. To prevent rotation and maintain balance, you’ll need to work abs even harder during this.
Pallof Press with Rotation
This Pallof Press exercise is ideal for working your oblique abs and strengthening your core muscles. How to do it:
- Position the resistance band or cable at chest level.
- Grasp the free end with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Tighten your abdomen, keep your back straight and extend your arms forward.
- Hold the position briefly and then use the abdominal muscles to rotate the upper body away from the anchor point.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Do about 10-15 repetitions and switch sides.