This will be the first blog post over core exercises. I will begin with the Pallof press. The Pallof press is a simple exercise to perform, requires little equipment, and can be done just about anywhere. The version that I am demonstrating is the position for the general public who have a reasonable degree of fitness. Later I will post versions for people that have or had back issues and want to begin at a safer level and more advanced versions for people that want more of a challenge.
But first, what exactly are the core muscles and what is their function? Most of the core muscles are located in the torso from the shoulders to the hips. The major muscles of the core are in the abdominal and lower back regions. The main functions of the core is to move the spine and trunk, to stabilize the top part of your body over the bottom part, and to control the relationship between your pelvis and lower back. Generally speaking, a strong core will protect your spine from injury by stabilizing it during movement.
So, back to the Pallof press. The Pallof press is an anti-rotation core exercise, which means that your job is to resist the force that is pulling your body into rotation. That means not letting your neck, shoulders, upper back (including shoulder blades), lower back and hips twist. You do this by keeping all of these straight throughout the movement and hold.
Lastly, some tips on how to get the most out of the Pallof press core exercise
- The position is “tall kneeling” this means keeping a straight back and not allowing your pelvis to rotate forward or backwards.
- Perform the movement in a slow and controlled manner both pressing out and coming back to the chest. Hold the fully extended position for a count of 5-10 seconds.
- Remember to breathe (never hold your breath). Exhale as you press out and inhale on the return to the starting position. Perform normal abdominal breathing during the hold.
- Perform the exercise on both sides so that you resist both right and left rotation.