Thursday, June 11, 2009

Torso Stability and the Pallof Press

A strong torso (also known as the 'core', but I prefer torso) allows you to lift more or develop more force with your upper body (such as throwing a ball) while protecting your spine. The torso musculature allows you to 'transfer' force from the lower body to the upper body (some thing you do everyday). Now, to protect the spine you need to develop the strength to stabilize the spine and resist movement, such as bending or twisting (you want to move through the hips- as many of my clients know).

I use a wide variety of torso stabilizer exercises with my clients. However, the Pallof Press (developed by John Pallof) is a simple, but extremely effective exercise to strengthen the torso musculature. It is an anti-rotation exercise (you are resisting rotation) with the cable column.

Here is how you perform it:
  1. Attach D-shaped handle to a cable column and set it at chest height.
  2. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and keep your knees slightly bent.
  3. Hold the handle with two hands (one on top of the other) right in front of your chest.
  4. Brace your abs (tighten up like some is going to punch you in the stomach) and 'press' the handle straight out in front of you. Then, return the handle back to chest. Keep moving the handle back and forth while trying to keep moving it in a straight line (indicating that you are stabilizing your torso well). See me in the video below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Slar says - Hey!!! That's my dad next to Dan at the end of the video!!! And Dan's been having me perform this exercise...I really feel it working...