The regular Pallof Press is done on a cable machine, standing perpendicular to the pulley so that the cable is pulling directly to the side. You hold the cable handle with both hands in towards your chest, then push your hands out away from your body, increasing the torque on your anti-rotational deep core muscles as you do so.
But what if you don’t have a cable machine to do this with?
Easy. You use a bench and a dumbell like this.
Start with a light dumbell (I’m using a 30 lb dumbell) and lay on your side on the bench, with your shoulders off the end. Hook your feet under the other end of the bench – this is important to do because it’s what will keep you anchored on the bench so you don’t roll off it when you move the dumbell out in front of you.
You can see in the pic below that I’ve got my feet wrapped around the end post of the bench and underneath the back edge of the bench. It’s another reason you don’t want to go too heavy with this – it can put some stress on the knees if you do. And if you do already have knee issues, be careful with this one – it may not be one that will work for you.
Here’s the start position…the dumbell is held in towards your chest, just like the cable in the cable version.
Now extend your arms, pushing the dumbell out in front of you. You’re hitting the core in the exact same way as the cable version only there’s no cable involved.
Repeat for 6 to 8 reps on one side then switch to the other side.
That’s basically it! It’s a simple exercise with just a few points to watch out for. Very effective for targeting the core with anti-rotational movement (which means a movement where the resistance is attempting to force your torso to rotate and you use the core muscles to resist that rotation).
Nick Nilsson is known in the fitness industry as the “Mad Scientist of Muscle,” and for good reason! For more than 28 years, Nick has been creating unique, new exercises and training techniques and putting together some of the most innovative muscle-building and fat-loss programs available anywhere.