Form Friday: Pallof Press


by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Exercise: Pallof Press
Muscle Groups: Abdominals, Obliques
Importance: The Pallof Press helps train the core and trunk to resist trunk extension, posterior pelvic tilt and trunk rotation. This can be performed on a cable machine or with a resistance band and unlike many “core” exercises, it doesn't force the trunk to flex or extend excessively.

Proper Form:

  1. With a regular handle on a cable crossover machine, position it (or a band) to shoulder height with an appropriate weight selected.
  2. Your side should be to the cable machine as you grab the handle with both hands and step away from the machine.
  3. Your feet should be about shoulder width distance apart with your knees slightly bent and the handle starting in the middle of your chest
  4. From this position, press the cable handle away from your chest in a straight line in a slow, controlled manner
  5. Fully extend your arms while also resisting the pull toward the machine. The pull will get stronger as the lever arm gets longer but you should try to maintain as much of a straight line path as possible.
  6. Pause and hold briefly once you reach full extension
  7. Slowly control the handle as it returns to its starting position back toward your chest, still keeping that straight line path
  8. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions
  9. Repeat the same number of repetitions facing the opposite direction


  • Use a strong athletic stance
  • Keep your shoulders stacked over your hips
  • Brace your core to help resist any trunk rotation during the movement
  • Progressions/Regressions: Banded Pallof Press, Tall Kneeling Pallof Press, Half Kneeling Pallof Press

Sample Workout (5 rounds):

  • Pallof Press (R) x 15
  • Pallof Press (L) x 15
  • Body Weight Squats x 15
  • Push-ups x 10
  • Pull-ups x 5