Training Tip Tuesday: The Palloff Press

Today we are talking all about the Palloff Press!

The palloff press is a deceptively hard exercise because, from the outside, it does’t look like much is happening.  But when done properly, it will light up your core.

This exercise specifically helps you work the core stabilizing muscles dancers need for unshakable balances, endless pirouettes, and sky-high extensions!

Yeah, it’s that good. 

How to perform the Palloff Press

Set up

First you’re going to find the cable machine in your gym and attach a hand grip attachment. (The one that looks like a loop with a plastic place to put your hands.)

Next adjust the height of the cable so that when you pull it out, it’s level with your belly button. 

Great! Now that you’re set up, choose an appropriate weight.  (If you’re new to this exercise, I’d start with a medium weight.)

Instead of facing the machine for this exercise you’ll be standing parallel to it, with your shoulder in like with the cable column.

Holding the hand grip close to your stomach take two to three steps out, away from the machine so there is tension on the cable. 

The Reps

From this position, without twisting your hips or shoulders press the cable straight out in front of you. 

Hold here for as many breaths as the workout prescribes (usually 3-5) then come back in. 

To repeat reps, push the cable back out. 

And there you have it, the Palloff press. Trust me, your core will be crying tomorrow!

Important Tips

The most important thing about this exercise is to keep your body square. Letting your arms push toward the machine will allow you to give in to the resistance. Pushing away from the machine will make your outer obliques work a little too hard. 

The goal is to remain even, just like you’d stand in a pirouette prep or balance. 

If you’re wanting a visual check out this video of Coach Kiersten demonstrating the set up and performance of the Palloff Press!

Trust me, it’s harder than it looks. 

Will you give it a try? 


More Training Tips: Sculpting Strength and Flexibility: Workout for Dancers, Performance vs Outcome Goals: The Role of Each In Productive Goal Setting, Stay Alive For 25 (minutes!): Workouts For Dancers

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