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How To Do A Pallof Press

What Is A Pallof Press?

How to do Paloff Press

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The Pallof press uses a cable machine or a resistance band to strengthen the core and improve stability under load. Working the obliques and abdominals, this exercise challenges the torso to resist load and remain rigid. The Paloff press can help with balance, posture, and coordination, as well as improving strength and stability. It’s an excellent rehabilitation exercise to help with lower back pain as it improves the core’s ability to support the spine.

Using the cable machine provides constant tension to the movement and is typically more challenging than the resistance band variation. If you’re new to the movement, it may be best to opt for the resistance band version or ensure to use a light and manageable load if using the cable machine.

Most Commonly Asked Questions About The Pallof Press

  • The Pallof press works the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques. Unlike many ab exercises which train the core through spinal flexion or rotation, the Paloff press is an anti-rotation exercise. This means the core muscles must work to resist rotation, helping to build strength and stability.

  • The Pallof press builds core strength and stability which can improve posture, reduce risk of injury, and improve sports performance and gym lifts. It is suitable for all levels and can be used for rehabilitation.

  • The Pallof press is an anti-rotation core exercise which uses a resistance band or cable machine to provide a rotational pull. The performer must press the cable or band away from the chest while keeping the torso stable to resist rotation.

  • Position the cable machine at chest height and attach a pulley grip. Stand sideways on to the cable, gripping the attachment with both hands and holding it at chest height. Brace your core as you extend your arms, pushing the pulley away from your chest. Complete the rep by bringing the pulley back towards your chest.

Tips for Pallof Press

Common mistakes made during the Paloff press include rushing through the exercise and overcompensating the anti-rotation. It’s important to move slowly with control throughout the exercise to ensure the core remains engaged and stable. If you are unable to move with control, lower the weight or switch to a lighter resistance band.

Some people overcompensate the anti-rotation by twisting away from the resistance. While the core will still be challenged, some tension is likely to be switched away from the core and into other muscle groups. It is more effective to keep the torso straight.

How To Do The Pallof Press

  1. Set up the cable machine or resistance band so that it sits at chest height. If using a cable machine, attach a pulley grip.

  2. Stand sideways to the machine or band and grip the attachment with both hands at chest height, then take a few steps out to the side and backwards so that the band or cable is providing resistance.

  3. Brace the core to create a neutral spine and then extend both arms to press the cable or band forwards until the arms are fully extended.

  4. Revert the movement by slowly bringing the pulley back towards your chest.


If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.