In case anyone was wondering, the Washington Capitals have been on an absolute tear lately. They took it to the New York Rangers last night with 2-1 thumping to go up 3 games to 1 in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Andre Burakovsky netted both goals, so let's take a look at his 2013-2014 highlight film before we dive into today's post.
Last week we discussed the Deadbug exercise. We're going to continue the series by exploring another core exercise you may not have heard of; the Pallof Press.
The Pallof Press
This exercise can be performed in every conceivable position; supine, half-kneeling, tall-kneeling, standing, split-stance, even on one leg. I typically recommend people begin with the standing version, and move to supine if they feel themselves compensating in some way, shape, or form. Tall-kneeling is another excellent choice, as it takes the quads out of it and really forces stabilization using the glutes. Remember that this exercise should be done in a low-threshold state, holding a steady breathing pattern throughout the entirety of the exercise.
The Pallof Press is an anti-rotation exercise. The band (or cable) causes a rotary force that forces you to stabilize and resist the motion, and will do wonders in developing your internal and external obliques, as well as your transverse abdominus. These are typically the core muscles most misunderstood by the general public and, as such, you should make deadbugs and pallof presses a staple in your program!
A good starting point would be to perform 3 sets of 5 presses per side, pausing for 2 sec at the outstretched position. You can add a rep each week, until you get to about 8-10, then adjust the difficult by standing further away from the point of attachment, using a stronger band, holding the pauses for a longer period of time, or choosing a more difficult position. Below are two videos, the first showing the correct way to perform a pallof press, and the second showing the incorrect way.
Pallof Press - Correct
Pallof Press - Incorrect