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How TO Make This Core Exercise MUCH Better!

Screen Shot 2019 09 08 at 8.45.42 AM - How TO Make This Core Exercise MUCH Better!

I like seeing our industry grow! It actually inspires me to see coaches wanting to provide better solutions to those that entrust us to help them. Especially because it allows us to have deeper conversations about continuing to build upon those solutions and really understanding functional training concepts. The reality is, sometimes we start moving one step forward and then our industry sadly takes two steps back. A great example is a great core exercise called the Pallof Press. 

core exercise

Not to be confused as the Pavlov Press (yes, I’ve seen several people do that!), the funny name can be attributed to physical therapist, John Pallof, who created the exercise. Mr. Pallof created the exercise to teach how to resist unwanted rotation of the body. The exercise was taught with two hands on a cable or band handle, while having the weight lateral to your body. When you press your arms out from the body, the change in leverage and position of the body would cause a “brace” to occur teaching the body how to properly stabilize. 

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Being accurate in what we call #functionaltraining exercises is important because it can impact how credible of #fitness professionals we appear to others. I see a surprising number of people call the great anti-rotational #corestrength exercise a Pavlov Press. However, Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known best for his work in classical conditioning. John Pallof is a physical therapist that created a now popular anti-rotational #core exercise. So, when you call a "Pallof Press" a "Pavlov Press" it doesn't help you look credible. I guess this is performing what would be a Pavlov Press with Dwight! Be sure we pay attention to important details. #rehab #coretraining #physicaltherapy #performbetter #puppiesofinstagram #boxersofinstagram #functionalfitness #coretraining #knowledgeispower

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Wrong core exercise!

While I realize there are some “interesting” social media people promoting that you never want to teach anti-rotation, they are unfortunately ill informed on how the body works. Many of our largest muscles like our lats, obliques, and even glutes are designed to both produce and resist force at the same time. So, while the contrarians would try to argue we always rotate, they miss the fact our body must learn how to control how MUCH rotation occurs and where it does occur from (hip and low back rotation are very different beasts). Therefore, teaching anti-rotation in this manner is a very powerful core exercise. 

What makes it especially good is that it tries to integrate a more realistic position of the body as well as the lower and upper body. Just like everything else in our body, we don’t want to isolate the core (which is impossible anyway if we understand the core is 35 muscles in our body and not just the abs). 

You may be wondering what made me want to write a post about an already good core exercise? Well, as something gets popular in the fitness industry it often gets going down a less than productive direction. I think coaches sometimes get bored and they look to make an exercise more difficult which doesn’t always mean more productive. 

That has resulted in people making the Pallof Press not as productive of a core exercise as it could be. Want to do I mean? Well, due to leverage of the movement in the upper body, it can be very hard to go heavy in the exercise. So, some have gone to making the external resistance more unstable. While some have done this successfully in a very incremental manner, others have gone off the deep end believing that the more unstable the external resistance, the better the core exercise. 

However, as Dr. Brandon Marcello talked about in his interview HERE, that isn’t what stability training actually is all about. Think about the fact that at its foundation, stability training is about making connection of the chains of the body so we can move more efficiently. If we don’t know this to start, we just end up trying to survive this core exercise rather than benefitting from it. 

stability training

That is why we do the Pallof Press a bit differently to even begin. One of the issues I have seen coaches have in the Pallof Press is that due to the position of the hands, the upper body can’t connect to the core. We have this load entering our body that doesn’t have a foundation to really deal with this stress properly. Therefore, that is why we use the Ultimate Sandbag to “pull apart” the weight to create that connection of the upper body to the core. We don’t see shoulders shrugging and we see better quality of movement. 

Just like the more familiar Pallof Press, we run into an issue of leverage limiting load (especially when we have two loads to deal with, pulling us two different directions). What do we do if I am suggesting that making the load unstable is not the best thing to probably do? I would rather change our body position to create a higher demand of making these connections. As we change body position and start to move in dynamic ways, we have to react to the load still, but we do so in a more synergistic manner where we aren’t just stressing our body trying to survive, but actually teach better movement. 

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People can get really intimidated by concepts like multi-planar #strengthtraining . Really though, it isn’t meant to be this intimidating or complex #functionaltraining concept. In reality it just means we move in one direction while we resist forces acting upon our body in another direction. —————- 💡We use this concept because that’s what happens when we move in life. Whenever we do pretty much any movement, our body is moving one way, but there are forces acting upon our body usually laterally and rotationally to throw our body off. That’s why so many of our big muscles like our lats, obliques, and #glutes are designed not to run up and down but diagonally. ————— 💡 What the great coaches at @fitnesslyingdown show is how practical we can employ this #functionalfitness idea to real world #workouts . Using our Core Strap, we can instantly make any exercise more 3-D. What is so great about these 3 #DVRT movements is that they are combined with different stances and directions of movement so we can train even more muscles and make our training that much smarter!

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That is actually why we often start these movements on our back, go to our bird dogs (which is actually a form of a Pallof Press), go to tall kneeling, half kneeling, standing, sprinter stance, and then the “fun” really starts:) 

Hopefully you see my point is with proper intent and understanding of what this core exercise is supposed to be, we can still create variety but with greater purpose. How do we know if it is working though? You should feel like you are moving better, you should see better hip and shoulder mobility, you should have a means to know if the work you are doing is actually improving your movement skills. That is what makes any exercise great!

Want to know more about how we create progressions that give you the best of variety and purpose? Don’t miss saving 25% on our DVRT Online Education HERE with code “education” and get our DVRT Shoulder Course for FREE!

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If there was ONE thing I wish people would understand about #functionaltraining is that the exercises aren’t about replicating what we do in life but teach the body how to connect to its natural chains in the way we create movement. ———- That’s why this #warmup for my shoulders and hips may look strange but when we see how the foot connects to our #glutes , core, and even opposite shoulder it starts to make more sense. Then think about how I’m using the Ultimate #Sandbag to create tension. Why grip and pulling apart? ———- The hands are the entry point for the shoulders and core from the top down. So tension and resisting rotation is engaging these very chains. By focusing on “proximal stability for distal mobility”, these odd types of movements are the perfect way to prime your body for your #strengthtraining and improve mobility in the hips and shoulders.

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