But do I really need a stable core?
Yes. Yes you do. Here’s why.
Whether you’re competing at your favorite sport or just trying to maintain everyday fitness, better performance starts with a stable core. A stable core means
- Better posture in your sports positions
- Lower risk of back injury
- And for fight sport athletes, a stable core means both a better attack range and better strength to repel attacks
It doesn't matter if you’re training for wrestling or MMA, boxing, Muay Thai or jiu jitsu, you should always start your workouts with core activation and Pallof movements are a great way to activate the entire core.
At the end of this blog we published a 4 movement Pallof workout routine for you to try. It’s based on the belly press series developed by physical therapist John Pallof, adjusted for fight sport athletes. Each movement delivers a different benefit. So before we get to ther actual workout, let’s talk Pallof benefits and technique
How to Get the Most Benefits from the Pallof Series
Each Pallof movement in this core stability routine focuses on a different ability that we require from our core when we are playing sports or just going about our everyday life. We've included basic technique tips to make sure you get the most out of each movement.
1. Pallof PressWe always start with the Pallof Press because it wakes up your lower abdominal muscles. Your lower abs support your lumbar, which is the most injury prone part of the back. The Pallof Press is best done with
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Abs tight
- Your hips stacked underneath you, and
- Your hands kept directly over your center mass
You should feel a pull from the anchor point that makes you use your lower abs to hold yourself in position. This is called an anti-rotation movement. As a fight sport athlete, think of when someone is trying to turn your upper body out of good position and you must resist. If you're not feeling strain in your lower core, take a step out to increase the tension. If it's too much, take a step in.
2. Pallof SwipeNext up is the Pallof Swipe. The swipe builds rotational stability for the back. This helps you rotate properly through the hips first. Same as the Press, you want to keep your
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Abs tight, and
- Your hips stacked underneath you
- Do not rotate your hips. Focus on rotating from the upper back.
- Keep the lower back and hips stable.
3. Palloff PumpNext is the Pump. This is great for anyone who has throws in their sport and snap downs or has to reach up for a ball. The Pump activates the support muscles around the spine to alleviate unnecessary exertion from the lower back
Like the others movements, you want to focus on maintaining stability
- Stay in a good athletic position
- Don’t move up and down with your arms.
- Keep your head up, and
- Reach to the top of your range of motion
4. Pallof Swing
Last up is the Pallof Swing. For fight sports this builds rotation power for striking, throws, and duck unders. For tennis, golf, and baseball, the swing translates into greater swing stability. Remember the last time you threw your back out swinging a bat? Or doing a wide kick. Swipe prevents those kinds of injuries.
Here you are rotating the whole spine and hips.
- Always lead with your hips
- Rotate up through the back to the arms like a corkscrew
- Keep your hands together or separate them to mimic the movements in your sport.
Okay. Ready to give the Pallof series a try? Hit play below.
How'd that go?
Give yourself a minute to feel out how this series has affected the way you move or helped you identify any areas of the body that need close attention. Try adding this series to the beginning of one of your typical workouts. See if you start to feel a little more grounded.