Posted March 4, 2015

Best Exercise In Ever: Sissy Squat Pallof Press

This past weekend I had the chance to teach a fantastic pair of workshops in New York, Ruthless Mobility and Advanced Core Training. (For those interested, I had a professional film crew record Advanced Core Training and will be releasing it when it’s all done and ready to rock, so stay patient for that.) The response from the workshops were amazing, with a lot of really good feedback from people, including this gem from one of the attendees who travelled from Edmonton to see me talk and drop knowledge like like it’s hot:

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I couldn’t ask for anything better, and if she took that much away from it, I’m a happy camper. If you’re interested in attending another workshop, the next one I have scheduled is in Edmonton, June 6th, and registration is already starting to fill up. I pinkie swear we won’t have any snow on the ground and by then it should be lovely out, so make the trip and we can deadlift, chew on some jerky, and get wicked smart.

Click HERE for more info on Total Hip Training, Edmonton

One of the components I was talking about with Advanced Core was the integrative aspects of core training involving stabilizing the spine while creating movement from the extremities, in conjunction with altering body positions and lever lengths to challenge the body to the individuals barely capable level.

A movement I’ve used extensively with myself and clients and taught in workshops is a pallof press. It’s a great anti exercise, wherein the goal is to not create movement through the spine, but to resist the weight trying to create movement in the spine.

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A great thing about movements like these is they can tend to act as a template versus an end game. You can change postures (tall kneeling, half kneeling, split stance, square stance, narrow stance, etc), movement velocities, time under tension, height of resistance, accessory movements, and a bunch of different things all on a whim to make this a highly versatile movement with a big range of possibilities.

I’ll completely admit, I made this one up on the fly during the workshop. I had an idea and I went with it, and from there I wanted to give it a try, and everyone’s eyes lit u when they saw this sucker.

One of the things that happens when people get into a position of tall kneeling is their quads and hip flexors are typically super redonkulously tight, meaning they wind up kneeling with some significant anterior pelvic tilt, and a low of low back extension combined with zero bootius maximus activation. To remedy this, when in tall kneeling, try to get the glutes to lock down hard, which will usually make a massive stretch through the hip flexors, but also help get the spine lined up a lot better and not in a completely extension dominant posture.

Once the glutes are completely rocked out like no ones business, lean back like you’re getting set to limbo, while making sure you constantly ram your glutes on full throttle so they continue to make hatred smash through your hip flexors and keep your back strong. If you let the glutes go and you wind up going into extension, there’s a lot more shear force acting on your spine in a potentially painful position, and it also isn’t going to be nearly as hella awesome, so keep them cheeks cranking, okay?

Once you’re leaning back, stay strong and press on. Work on pressing out at a 90 degree angle to your torso to start, and if you’re feeling froggy enough, you could press out with more of a vertical angle or bring the cable through a range of motion overhead once your elbows are locked out. When bringing the cables overhead, make sure the elbows stay locked out and avoid side bending like basic chicks avoid “even”ing.


Make sure you breathe out hard as possible when extending your elbows and pushing the cable away from you, and if you want to bring that sucker overhead, take a second to smell the flowers once your arms are fully extended and take another breath, then as you raise the cable overhead breathe out hard again. 2 breaths, one rep. So much hotness you won’t know what to do with it.

Hit up a couple of reps per side, swear under your breath or out loud, I’m not partial, and repeat on the other side for some symmetric sadism. Enjoy!!