Exercises You Should Be Doing: Band Pallof Press Squat & Split Squat

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I have two surprises for you today.

1.  Normally when I do an Exercises You Should Be Doing post, I give only one recommendation.  Today, however, I’m giving you TWO!

2.  In addition, not only do you get two new (to you) exercises to try out, but you also get to see me in all my high definition sexiness, because I used my new iTouch to film the videos.

Actually, scratch that.  There’s nothing remotely sexy about filming myself demonstrating videos after a brutal eight hours of coaching on the floor.

My arms look gunny though.  So that’s a plus.

Anyways, for those who have been reading this blog for an extended length of time, you know that I have a few obsessions:

  • Ninjas
  • Matt Damon
  • Eggs
  • Might as well throw beef jerky in there, too
  • Star Wars and Lord of the Rings (or any other fantasy/sci-fi movie that was equally as likely to not get me laid in high school and college).

  • Boobies – yeah, they’re pretty awesome!
  • And, Pallof presses

The latter, of course, is something I’ve written on extensively here on this blog.  For those you need a refresher or haven’t the faintest idea what the hell I’m referring to, it may help to read this: 

Click Me – I’m Ticklish.

Needless to say, I love me some Pallof presses, and I’d argue that they’re the most versatile “core” exercise you can implement into a program regardless of one’s training experience or history.  If you’re a complete beginner, you can perform a standard Pallof press to teach the whole concept of anti-rotation and core stability.

Conversely, for those with a little more experience under the bar, Pallof presses can easily be progressed to more challenging variations like the ones below.

Band Pallof Press Squat

Who Did I Steal It From:  No one.  I think.  I may actually be the first on the interwebz to combine a Pallof Press with a squat.  Genius!

What Does It Do:  As with any Pallof press variation, the name of the game is training core stability. As you extend your arms out – and thus, increase the lever arm – the more you have to RESIST the pull of the band inward. Adding in the squat is just a great way to make the movement more challenging (since you’re implementing movement into the mix), and well, it just looks pimp.

Key Coaching Cues:  Don’t try to be a hero and start with the thickest band possible.  This exercise is deceivingly harder than it looks, and I’d highly recommend doing what I did and start with a 1/2 inch band.

Furthermore, make sure that you LOCK YOUR ELBOWS out to start.  From there, assume a basic squat position and have at it.  The narrower the stance, the harder the exercise becomes.

Focus on sitting back, while pushing the knees out as you descend towards the floor (maintaining more of a vertical shin angle).  Perform 8-10 reps/per side.

Band Pallof Press Split Squat

Who Did I Steal It From:  I’d like to take credit for this one, but Jim “Smitty” Smith blogged about this bad boy not too long ago, so he gets the credit.

What Does It Do:  For those looking to kick it up a notch, the Band Pallof Press Split Squat is a beotch!  Again, start with a 1/2 inch band. That’s what I was using in the video, and as you can readily see, I was struggling.

I love this variation because it allows us to pattern the lunge, which is important, but it also hammers the external rotators of the forward leg, which is equally as important because pretty much everyone has weak external rotators from sitting on their keesters all day.

Key Coaching Cues:  Seriously, start with the 1/2 inch band.  Don’t be an a-hole. Likewise, the pull of the band is going to be significantly greater here because your base of support is narrower.  As such, try to be more cognizant of taking your time with this one. Don’t rush, and control the movement.

And there you have it.  Yet a few more Pallof Press variations you can throw into your exercise repertoire.  Try them out today, and let me know what you think!

UPDATE:  come to find out, my iTouch isn’t in high definition after all.  My bad.  Sorry ladies.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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