Get strong from the centre out
There are many exercises that can help to develop core strength. This month we are looking at one in particular called ‘The Pallof Press’.
How it benefits your body
During everyday activities and in the golf swing, the body and joints have to perform a variety of movements including rotation, lateral flexion and flexion/extension. It is as important to be able to resist forces and movements as it is to create them. The Pallof press is an exercise that helps to develop rotation strength and stability throughout the body by resisting forces in varied planes of movement.
How it benefits your golf game
The golf swing is a very complex athletic movement that involves a lot of rotation. The forces that go through the body and in particular the spine during the golf swing are very high.
Having sufficient abdominal strength and core/trunk stability is very important for golfers to enable a safe and full golf swing to be performed without affecting technique or increasing injury potential. The mid section or core of the body has to work very hard throughout the golf swing to control the spine in multiple planes of movement. It also connects the upper body to the lower body to allow the safe & efficient delivery of force and power through the kinetic chain from the feet up through the body and into the club head.
Pallof presses are great exercises to develop strength and core stability that have an excellent transfer to rotational sports like golf. They can be done as part of your general fitness training as well as in your warm up. These are the same type of exercises that the European Tour professionals do on Tour.
How to do a Pallof Press
There are lots of ways in which you can make the exercise easier or harder depending on your ability and fitness. This video contains a number of progressions of the Pallof Press. You can do this exercise with a weighted pulley machine, Kinesis or resistance tubing/band (such as shown in this video). The exercise can be made easier by having less tension on the band or pulley and made harder by increasing the tension/strength of it. Reducing your base of support (i.e. standing/split standing) will also increase the difficulty of the exercise. Start with the band pulled on tension and your hands firmly on the handle with it close in to your chest. Slowly push your hands away from your body until your arms are straight whilst bracing your core to stop the band/pulley from pulling/rotating you back towards its attachment.
European Tour Performance Institute & Physio Unit