Hey everyone! I hope you’re doing great and your pregnancy is going easily and without any hassles!
Today I have a great blog post for you that’s all about an absolutely awesome exercise that I mentioned in my blog post last week about 3 of the best pregnancy exercises that you should be doing. It’s called the pallof press and in my opinion it is one the best core exercises out there, especially for pregnant women.
Ready for it? Let’s go!
Which Body Parts Does It Work?
Your entire core, all the way from the hips up to the arms.
Why It’s Good For You:
One of the most important exercise objectives for pregnant women is to make sure that you keep the entire core area as strong as possible. There are a couple reasons for this.
Firstly, we want to try and minimize the negative effects of the drastic change in posture that you experience during your pregnancy. As your baby grows and you have an increasingly large weight around your stomach, it pulls your pelvis down and forward, which in turn creates a larger arch in your lower back and exposes it to much greater stress than it experienced before. This can cause low back pain which is something we definitely want to avoid. So the best way for us to minimize these negative effects is to get the core and glutes really strong so that they can hold your body in better posture and alleviate some of the strain off your hip flexors and low back.
Secondly, due to the fact that your core muscles get stretched and put at a position where they can’t optimally function throughout your pregnancy, they are more susceptible to get weak and lengthened. That’s something we want to minimize as much as possible, both during your pregnancy and afterwards! During your pregnancy we want to keep those muscles as strong as possible for the reasons mentioned above, and by reducing the harmful changes on these muscles during pregnancy we also make it easier for you to get them back in shape after your pregnancy.
The Pallof Press not only fulfils both of these needs but it does so in an easy position that anybody can assume – standing up (if you are late in your pregnancy and can’t stand up you can do it sitting on an exercise ball instead). And best of all, it doesn’t strain your back while you do it and keeps you in an upright posture that is the reverse of the sitting position that you probably spend most of your day in.
For home workouts, you will need a resistance band that can be anchored in a door frame. Our favorite choice is the JC Predator Band which is extremely easy to use and can be adjusted in resistance for extra versatility (you can go with the pink resistance to start with). If you are doing this in the gym you can use the cable pulley machine adjusted to mid-torso height.
How To Do It:
- Anchor your JC Predator Band in your door so that it’s as high as your mid-torso.
- Stand facing perpendicular to the band (at 90 degrees to it). Refer to the video below if you are not sure how to do this. Basically, you are making your body and the band form an L-shape together.
- Grab both handles together first with the hand that is furthest away from the door and then with the hand that is closest to the door on top of that.
- 1st version: Move the band directly out in front of you and then back to your torso. Don’t let your hips or your arms be pulled to one side or the other. Keep them directly in the middle of your torso at all times.
- 2nd version: Holding the band directly in the middle of your torso, push it out in front of you until your arms are fully extended and then hold in that position for time.
How Many Reps/Sets Should I Do?
- Since this is likely an exercise you have never done before, make sure to start out with an easier progression and gradually work your way up.
- For the 1st version, start with 5-8 reps and gradually add more over time. Start with 1-2 sets and work your way up to 3-5 sets.
- For the 2nd version, start with a short hold of around 10-15 seconds and gradually add more time. Start with 1-2 sets and work your way up to 3-5 sets.
The pallof press is an awesome exercise and should be one of your go-to exercises during your pregnancy and afterwards. Throw it in to any workout as your core movement or just do it for fun during your day!
As always, if you have any questions about this exercise then please post them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer! And if you’ve already tried the pallof press then post your thoughts and experiences – Was it easy? Harder than it looked? Let us know what you think!
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