The pallof press is an exercise that tests the stability of the core, being an intense and effective exercise to work the abdomen and with a great involvement of the obliques (very interesting for the work of these muscles), being able to do so much in the gym (on a pulley) and at home with the need for little material (elastic bands).
It is an anti-rotation exercise of the trunk that makes it work all the muscles of the abdomen safely and efficiently. Therefore, what makes the pallof press a great exercise of the core is that it forces you to hold your core and your glutes to stabilize and resist rotation.
In case you did not know, the main function of the core is to resist rotation, flexion and extension , not to initiate those movements, so it is better to stop doing so many crunch and crunch exercises with rotation , since they are not more effective and what they are is less safe , involving a flexion with rotation of the spine, and often linked to an external resistance (such as the Russian turns with heavy discs).
We need to work more specifically on exercises that work specifically against a moment of rotation (anti-rotation exercises), which are very important for greater stability in the spine and greater sports performance, in addition to working the abdomen very intensely.
How it is performed?
For a more intense work, better to do it on a pulley , in which we can quantify and increase the load .
The basic position would be to place the legs shoulder-width apart (basically finding a stable position) and grasp the pulley with both hands , sticking it to our chest and generating enough tension (separating from the pulley).
The pulley will tend to pull us towards where it is anchored and will tend to rotate our torso in a moment of rotation. What we have to do is, with enough tension and well compacted, pull the rubber forward maintaining the position, which will increase that moment of rotation and will make the intensity much higher.
If we loose, the pulley will tend to rotate abruptly (which gives an idea of the great intensity involved in this exercise).
The good thing is that, as I said at the beginning, this exercise can be done at home or anywhere simply with a rubber band , generating tension and with the same guidelines as those mentioned above, although we will not be able to reach intensities as great as on a pulley, where we can increase the load.
It can also be performed on knees or one leg ahead of the other (very intense variants too), as well as placing the highest or lowest pulley or rubber.
As for the number of sets and repetitions , this will depend on the rest of the core and abdominal exercises that we have in our training routine and our previous or subsequent work in the session, with some basic recommendations being 3-4 series of no more than 8-12 repetitions per series.
Better to increase the load on the pulley and do fewer repetitions than do many repetitions with little load , as long as you maintain a stable position and proper technique. That is, if you are with a load with which you can perform 15 or 20 repetitions, better increase it and perform fewer repetitions per series (increase intensity).