Build A Resilient Spine: Challenge Your System

Matthew Ibrahim


Medford, Massachusetts, United States

Strength Training, Mobility & Recovery



Tall Kneeling Pallof Press (Anti-Rotation)

There are much easier ways to perform this exercise, but this variation puts you in a position where you truly need to feel something. That "something" is your glutes. More specifically, your glutes activating and firing together to keep your spine above it locked down. Essentially, your hips and spine need to stabilize together as a team.



That’s pretty damn tough for some people. A lot of movement education and pattern recognition is needed to reach that point. However, once you’ve mastered that aspect, it’s time to add it in to the tall kneeling Pallof press exercise below to truly challenge the core in an anti-rotation manner.


Set your knees hip-width apart on the ground. Drive your toes forward. Squeeze your glutes. Drive your rib cage down slightly with a mini-ab crunch, and finally, press the band away. You’re locked in.


Do This:

  1. Kneel on the ground with your knees under your hips roughly hip-width apart. Dorsiflex your ankles and have the band anchored to your left.
  2. Engage your core with your ribs down (think: mini-ab crunch) and squeeze your glutes to protect your spine.
  3. Interlock your figers around the handle and use both arms to press the band out in front of your abdomen. That's 1 rep on your left side.
  4. Complete 12 reps on each side. That's 1 set.
  5. Perform 3 sets per side.



Accept the Challenge

You need to challenge your body to work as a system. It’s impossible to build a resilient spine with optimal function and performance if you don’t provide the right stimulus.


The right stimulus is created by placing the demands of motion on the spine, all while asking it to stabilize and remain still. By performing exercises that have movement in the upper or lower extremities and stabilization in the core, you place an increased demand on your body - otherwise known as a challenge.


This article was originally published on Breaking Muscle US.


More Mobility Advice from Matthew:


Headline photo courtesy of Jorge Huerta Photography.

Photo collage courtesy of Matthew Ibrahim.

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