It’s been a looong time since I’ve done one of these posts, and I’m going to try to make them more regular so you have some great exercises to try out and include in your strength and conditioning program. Today’s exercise is what I like to call the Supine Triple Flexion Pallof Press w/diaphragmatic breathing. It’s a mouthful, I know, but keep reading!
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I first saw the Supine Triple Flexion Pallof Press done by Dr. Perry Nickelston, a very bright chiropractor out of New Jersey. After some thinking, I realized that this exercise is not only an excellent beginning variation of the Pallof Press, but also a nice place to start integrating low-level core stability and proper breathing patterns. Once your client or athlete has learned how to properly use their diaphragm while breathing in various unloaded positions, this would be a logical next step to begin integrating some core stability with diaphragmatic breathing.
Take a look below as DSC coach Matt Skeffington demonstrates the exercise:
- Begin on your back in a neutral spine position. Your head, scapulae, and sacrum should be in contact with the floor, with your neck packed and chest proud.
- Assume a “triple flexion” position with your hips and knees flexed at 90 degrees, and your ankles dorsiflexed (essentially the 3.5 month position).
- Brace your core and keep your ribcage down (think about pushing it down and to the sides).
- Maintaining this position, grasp a D-handle attached to a cable or band just below chest level, and press straight out, with the goal being to completely lock out your elbows and not allow any rotation.
- Once you are in the top position, while keeping your core braced and ribcage down, take a big breath in through your nose, focusing on 360 degree expansion (sometimes it helps to think about breathing into your back), then slowly exhale through pursed lips, getting all of your air out.
- Return to the starting position, briefly reset, and repeat for 2-3 sets of 5-8 repetitions on each side.
A good cue (courtesy of physical therapist Mike Reinold) to use with your clients when teaching this exercise is “Neutral, Brace, Breathe.” This reminds them to find neutral spine, keep their core braced, and to use proper breathing patterns during the exercise.
Once you’ve mastered this version, begin incorporating iso holds where you hold the top position for a given number of breaths.
A regression for this exercise would simply be to have your client place their feet on the floor.
Try this one out on yourself and with your clients and let me know what you think!