Begin standing. Pull the cable handle away from the machine and position it against the torso. Next, slowly kneel down on the BOSU Balance Trainer keeping the toes on the floor. Once you establish a stable base of support, position the torso in an upright position.
Prior to initiating any movement with the cable handle, be sure to engage the core to maintain a neutral spine angle and resist trunk rotation. Then, slowly extend the elbows pressing the hands away from the chest (see photo on left). Be sure to keep the arms at chest height and perpendicular to the torso at all times. Pause at full extension for 3-5 seconds and then slowly return to the start position.
Perform 10 repetitions and then switch sides. Repeat for 2-3 sets. You may increase the difficulty by:
1) Increasing the hold time on each pause
2) Opting for one long pause of 30 seconds at full extension
3) Lifting the feet completely off the floor (see photo on right)
Adding weight should be considered carefully and last when using the BOSU Balance Trainer as the goal is to promote proper neuromuscular activation, and often increasing resistance increases the chances for faulty movements and compensation particularly as fatigue sets in.
This is an advanced version of a traditional tall kneeling Pallof Press. Clients should be proficient in a traditional version prior to moving to an unstable one. This exercise is designed to promote anti-rotation core strengthening. The BOSU Balance Trainer will add some natural disturbance to the pelvis and require/promote lateral line strengthening as well.
Clearly, this exercise may be too advanced for some, and I often start slower in my rehab progressions moving from standing to half kneeling and then to tall kneeling positions on the floor initially. Therefore, consider this activity with the knees on the ground at first. Next, consider progressing to an Airex pad before attempting to use the BOSU Balance Trainer.
If necessary, regress to other positions of added stability to master technique for your clients. In addition, the activity can be regressed as far as simply holding the cable flat against the chest for time, thereby reducing the lever arm completely in any of the a foremetioned positions.
Brian Schiff, PT, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor at the Athletic Performance Center in Raleigh, NC. Brian presents nationally at several professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more cutting edge training information, subscribe to his monthly Training & Sports Medicine Update at www.BrianSchiff.com.