Pistol squats

How To Do Pistol Squat

Pistol squat is a great calisthenics and bodyweight exercise for your legs and overall balance. It is one of the best leg exercises available. It’s important to know how to do a pistol squat because this single leg exercise is one of the best for strengthening the back of the leg. This exercise performed on one leg. It test the strength of your core, stabilizing muscles and the entire leg from glutes to ankles. It is an amazing leg execise which requires balance, mobility and leg strength.

There are four progression to unlock pistol squat –

Squat –

Squats is lower body exercise. This is most important exercise to unlock single leg squat because if you cannot do perfect squat then you’re not ready to perform pistol squat. The lower you go in your basic squat, the better would be your formation to achieve this skill. You can do this with your bodyweight and with some additional weights too. It depends on your goals. If you only want to keep your legs fit and do some balancing work then bodyweight squat is enough but if you want to boost strength, explosiveness or maximize your muscle mass then you do need additional weights because you need specific intensity in order to reach your goals.

Perfect squats GIF

  • Stand tall and look straight.
  • Always put your back straight, start by putting your feet little bit wider than shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outwards about 15 degrees.
  • Engage your core, focus on breathing inhale and push your butt out and start bending your knees.
  • Your weight should be on your heels not on toes.
  • Then come back to the starting position.
  • Perform this exercise slowly to get effective result.

Half pistol squat –

  • You can use chair, bench, table or anything for this progression.
  • Just keep one leg straight, slowly go down.
  • If you’ll feel cramp or pain in your glutes and quads then it’s totally fine because you’ve just started this progression and you don’t have that much flexibility but in time your flexibility will increase and you’ll not feel cramp or pain in your quads and glutes.
  • Perform this exercise 3 sets and go for 10 reps with each leg.

Half pistol squat GIF

Assisted pistol squat –

  • You can use anything for assistance like chair or table. This is very similar to pistol squat.
  • Always make sure your feet is on the ground don’t lift your feet up.
  • In time use less assistance so that you’ll build enough ankle mobility to perform pistol squat.
  • Do it slowly and maintain the posture.
  • Perform this exercise 3 sets and go for 10 reps with each leg.

Assisted pistol squat GIF

Negative pistol squat –

  • This is the last progression to unlock pistol squat and it is tougher than assisted pistol squat because you’ll not get any support or assistance in this progression.
  • Always works on ankle mobility because your ankle mobility will be tested in this progression.
  • Just keep on leg straight and go down slowly.
  • Your weight should be on your feet and come back to the starting position.
  • Perform this exercise 3 sets and go for 10 reps with each leg.

Negative pistol squat GIF

Benefits –

  • Increases the leg strength
  • Strengthen the glutes strength
  • increases the core power¬†
  • Increases ankle joint mobility and flexibility
  • Improves balance
  • Removes danger of damaging spine (compared to back squat)
If you’re comfortable enough to perform all of these progressions then you’re ready to do pistol squat.

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