A pistol squat is an exercise that is performed by one leg balance. It is a workout, that tests your body stability and core strength. It is a strength-based exercise that is included in the Cross Fit regime. Through a full range motion, pistol squat strengthens hamstrings, hips, glutes, calves and core muscles. It is a difficult workout because you have to balance your body on one leg. Although there is a two-leg squat variation too, which is to perform. But you need a good amount of strength and hip flexibility to do a pistol squat.
A major advantage of including pistol squat in your daily regime is body balancing. According to many fitness trainers, it is the toughest squat to learn. Technically, it is much different from single leg squat. It is bottom squat, where one leg is in front of you in a straight position and the other one’s hamstring is rested on your calf. So tremendous amount of power and focus is essential to master pistol squat. Let us learn how to master this squat with proper techniques.
How to do a Standard Pistol Squat
Before jumping to do progress pistol squat, it would be better if you do some warm-up sessions like knee to wall box testing, ankle warm-up and hip assessment. After warming up, you can proceed to do pistol squats with progression.
Pistol Squat Progression Plan
It is a simple form of squat. You have to stand on your feet with shoulder-width apart. By engaging your core muscles, joining both hands bend your knees and stay in a squat position. It should look like you are sitting on a chair in the air. Stay in a lowering position by keeping your back erect. Continue to do it and then stand back to the normal position. Do this squat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Single-Leg- Isometric Hold
It is just like an air squat position. Except for this variation, you have to bring your one leg forward, by bending your knees at a 120-degree angle. Hold that position for 10 seconds. Stand back to initial position with two feet together. Do the movement again by switching the leg.
- Stand straight on your feet together on the floor. Move your one leg forward straightly.
- Make sure you raise your arms along with your raised one leg. By keeping an erect spine, bend the leg that you are standing on and be in a slight sitting position.
- The other leg should be forward as before. The final step would be keeping your raised leg straight parallel to the floor and continue to bend your other leg more down till you completely sit on it. Hold this position for 5 seconds and slowly upright your leg and come back to your initial position.
Chair Box Pistol Squat
In this variation, you have to do a single-leg isometric squat. Make sure there is a box or chair behind you. Once being on a single leg, sit on the chair with your other leg raised. Then quickly stand up in the same isometric squat position. Repeat these movements 5 times a day.
- It is very necessary to have strong balance and stamina to do a pistol squat. The improper squat can put stress on the legs and knees.
- Only progress to pistol squat if you have control of your muscles and have good stability. If you quickly do a squat then there are chances of getting back pain or will be a strain on your legs.
- Don’t lean your leg too much in the forward position. Lean your leg slightly and keep your back erect.
- If you want functional and strong legs, do pistol squats because they help you with muscle contraction.
- There is a strong chance of improvement in the posterior chain.
- If you want to increase the mobility of ankle joints and want to get those strong knees then surely go for pistol squat.
- The pistol squat is a great isometric exercise to maintain good spine health.
- Another great benefit is it gives muscle stability in the legs and strengthens bones around ankles and hip joints.