How To Do Pistol Squat

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating a Pistol Squat

Pistol Squat is an effective lower body exercise that strengthens your glutes, quads and core while training your body for better balance and ankle stability. The Pistol Squat is a single leg squat that trains just one leg at a time while the other is suspended in the air. This forces you to work on your balance and to challenge your own body control.

All squats are good for training and challenging your lower body muscles. There are so many different kinds of squats for you to try and you should work on as many varieties as you can. The Basic Squat is the best place to start. Once you achieve a good basic squat you can move on to the other great varieties like the Pistol Squat.

Remember that your legs probably do not have even amounts of strength. Don’t expect to do them exactly the same on both sides. That’s part of what makes this a great move. It gives you an opportunity for unilateral training. Rather than always strengthening both legs together, you have a chance to work on each of them separately to make sure you don’t rely on the strength of one to help you with the other.

Here are the steps to performing a Pistol Squat:

1) Stand with feet hip distance apart and extend 1 leg long on front of the body.

2) Bring hands to hips or the front of your body for balance. Sit back into a squat with weight in the heel of the foot, then slowly stand back up using your glute and hamstring muscles. Repeat for desired number of reps and switch sides.

Targets: glutes, quads, hamstrings

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