Whether you seek to master your bodyweight, develop the kicking power of a martial arts legend or freedom from the gym the single leg squat a.k.a. “Pistol” may be just what you’re looking for.
At first glance everyone has the same reaction… Their eyes bulge, the jaw drops and then finally comes the statement “That can’t be safe!” We’ll, if it’s not safe… you’re not doing it right.
The Pistol is a POWERFUL tool and like any powerful tool, when used improperly it can have unintended consequences. So reinvent the wheel or in this case the pistol at your own risk because instruction in this technique is best left to the experts.
There are a few things to consider before taking on the pistol…
Progressions: The key to mastering this technique is the wise use of pistol progressions and regressions. Typically I advise starting by practicing partial pistols to an elevated surface such as a bench, or low step.
Squatting: If you can’t squat safely with two legs, then you’re obviously not ready for the pistol. By taking one leg out of the equation the pistol is basically twice as hard as a normal squat, not to mention the added challenge of balancing on one foot.
Knee Health: If your knees are already shot, then this technique is best kept on the shelf.
Flexibility: Your ankles, hips, Hamstrings, Back and even shoulders will need sufficient flexibility and mobility.
If you know you have serious flexibility or mobility issues in any of these areas then address them first.
Ab Strength: One common limiting factor is the ability to maintain a high amount of abdominal tension long enough to complete the technique. This is especially true when adding a “heavy” weight to the pistol.
Want to Become a Pistolero?
Check out the following excellent resources:
- Read the Naked Warrior and watch it’s companion DVD to learn how to get strong anywhere using nothing but your own body-weight to master the one arm push-up or pistol.
- Read “Convict Conditioning” the book and Get the Companion DVD set to learn how to perform a wider range of bodyweight exercise progressions taking you literally from ZERO to HERO.
- Learn the Pistol at Omaha Elite Kettlebell
Of course, the best instruction is always done under the eye of a experienced coach. As an RKC level II and CKFMS instructor I’m specifically trained in the safe instruction of kettlebell and body weight techniques such as but not limited to the Pistol. I can identify faulty movement patterns holding you back or putting you at risk of injury and provide personalized corrective exercises and exercise progression to set you on the right path toward conquering the pistol. I’ve successfully trained clients of all shapes and sizes ranging in age from six to 60 to perform the pistol.
Enroll Now with Omaha Elite Kettlebell
- Finally, if you have the means then why not learn from the best, the “Evil Russian” Pavel Tsatsouline himself: Chief Instructor of the RKC and author of “The Naked Warrior”.
Enroll in Dragon Door’s Naked Warrior Certification Workshop October 13th & 14th.