How to do pistol squats

How to do pistol squats

Utilising pistol squat progression to increase leg strength and enhance endurance abilities

Some of us hate squats. In fact, the internet is so filled with videos of people exclaiming how much they hate them, I’m surprised anyone likes them at all. However, when you think about the sheer strength, mental game and exertion that comes from them, I’m not surprised that many love them.

A pistol squat is a type of squat. Simple. But it’s enhancing what you already know, or growing what you don’t, to make use of a game-changing squat style, and grow your leg strength to reach your targets.

So what’s this article going to do? Show you the ins and outs of the pistol squat, how you can benefit specifically using the pistol squat and how it differs from normal squatting routines.

So, before we get bored of standing around let’s lean into this guide… one leg at a time.

First things first


We want to be safe and squatting can be scary. Thankfully, you won’t really need any more than body weight here. You just need stability, the right environment and a sturdy ankle… make sure that it’s safe to do these exercises. But more from your ankle, you need to make sure you have the mobility for it too. So if you need to increase flexibility then go about mobility exercises first.

The how to

Let’s run through a quick step-by-step guide (it’d be good to supplement this with a video of course)

So, to do a single-leg squat, and begin your journey towards pistol squat progressions, you’ll need to start with a standard deep squat.

1) Make sure your bum is as close to your heels as can be and of course keep a straight back.

For the full pistol squat, we’ll need to adapt this classic position.

2) Now, grab your ankles in the squat position and roll back, letting your bum lift up a bit.

This pistol squat requires good dexterity, so this next step may be tricky.

3) Now roll your body back up into a deep squat position. This is quite a dynamic movement so make sure to get it right before moving on.

Next one’s going to test your range of motion…

4) Roll your body into a squat position but this time keep one leg straight, popping up just a touch with your bent leg.

Developing your core muscles takes time but you’ll need them for this bit.

5) Now you need to work on popping up a little more, until that dreaded standing position.

6) Now do the reverse and start again.


Keep working hard on this one. Squats, like the Bulgarian split squat or just a regular pistol squat, really do enhance more than just your leg strength. The stronger the muscles the fewer aerobic requirements, the farther you can run, and of course, the more you can get out of your body’s abilities.


What does full range mean?

A range of motion is the full movement of a certain exercise.

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