The pistol squat is a great exercise to build single leg strength, develop balance, and promote flexibility. Best of all, no equipment is required so it’s a movement you can do at the gym, home, or while traveling. Emily Bridgers shows how to do a pistol squat and shares three tips for those who are just learning.
How to do a Pistol Squat
- In a standing position, lift one foot off the ground and bring it out in front of your body
- Squat down with the leg that is still on the ground while the leg in the air continues to stay in front.
- During the squat, make sure your knee tracks right in front of your toes. Don’t let your knee cave in, this can lead to injury and make the movement less effective.
- Keep the weight of your body in your heel on the way down
- Push through your whole foot to stand up
Tips for Pistol Squat Beginners
Since the pistol squat requires a lot of leg strength, flexibility, and balance, many people aren’t able to complete the movement on their first try. These three tips from Emily Bridgers can help beginners develop their pistol squat.
Use an Object:
Instead of completing a full squat and bringing your butt down to the ground, you can use an object like a stool or bench and squat to that until you are able to go all the way down.
Grab a Counter Balance:
Grab a 5 or 10 pound plate. Hold it out in front of your body and then go down into a squat. This will make the movement a lot easier.
Get into a candle stick pose with your toes pointed to the ceiling. Roll forward onto one leg using that momentum and push up to stand. The momentum created will allow you to complete the movement without having to use quite as much strength.