Tips of The Week

Why Should I Work on Pistols? (Pt.2)

Why Should I work on Pistols? (Pt. 2)


How to Progress on Pistols

The pistol is such an advanced skill, developing them requires practicing some progressions to gradually build strength, range of motion, and flexibility.

1.    Bodyweight Squat, Feet Together, Full Range-of-Motion

Before beginning work on pistols, it is recommended that you can squat all the way down on two feet with a very narrow stance.


2. Pistol Squat, Bottom Position Hold, Grab Onto Pole

Grab onto something sturdy and squat all the way down. At the bottom, stick out one leg and hold it. Switch sides and repeat.
3. Pistol Squat, Eccentric on One Leg, Concentric on Two Legs, Grab Onto Pole

While holding onto a pole, perform a slow, controlled pistol negative. Bring the other leg in at the bottom, and stand up on two legs.
4. Pistol Squat, to a Box

Moving away from the pole, now you will pistol down to a box. Start with a tall box and gradually progress lower.
5. Pistol Squat, Counterbalance With a Weight

Use a 10-20lb weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate) to counterbalance your hips as you perform a full pistol. Gradually progress to a lighter weight.
6. Pistol Squat, Stand on Box, Free Leg Vertical

Stand on a box tall enough so that your free leg can remain vertical. Progress towards a lower box, thus increasing the amount of hip flexion in the free leg.
7. Pistol Squat, Elevate Heels

At any stage in this entire progression you can wear Olympic weightlifting shoes or put a tiny weight plate under your heels. This decreases the amount of ankle dorsiflexion needed to squat all the way down.


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