Notoriously difficult to accomplish, the pistol squat is an exercise that is like no other. The pistol squat really showcases the combination of strength, and stability and also a pretty high level of skill. It is one of the most impressive exercises that you can attempt to pull off.
That’s right, the pistol squat will really help you to challenge yourself and you will be able to really find out what you are capable of when you put in a lot of hard work and a lot of consistent practice.
Plus, doing the pistol squat will help you to build up some pretty strong lower body muscles and you will also notice a major improvement in your balance too.
In the fitness world, mastering the pistol squat is a relatively common goal amongst a whole host of people. However, you might find that getting started with this exercise is extremely difficult.
Not only that, but trying to work out how you can master this exercise and how you can progress with increasing the number of reps that you do is pretty overwhelming.
What Is A Pistol Squat?
So, a pistol squat is a pretty advanced unilateral lower body exercise and it allows you to perform a single leg squat. As you do this you need to descend right until your glute almost touches your heel while you are positioning your opposite leg right out in front of you.
The pistol squat actually requires that you have a lot of strength in your quads, your glutes and also your hamstrings, calves, core and even your hip flexors. Yeah… you have to be pretty into fitness to master this exercise - it is not one to take on if you are a novice to the fitness world.
What Do You Need To Know Before You Attempt The Pistol Squat?
This exercise is notoriously difficult and you will naturally have a lot of queries and maybe even concerns. One of the most common concerns is whether the pistol squat can cause you to injure your knee. Here’s the thing - this is actually a pretty reasonable concern to have because the pistol squat is an especially intense exercise to try.
This is especially important because a lot of people will have been taught that when it comes to squatting you should not have your knees ever travel past your toes. Although, for those of you who do not have underlying knee issues then deep squats will be completely fine for you to attempt.
It is important to know your limits when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. After all, not every exercise will be suitable for every kind of body. You might want to avoid attempting the pistol squat if you have current or even if you have a history of pain and discomfort in your knees, or in your hips, or in your lower back.
Also, if you are someone who has suffered from or is suffering from pain and discomfort in your ankles and feet then you should reconsider attempting this exercise.
You might also be unsure of what kind of footwear you should opt for when you are going to attempt the pistol squat. Well, you might find that you will be much more comfortable attempting the pistol squat barefoot or even while you are wearing shoes that have an especially thin and flexible sole.
This is ultimately because pistol squats are best performed when you have your foot rooted firmly into the floor - and all your toes should also be pressing down. If you opt for a shoe that has an especially thicker sole then you will actually be making life much harder for yourself.
Picking this choice of shoe will actually hinder your progress when attempting the pistol squat and you might even find that you lose your balance and footing.
How To Do A Pistol Squat
Now, this is the moment that you have ultimately been waiting for. Here is our guide on how to do a full pistol squat.
- Stand with your feet together - when you do this you need to firmly press your right foot into the floor. You really need to try and imagine that you are rooted to the ground through your toes, the ball of your foot and also your heel.
- Balance on your right leg - when you do this you need to lift your left leg and then extend it out so that it is right in front of your - and you should flex your foot when you do this too.
- Extend your arms and then squeeze your hands into fists - this will ensure that you are actually creating tension from your shoulders to your hands.
- Now you can descend into your pistol squat - when you reach the lowest point that your body safely allows you to go then you should squeeze your fists tighter. As you do this you need to make sure that you really engage your core and that you use the strength along with the balance of your right leg just to help you return to the standing position.
- Don’t forget to repeat this exercise - you should make sure to repeat more of these reps or even change sides. This will especially help you with your balance too.
You might find this exercise pretty difficult to master at first - but actually this exercise can be gradually built up to, and you can do this by utilizing a chair or an actual box just to help you to support your bodyweight until you build up enough strength to master the pistol squat.
Here’s the thing, everyone knows that pistol squats are extremely intimidating at first. However, this is an exercise that will require pretty consistent training. You will really need to persevere and have a whole lotta patience when it comes to getting this exercise right.
You really need to listen to your body and just work at your own pace. You need to ensure that you are strong and also that you are ultimately safe when you are ready to take on the challenge of performing the pistol squat.
Do not forget to have fun when you are working out, so you should really enjoy any little milestone that you reach and you can work your way up to the full pistol squat.