How to Do A 1-Leg Squat: Episode 2

So I'm hoping that you put those foam rolling and mobility exercises to good use.

Remember, you have to be able to get below parallel with 2 legs before you can even think about performing a TRUE PISTOL.

I've also received a lot of questions about anterior knee pain and balance when you're doing a pistol, so rest assured, I will tackle both those issues in one of the following episodes of the How to Do A Pistol video series.

For now, watch Episode 2 below as I show you 4 variations of single-leg exercises that you must be doing correctly before really getting your butt-to-the-ground on a one leg squat.

 

-Chris Lopez

16 Comments

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  • Reply March 19, 2010

    Linda

    Thank you for this demonstration. This has been such as difficult one for me to learn to do correctly. I think balance is my biggest problem.

    • Reply March 20, 2010

      Chris Lopez, CSCS, CTT

      thanks, Linda. stay tuned and I’ll show you how to take care of the balance issue. it has a lot to do, I think, with the type of footwear you use.

  • Reply March 19, 2010

    Bob

    Great stuff. The demos and your descriptions are a huge help/

    Bob
    http://www.totalcyclingperformance.com/

  • Reply March 19, 2010

    Scott

    Big Help, I but missed episode one, is there any way to see it?

  • Reply March 19, 2010

    Scott

    Great, Thanks. Is episode #1 still available to view?

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  • Reply March 20, 2010

    Clement

    Hey Chris, I’m just curious to know: what do the Bulgarian split squat and step up have in relation to progression with the pistol? In my opinion, they’re more like modified lunges but with less emphasis on the thrusting motion used in stretching. Just confused!

    I follow a different method. After I could do 2×30 ass-to-grass squats, I progressed to assisted one-legged squats: assisted in the way of putting a hand to the bench to ensure I don’t fall over. As a result, I’ve been able to work up to 3 reps of unassisted pistols on each side in 2 weeks. Just an alternative!

    • Reply March 20, 2010

      Chris Lopez, CSCS, CTT

      Hi Clement

      Good question. In my experience, clients who have never done a pistol before (or a proper squat for that matter) do well with a progression from 2 legs (standard squat) to a staggered stance (bulgarian/step-up/split squat) to a single-leg (pistol). That’s just how I’ve taught it over the years.

      A more complicated answer (and this has worked for me personally), is to use the bulgarian to give the hip flexor (psoas, tfl & quad) a prestretch and inhibit it so that it doesn’t start to cramp on you when you bring that leg forward and have to hold it up. When I first started doing pistols my tfl would always cramp up because I had to hold my “off” leg out in a flexed position. I later found out that it was because my psoas wasn’t doing its job because it was so tight. The Bulgarians helped a lot (as did some other things).

      Hope that helps.

      Chris

  • Reply March 20, 2010

    Steve

    Try pistols in bare feet or flat-soled, minimalist footwear. The shoes you are wearing “help” to achieve the mobility needed to perform a pistol, i.e. the shoes you are wearing helps achieve “false” mobility. Pistols should be done in bare feet or they are considered a modified pistol — modified to make-up for a lack of mobility. Just my $0.02 worth. But, I am 54 years old and perform pistols in my bare feet often and I believe we ought to train every movement the right way — it doesn’t help to train them wrong, because then we learn to do them wrong…

    • Reply March 20, 2010

      Chris Lopez, CSCS, CTT

      Good 2 cents, Steve.

      I actually touch on footwear and how it deals with balance & mobility in Episode 4, but yes you’re right… the shoes I’m using do help from an ankle mobility standpoint but don’t do much from a balance standpoint because ground reaction forces are minimal.

      Pistols are best done barefoot or with footwear that has minimal cushioning (I train using Converse All-Stars). the shoes I’m wearing are “just for show”

      Chris

  • Reply March 20, 2010

    Henry Savage

    Most excellent.

  • […] progress to single leg variations like the ones outlined in Episode 2 of How to do a Pistol using the same rep recommendations above (2 sets of 15-20 per leg with no […]

  • Reply April 20, 2010

    Kylie Batt

    СРазу бы так))…

    So I’m hoping that you put those foam rolling and mobility exercises to good use…..

  • Reply May 13, 2010

    Kylie Batt

    Я считаю, что Вы допускаете ошибку. Пишите мне в PM, поговорим….

    I’ve also received a lot of questions about anterior knee pain and balance when you’re doing a pistol, so […….

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