There are many variations of squat exercises, but one of the toughest is one leg squat or also called pistol squat. To do such an exercises you need to be strength enough, have a good balance and enough flexibility to lower the floor and get back in the initial position. At first glance, it seem pretty simple to execute, but most of those who tried for the first time fall on bottom. A quite effective exercises that worth to be a part of your workout, due to great advantages it has on your body.
Aside of improving body indicators as flexibility, balance and strength, pistol squat can help to correct a one leg imbalance. Focus on this exercise for more than few weeks and you will see the results. In addition to this, one leg squats help you to build big quats. While doing them you feel great tension on this muscle making it grow like any other exercise can not do.
How to do pistol squats
To do a pistol squat you need to stay in one leg and keep the balance, while the second one comes out in front of you. Choose your strongest leg, as it is different in every person. Push your butt back, tense up and pull your body down. Once you are few inches of the ground get back to the initial position.
The strongest part in this exercise is the negative part of the range, and namey when you lower down. This is the moment when all muscle contracts and if you manage to pass through it than the exercise is almost done. Positive part is when you get back to initial position. Easy to do, but with no effects on your muscles.
Pistol squats are that kind of exercise that require much training to be able to perform. First attempt is usually a total failure, unless you have a very good fitness level. Are you interested in some techniques about learning to perform one leg squats? Pretty sure you are, as once you included in your training program you gain a lot of benefits.
First of all, test you flexibility. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to do this exercise. If you body flexibility is quite low, then you will to fix and then go with pistol squats. It is simple to get it tested: in a standing position put your food few inches apart and try to squat. If you can do it, than you can easily go to pistol squat. But if you find it difficult and can not even get closer to the floor with your bottom, than it is time to work out you quad, hamstring and calf flexibility before and then think to pistol squat.
Use a squat rack
Step into a squat rack and grab the supports with your hand. Then do the pistol squats. Yes, it will be quite hard to keep the leg right in ahead of you, but this ability will come with times. Feel confident and try to get from the lower part of the exercises to the initial position without the assistance. Repeat the exercises several weeks in then you will go for more complicated movement. A range of 3 sets of 5 repetition would be enough to form required skills.
Use a bench
Going to this level means that you handle assisted pistol squats and you are ready to go for more. Using a bench will let you to do the exercise as it full range of motion as it still difficult, but only half of it. Stay with the back to a bench and take the specific position for pistol squats. Begin to lower your body until buts reach the bench and then go back to the initial position. Begin with higher a bench and then gradually decrease it height.
Even at home you can practice this exercise easily. Having the effect of bench, stairs can also reduce the range of motion, helping you squat at defined limit. For this, stay straight with the back facing the stairs. Place the heel against the bottom step and start doing pistol squats. Once you reach the last step with your butt go back. Do this exercise as many times you want, since it is not useful, but also very fun to do.
Another option is to use a doorframe. Open the door and take the position in the middle of it. Put your hands on the both side of the wall and use them to support you when exercising.
These assisted squats are meant to prepare for full one leg squat. Your strength, flexibility and balance indicators are pretty good know and you can try to do pistol squats. Try to do 3 sets of 5 reps for each leg, but be no surprised if you manage to do it much easier and faster with your right or left leg. All of us have one leg much developed than other one, and pistol squat is perfect to fill this gap.