One-Leg Squats (“The Pistol”)


At last, you are at the finish. I hope you are reading this article when fully mastered the technique of all the previous variations of squats (especially on one leg). Although even full squats are acknowledged basic exercise, forcing the big muscle groups to work, exactly the one-leg squats give an ability to train legs at home with maximum efficiency. Having learned to squat correctly on one leg, you can reach the level of force stamina, that is unavailable to most of habitues of new-fashioned gyms and fitness centers. Home exercises can be effective, and squats – is the best proof.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles, erector spine muscle.
Performing the exercise: stand straight, move your bodyweight to one leg, rise the second one to your hip’s level (try to keep it straight or bend it in knee a little). Straighten your hands before you and spread your shoulders, so that during all the exercise your back was straight (photo 1). Bending the base leg, do the full squat till the rear area of your hip touches your calf (photo 2). Hold on for a second, then go back to the starting position. Repeat the necessary amount of reps, then change base leg.
One-Leg Squats (starting position)One-Leg Squats (final position)
Notice: always start from the weaker leg. Watch the posture, do not bend your back too much. The heel of your base leg should not tear from the floor, and its knee – get out of the toes level. If the full one-leg squats are too difficult for you – try to use a small, 20-30 cm object, on which you can put your inactive leg’s heel at the lower position. Also at the start you can hold the pillar (for example, door or chair) with your hand. To exit the lower point you can put a stack of books, a few bricks or other small object by your side – then in the lower position you can help yourself with hand. But gradually reject all this “helpers” and aim to do the one-leg squat with perfect technique. Because only in that way you get not only harmonically developed leg muscles, but the deserved hail of master of the power squats. Good training!


Good books to read:

Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.
Pavel Tsatsouline. The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the Super-strong, Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – Dragon Door Publications, 2004 – 218 p.

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