How To Make Pistol Squats Harder

How to Make Pistol Squats Harder - PistolSquat SingleLegSquat FridayFeeling muscle calisthenics crossfit gymnastics calisthenicsvideos calisthenics bodyweight bodyweightfitness bodyweightexercise bodyweighttraining bodyweightexercises calisthenicsforlife calisthenicscommunity calisthenicstraining calisthenicsworkout calisthenicsuk calisthenicsaddict calisthenicsmotivation calisthenicslifestyle calisthenicscoach calisthenicsbody calisthenicsfitness blogger fitnessblog personaltrainer personaltraining oxted surrey surreyfitness surreyfitnesscentres workout exercise fitfam FitLife Fitness FitnessAddict GymLife GymTime homeworkout GetOutside fitdad TrainHard NoExcuses GetStrong NoPainNoGain fitdads fitdaddy fitover40 fitoverforty fitafter40

Pistol Squats are an advanced body weight exercise for the legs, particularly the quads. If you have one leg stronger than the other, then doing a one leg squat will help to even them out! Pistols are also a useful exercise if you don’t have access to a gym, or if you have lower back pain — making barbell squats too painful to do. Pistols are also great for improving your balance.

For a tutorial on the regular version, click here for Pistol Squats.

How to Make Pistol Squats Harder - PistolSquat SingleLegSquat FridayFeeling muscle calisthenics crossfit gymnastics calisthenicsvideos calisthenics bodyweight bodyweightfitness bodyweightexercise bodyweighttraining bodyweightexercises calisthenicsforlife calisthenicscommunity calisthenicstraining calisthenicsworkout calisthenicsuk calisthenicsaddict calisthenicsmotivation calisthenicslifestyle calisthenicscoach calisthenicsbody calisthenicsfitness blogger fitnessblog personaltrainer personaltraining oxted surrey surreyfitness surreyfitnesscentres workout exercise fitfam FitLife Fitness FitnessAddict GymLife GymTime homeworkout GetOutside fitdad TrainHard NoExcuses GetStrong NoPainNoGain fitdads fitdaddy fitover40 fitoverforty fitafter40 Advanced

Advanced Progressions

I’ve been doing regular pistol squats for some time now, but they’ve been getting too easy for me, as I can do 20 “ass to the grass” pistols at a time…it’s quite a burn.  😎  But how can we make them more difficult, without adding weight? By the way, if you hold a weight out in front of you, the exercise can get easier, rather than harder.

Stretching your arms out in front of your body, helps you to maintain balance; rather than falling over backwards.  Changing that balance, makes the exercise a lot harder. Please check out the variations below, and watch the Advanced Pistol Squats video demo at the end.

Prisoner Pistol Squats

How to Make Pistol Squats Harder - PistolSquat SingleLegSquat FridayFeeling muscle calisthenics crossfit gymnastics calisthenicsvideos calisthenics bodyweight bodyweightfitness bodyweightexercise bodyweighttraining bodyweightexercises calisthenicsforlife calisthenicscommunity calisthenicstraining calisthenicsworkout calisthenicsuk calisthenicsaddict calisthenicsmotivation calisthenicslifestyle calisthenicscoach calisthenicsbody calisthenicsfitness blogger fitnessblog personaltrainer personaltraining oxted surrey surreyfitness surreyfitnesscentres workout exercise fitfam FitLife Fitness FitnessAddict GymLife GymTime homeworkout GetOutside fitdad TrainHard NoExcuses GetStrong NoPainNoGain fitdads fitdaddy fitover40 fitoverforty fitafter40Clasp your hands behind your head. Initially, I’d suggest placing your fingertips by your temples — as the first time I did it, I found myself going down ok, but on the way up I’d occasionally need to extend my arms forward a little at the bottom, just to get going…particularly as I got tired through the set. Eventually you’ll nail it, and you won’t need to move your arms any more.

Arms Behind Your Back Pistol Squats

How to Make Pistol Squats Harder - PistolSquat SingleLegSquat FridayFeeling muscle calisthenics crossfit gymnastics calisthenicsvideos calisthenics bodyweight bodyweightfitness bodyweightexercise bodyweighttraining bodyweightexercises calisthenicsforlife calisthenicscommunity calisthenicstraining calisthenicsworkout calisthenicsuk calisthenicsaddict calisthenicsmotivation calisthenicslifestyle calisthenicscoach calisthenicsbody calisthenicsfitness blogger fitnessblog personaltrainer personaltraining oxted surrey surreyfitness surreyfitnesscentres workout exercise fitfam FitLife Fitness FitnessAddict GymLife GymTime homeworkout GetOutside fitdad TrainHard NoExcuses GetStrong NoPainNoGain fitdads fitdaddy fitover40 fitoverforty fitafter40This increases the challenge again, putting more weight behind your body — you’ll have to really fight not to fall over. You also need to engage your hip flexors and abs a lot more, otherwise your extended leg will touch the floor.

Plyometric Pistol Squats

I’ve yet to try it, but once you can comfortably achieve all the above versions, you could start back at the regular pistol squat…then from the bottom position, jump onto an elevated surface, then drop back down. Repeat and progress to the hands behind your back version.

Good luck. Let me know when you can do that one!

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

About George D. Choy 87 Articles
Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor at Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, UK. Fit over 45. Dad with 2 energetic kids 😄 Passionate about helping people to keep strong, slim and healthy.

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