What is pistol squat?
In CrossFit many exercises are done, but one of the most representative of this sport is the squat pistol. It is basically a squat on one leg. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s harder than you think.
It’s not about anything like a limp leg. Actually, it is a challenge for your core and your lower train, especially for the quadriceps. Without strong legs, you can hardly make a squat pistol correctly. Moreover, you could not even make the progressions that will take you to this exercise.
Progressions to make a squat pistol
Before you dare with the squat pistol you should be able to perform a deep squat in its entire range of motion. Something that not everyone can do well at first, since the mobility of the hip and ankle greatly influence it. There are people who have developed it without just exercising it, and others who need a conscientious job. You will have to be evaluated by a professional coach to know which group you belong to. Why is it necessary to be able to do a deep squat before? Because a squat pistol is still, in some way, a somewhat complex variant of a deep squat (ass to the grass, which you already know that in CrossFit everything has a name in English).
Progression with TRX
Once the deep squat is mastered, you can start practicing the squat pistol with the help of a TRX or similar. Grab each handgrip, with your hands apart the width of your shoulders. Stretch one leg and descend by flexing the other, until your hip and your stretched leg form a 90 degree angle. It is very important that you reach the bottom and do not force the dorsal curvature of the spine. When you are attached to the TRX you will not work much balance, but that will come a little later. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the movement and begin to master its technique.
Place a bench just behind you, so that you rub it with your butt every time you make the descent movement. Stretch your arms in front of the trunk. Stretch one leg and descend by flexing the other, as in a squat. The bank will support you and help you not to fall if you lose your balance.
Progression with counterweight
Same as the previous movement, but holding a dumbbell or (ideally) a kettlebell with both hands at the same time, with the arms stretched in front of the trunk.
Progression on drawer
When you have already improved your balance, it is time to get into a drawer. Stand on top, but leave one leg out, stretched or slightly bent in the air. Descend with the other leg. Stretch your arms in front of the body at each descent, to gain some balance.
Have you overcome both progressions? !! Congratulations!! You are ready to make a strict squat pistol. But don’t hurry! It will be some time before that. If you do not respect the progressions and you go crazy, the squat pistol could become an injurious exercise for your knee and pelvis.
The one-leg squat is one of the CrossFit exercises in which it is easier to fall into errors, such as not breaking the parallel (which is achieved when your hip and stretched leg form a right angle) or support you with your foot or with the hand on the ground a tad ahead of time, which results in what in this sport is known as no rep: an invalid repetition. So pay close attention.