Pistol Squat Progressions

Pistol squat is a key exercise because it requires total lower body mobility stability and strength.

Minus the Gym

  • Stretches
    • Hold all stretches for 60 seconds, 2-3 sets per day, to see gradual improvement in your flexibility
    • Calf stretches
      • Variation 1: Heel on floor, toes raised, ball of foot touching stair or wall
      • Variation 2: Stand with ball of feet on a stair step with heels extending backwards off the step. Allow gravity to pull your heel down.
    • Hip flexers: forward kneeling lunge
    • Hamstrings: Stand with knees locked. Bend forward to touch toes or the ground
  • Progressions
    • Work all progressions up to 8 reps (the top of strength-building range)
    • Split squat
    • Single leg kneeling squat. Touch knee to ground at bottom of negative.
    • Elevated single leg squat
    • Assisted pistol squat. Hold onto a pole, door frame, ring. Start with half-rep, then 3/4 rep and full rep.
    • Counter-weighted pistol squats. Hold a weight in front of you for balance.
      • This is a key missing progression in other tutorials.
      • Build up to 8 reps per set with 20-25 lbs (9-11 kg)
      • Then, decrease weight and build up to 8 reps.

How to Pistol Squat

  • Lesson One (School of Calisthenics)
    • Build ankle mobility and calf flexibility to increase doriflexion
  • Lesson Two (School of Calisthenics)
    • Hip and hamstring mobility

Complete Pistol Squat Checklist

Fitness FAQs

Pistol Squat Tutorial

Saturno Movement