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Pistol Squat Variations for All Strength and Mobility Levels

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Today we’re going to work on a series of pistol squat variations, one of which is likely perfect for you. The pistol squat is also sometimes called the single-leg or one-leg squat.

This video will walk you through the progressions to the full pistol squat. But even if you can’t do a full pistol squat or never intend to, you can still get a lot of benefit from training its different variations. These exercises will build your strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility.

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You may spend four to six weeks on each of these versions depending on where your starting point is. Do sets of 8 to 15 reps at a time, holding yourself to good form. (And sorry about the end of the video — there’s nothing missing, I promise!)

 Pistol squat variations:

  1. Feet together squat to the stool
  2. Feet together squat, deeper and deeper
  3. One leg squat down to stool, two legs to stand up
  4. One leg squat to stool, one leg to stand up
  5. One leg stand up on box, progressing position of trailing leg
  6. One leg squat down from box, tapping heel at the bottom.

Note: Remember pain means stop. If one of these movements hurts or just feels wrong, don’t do it. Find a version that works for you and helps you toward your goals.

Brandon Hofer on Facebook
Brandon Hofer
After his first experience with a yoga DVD borrowed from the local library, Brandon was hooked. Combined with his discovery of kettlebells, he had finally found the perfect balance between strength training and yoga practice, and is more than happy to spread the word and help others discover the same foundation for living strong and enjoying more confidence and happiness.

Brandon is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, kettlebell enthusiast, father, husband, and defender of the Kaizen way of life and health. He lives in Beaverton, Oregon with his lovely wife Marisa and their two daughters, where he helps clients recover from weakness, injuries, surgeries, accidents, and chronic medical conditions by holistically blending various styles of kettlebell training, bodyweight exercises, yoga, along with meal plans that nourish and sustain you from the inside out. You can learn more by visiting his website, The Kaizen Way.