Today's work will include some pistols. Pistols are one-legged squats that can be a useful tool to address any disparities one may have in leg strength, flexibility, or balance between the left and right leg through the uni-lateral loading of either leg. Using pistols to strengthen legs unilaterally can lead to improvements in bi-lateral movements to include: back, front, and overhead squats, and the deadlift. Pistols touch on four of the ten general physical skills: balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility.
Beastskills.com has a variety of pistol progressions, some of which are provided below:
- Modified single leg step ups with bodyweight shifted forward over the top leg and a dorsiflexed foot with the bottom leg: This is harder than it seems, because you have to resist the urge to use your bottom foot/leg for assistance.
- Pistol squats onto a box starting with a high box and gradually moving on to a shorter box: No need to sit fully on the box; keep your weight over your bent leg and just touch your butt lightly to the box before standing. As your range of motion increases, continue to lower the box height.
- Assisted full range of motion pistols using a door way, bands, or a counter-weight: Stay focused on your technique, as the assist can give you a false sense of stability, especially at the bottom of the pistol.
- Deck pistols using a back and forward roll to generate momentum into the pistol: Practice rolling back and standing up with two legs before you work on standing up with one leg. This is still challenging, but the extra momentum will help you stand up.
Pistols can be pretty tough to master but be patient and continue to incorporate them in your practice. Its value in exposing deficiencies-and subsequently illuminating some things to work on- and strengthening your legs uni-laterally is for long-term betterment in a handful of other movements.
A1. 3x ME Handstand holds. Rest :45
A2. 3x Ring rows (2 secs at top 3 secs back down). Rest :45
5 mins of Pistol practice
Buy in: Row 500m or 100 DU
KB snatches 55/35#
Buy out: Row 500m or 100 DU