Friday Inspiration – Training the Pistol Squat

It is hard to find a good video tutorial for the pistol squat.  I think this one by Al Kavadlo is pretty good.  Nice progressive exercises, though I wonder if it is possible to get the straight leg at a more perpendicular angle to the ground?

I’ve been working this exercise (and the handstand) this week, with minimal progress.  Ramping up my miles, and doing a bunch of body weight squats has destroyed my legs.  Gotta get sore before you get strong I guess.



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  1. smt

    Cool video. I have only slim hope of ever being able to do a piston myself (and only on the right side), but these are interesting tips. Back when I was using a suspension trainer a fair amount, I was doing them (on both sides) while holding onto the straps — I think I got a lot stronger doing that (3 sets of 15 per side…torture!) That might be useful to you? I’ve also done them holding onto the adjustable pulley weight thing in a frame at the gym. Holding the leg up has a lot to do with ab strength…

    1. seanv2

      Great video, thanks for sharing it! So far, I’ve been working the pistol by working flexibility in my hamstring and lower back and trying to get a low as I can in a one legged squat. The limitation for me (so far) is definitely the flexibility in the leg. I’m going to use the stand on a bench trick Al mentions in this video and your trx idea and see how it works!

  2. chasingthekenyans

    Man he’s enthusiastic. Good progression steps though. Pistols are hard!!

  3. Samir Chopra

    I got pistols a few times last year – it was easier on one side than the other. It became a little easier when I held 5 pound plates. They go away pretty quickly if you don’t keep practicing them though and mine definitely have. Thanks for reminding me to get back on that!

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