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The Pistol (also known as the single-leg squat) is a highly challenging body-weight movement that tests your balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Like the lunge, it’s a unilateral movement; unilateral movements are important to include in training because they (1) diagnose any muscle imbalances, and (2) correct muscle imbalances (over time).

Set-Up: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Brace your core.

Execution: Extend one leg and keep the foot from touching the ground. Reach your hips back and down to descend. Keep your chest up as much as possible. Keep the knee of the supporting leg in line with your toes. Descend until your hip crease is below your knee crease. Keep your heel down. Complete the movement by standing up (still only on the supporting leg) to full hip and knee extension.

Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:
– Your hip crease drops below your knee crease at the bottom of the pistol squat
– You reach full hip and knee extension at the top
– Your non-supporting leg doesn’t touch the ground until the repetition is complete

Pro-Tip: Once you have the required flexibility and strength to perform perfect pistols, you’ll want to get faster at doing them. Do a Tabata with pistols a few days a week and keep track of your score. Slowly increase your reps from week to week. Then, when it comes time to do a WOD like “Open 20.4” or ”Regionals 13.4” you won’t have any trouble getting through the volume.

Pistol Scaling & Progressions

How To Do Pistol Squats (WODprep Progressions)
How to Pistol Squat - 4 Beginner Progression Steps - Tapp Brothers
Pistol Squat Progression Exercises | Alexia Clark
Scaling the Pistol

Pistol Warm-Ups

Do This Quick Warm-up Before Your Pistol Squat Workout
Warming Up For The Pistol
Pistol Warm-Up

Pistol Demos

Reebok CrossFit ONE Movement Demo "Pistol Squat"
How to Do a Pistol Squat by Wodstar
How to Perform Pistols, Single Leg Squats for CrossFit - TechniqueWOD
Pistol Demo