variations of a pistol – Thu 12.08.16

 In W.O.D.

Skill:  Pistols practice.  Find a 1 rm for each leg (weight, depth, scaling).  Then complete 5-10 solid reps at the hardest level possible.

*This should take a good 10-15 min to complete.  If you get done in less time, you most likely didn’t push yourself hard enough.

*This is a chance to push yourself past your comfort zone.  “Hardest variation” should mean no more than 1-2 reps in a row without rest and resetting!  Fails and missed reps should be expected.

See Pistol options below.

Conditioning:  AMRAP in 20:00:
– 200m Run
– 10 1-arm Kettlebell Swings – left
– 10 1-arm Kettlebell Swings – right
– 15 Pull Ups
– 20 Abmat Sit Ups


Pistol Progressions:

1. Bodyweight Squat, Feet Shoulder Width, Full Range-of-Motion

You should be able to easily knock out at least twenty clean, controlled bodyweight squatsbefore even considering pistols. Start with a shoulder-width stance, and progress towards a slightly narrower hip-width stance over time.

2. Bodyweight Squat, Feet Together, Full Range-of-Motion

Before beginning work on pistols, it is recommended that you can squat all the way down on two feet with a very narrow stance.  Feet together

3. Pistol Squat, Bottom Position Hold, Grab Onto Pole

Grab onto something sturdy and squat all the way down. At the bottom, stick out one leg and hold it. Switch sides and repeat.

4. Pistol Squat, Eccentric on One Leg, Concentric on Two Legs, Grab Onto Pole

While holding onto a pole, perform a slow, controlled pistol negative. Bring the other leg in at the bottom, and stand up on two legs.

5. Pistol Squat, to a Box

Moving away from the pole, now you will pistol down to a box. Start with a tall box and gradually progress lower.

6. Pistol Squat, Assist with a Band (Around Hips)

Hook a band around your hips so that you can work the full movement with slightly less bodyweight at the bottom. Work towards being able to use a thinner band or a lower attachment point.

7. Pistol Squat, Counterbalance With a Weight

Use a 10-20lb weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate) to counterbalance your hips as you perform a full pistol. Gradually progress to a lighter weight.

8. Pistol Squat, Stand on Box, Free Leg Vertical

Stand on a box tall enough so that your free leg can remain vertical. Progress towards a lower box, thus increasing the amount of hip flexion in the free leg.

9. Pistol Squat, Elevate Heels

At any stage in this entire progression you can wear Olympic weightlifting shoes or put a tiny weight plate under your heels. This decreases the amount of ankle dorsiflexion needed to squat all the way down.

10. Pistol Squat

If you spend the time and commit to the progressions listed above, you will be able to perform full pistol squats.

11. Perfect Pistols

  • Your non-working leg must be straight
  • Your upper body erect, not bending over at the waist too much
  • Both the heel and big toe of working leg must stay planted
  • A pause at the bottom is recommended
  • balance maintained at all positions of the movement
  • slightly rounded lower back in bottom is fine
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