Pistol Squats

If you look back through some old posts you’ll see that fixing my wonky squat has been a project for the last year.  I have (I think, after much research and contemplation) weak thigh abductors relative to adductors and a weak glute on the left, weak quad on the right.  These imbalances may be due to scoliosis and/or a slight leg length discrepancy.  Or maybe I just like to hula when I squat, I’m not sure.

But to help fix it, I’ve been doing a lot of unilateral work, particularly pistol squats.  What one year ago was impossible, I can now rep for 10 on each side.  And because a friend jokingly challenged me to do so, I tried an overhead pistol squat with a bar.

But here’s the thing: while I don’t recommend adding this to your training regimen, per se, it’s a fun test that illuminates weaknesses.  Do you have weak dorsiflexion of the ankle that you compensate for by having great thoracic mobility?  Guess what, you’re gonna tip over when you’re on one leg.  Do you have powerful legs but crappy shoulder mobility?  Great mobility all around, but weak quads?  It’s a tipping you’re a going.

So give it a try if for no other reason than because it’s kind of fun and it might show you things about your snatch mobility that you didn’t know.  Personally, it made me feel a little badass.  Which then led to hitting 90% snatch singles which I had been missing in the past month or so.  Hooray!!!

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2 Responses to “Pistol Squats”

  1. Abi Ruscombe-KingMarch 3, 2015 at 3:41 AM #

    Hey, anything that makes one feel badass is GREAT as far as I’m concerned. I won’t be trying this anytime very soon, as I’m still working on not being a spanner in a basic front squat with the bar held somewhere rather closer! But I LOVE seeing your vids, so inspiring and keeps me believing that one day……….

    I also have the wonk, so unilateral stuff makes up part of my training time. What I’ve found interesting is that all the side lying Glute activation stuff is great done right before standing work, but has little transference to improving upright function over long term. I can clam for Britiain, but ask me to stand on one leg and you may get some interpretive dance. It’s improving, by guess what? Yep practicing doing stuff on one leg. Specificity……gotta practice what you actually want to do.

    • Rachael KeilinMarch 4, 2015 at 10:42 AM #

      Thanks!!! I love hearing that I inspire peope 🙂
      I totally agree with glute activation while standing. My whole squat looked like interpretive dance (excellent description btw!) until I did standing unliteral work. All the bridges and clams never changed one thing that happened when it was a standing closed kinetic chain.

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