Squat squat or one leg to work buttocks and legs: how to progress properly to get it done

Although it is not a very common exercise for those who train conventionally in the gym, it may make sense that at least we are able to do them if we want to train our lower train and we do not have sports equipment to do it, since this exercise does not require

A progression for pistol squats in the gym

The pistol squats will allow us to give a quite significant stimulation to the legs, and in particular to the quadriceps, but for this, it is necessary to have previously developed a previous level of strength.

That is, we cannot try to do squol squats from the beginning to gain muscle mass or strength, but this exercise requires minimal preparation in terms of the movement pattern, motor coordination, and so on.

Conventional squat

The conventional squat is the first exercise we have to master. 

It doesn’t matter if we execute it in a frontal or rear way, and with a high bar or a low bar; The fact is that we have to achieve a maximum level of control in this exercise because it will form the basis of the progression of the squat pistol.

Bulgarian squat

The Bulgarian squat will be the next exercise that will help us to progress.

In it, the movement pattern will already resemble something more like a squat pistol because the work to be done by the leg behind is reduced and in this way, the exercise focuses on the forward leg.

Skateboarder squat

In the squat skater, we will eliminate the bench we used in the Bulgarian squat. 

This exercise will require a higher level of proprioception so that we do not lose balance, and this is the reason why we will have to spend a lot of time until it is completely mastered, but it will be the last exercise before the work of the pistol squats

Another alternative progression

An alternative exercise progression would be the one shown below. This will be more specific to what we are looking for, but it is possible that we will not advance correctly if we do not polish the conventional squat before everything necessary.

Ankle dorsiflexion: a point to consider

Maybe this strange word already sounds like something to you. Dorsiflexion or dorsal flexion is the gesture by which the ankle allows the knee to pass in front of the toe.

Yes, the knee can (or rather, should) pass in front of the foot in a squat if we want the depth to be adequate. It is true that this will increase the pressure on the kneecap somewhat, but if the knee does not advance the foot the pressure that the lower back will suffer will be the one that will really end up worrying us.

So, to improve your ability to do pistol squats you should try to increase your ankle’s ability to perform a dorsal flex. 

How can you do this? Well, you have many alternatives, but the main ones are the inhibition of the twin and the plantar fascia by massages with balls or foam roller, and the static and dynamic stretching of the muscles involved.

Without a strong core, forget about doing pistol squats

The last point you should consider is the core since this is going to be in charge of sustaining you during the movement. Without a strong core you will fall to the ground when you try to carry out the exercise, and obviously that is the last thing you need.

The core not only consists of the rectus abdominis, but also the transverse, obliques, multifidus, lumbar square, buttocks, and even the anterior serratus, among others. 

Given a large number of muscles it covers and the function it performs, it makes sense that we work the core in a specific way during the entire exercise progression.

As the core will work in an isometric manner during the squat pistol, this will be the way we will train it, and although we have a large multitude of exercises available to do so, the main ones should be the gluteal bridges, the isometric contractions in the lumbar bank, the Pallof press, and some plates like the ones we propose below.

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