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Known in other realms as the one-legged squat, the pistol squat is an exercise that requires quite a bit of patience and practice to perfect. There are more functional benefits for practicing pistol squats beyond the obvious realization that they look a lot cooler than most classical bodyweight exercises. You'll improve your overall strength, stability, and balance as you learn how to support your bodyweight on one leg while controlling your squat's full range of motion. If you can't quite perform pistol squats just yet, start with various progressions:
- Learn how to do several consecutive repetitions of full two-legged body weight squats
- Move on to performing assisted pistol squats: either with the help of a bench or a stable standing object
Reach your arms out parallel to the floor in front of your body. Raise one leg, flex your foot, and slowly lower down into a one legged squat. Maintain the position for about a second, then return to start position.
Take your pistol squats and your distance training to the next level with some plyometrics. Distance jumps are incredibly effective exercises for improving your leg's explosion power in other workouts. Not only will these jumps help you to improve your sprint speed, it'll also train your legs to keep from tiring out during a long-distance race.
Begin with your legs hip-distance apart. Bend your knees lightly and explode your body forward as far as you can, being sure to land on both feet softly. When you land, drop your body into a full squat to soften the impact. Follow each repetition with a pistol squat.
The best thing about this workout by PumpUp member @emjoy88 is that it doesn't require any additional equipment or even a gym membership. You can practice this fuss-free balance and distance training workout in the comfort of your backyard.