VIDEO: How To Pistol

The Ultimate Show of Mobility

👉 Mobilise Your Ankles Properly

To be able to pistol squat, you need to have enough ankle mobility. Dorsiflexion (or how far you can get your shins towards your feet) dictates how much of your body you be stacked over your foot when you are pistoling. Not enough and your weight is too far behind your foot and you'll fall backwards. 

To mobilise your ankles correctly, use a band to traction the ankle joint to encourage proper joint movement. It's really important to maintain a 'short foot' when you're mobilising your ankles. The two need to work properly together so that the rest of the body upstream can function well too. The foot is your connection to the ground after all and any issue here will have effects up the body, commonly involving the knees.

COMMON MISTAKES: Mobilising the ankle with a flat foot is one of the most common mistakes when doing this exercise. It can give you an illusion of increased dorsiflexion, when it is actually a compensation usually coupled with poor knee position.

👉 Cossack Squat

This type of squat helps to build strength in a single leg, which you need to be able to pistol squat. The Cossack Squat also gets you accustomed to the type of weight distribution you need to do an actual pistol later on. You may find parts of your legs or hips are tight, but keep working at it and it will not only get more mobile, but stronger too. Stretching alone is not enough.

👉 Counterweighted Pistols

The pistol squat is really difficult to balance if you aren't used to it, so a nice way to start is to use a counterweight, held in front of you. This gives you more wriggle room as you pistol and adjust how far you lean over. You might start quite leant over, but as you get more comfortable and build more mobility and strength, you will be able to open up your posture more. There will always be some sort of slumping happening in the back, though it isn't much of an issue as you normally aren't under that much load. 

Give these a go and let us know how get on! Don't forget to share the love to someone who wants to be able to pistol squat! 

Author: Laurent Pang