How to do pistols (one legged squats) | Progressions, tests, and coaching!

one leg squat, pistol progressions, pistols -

How to do pistols (one legged squats) | Progressions, tests, and coaching!

What is up Rolosquad!

I have had a few people ask about pistol modifications recently so I figured I would share some of my favorites. I am also showing you some stretches, activation drills, and progressions.

Pistols are a deep single leg squats.

You can use ANY single leg movement as a way to help develop pistols. What is important is figuring out your biggest weakness and working on it!


If you cannot pick apart your pistol or pistol attempt to figure out your weakness, send me a video at I will try end help!


My favorite modifications:

- Single leg box step ups

- Single leg box step up from side of box

- Single leg sit downs

- Close stance air squats with weight shift

- Candlestick

- Candlestick 1 leg balance

- Candlestick pistol

- Pistol off box



- Box ankle stretch

- Weighted ankle stretch

- Banded hip stretch

- Knee to chest hip stretch



- Psoas marches

- Banded shin pull

- Bottom of pistol box balance



- Single leg taps

- Standing fire hydrants



8 rounds:

:20 work

:10 rest



I have seen 100s of athletes attempt pistols, learn pistols, fail pistols, and get frustrated with pistols.


More specifically I see the knee cave in, the heel come off the floor, and people trying pistols BEFORE they are strong enough.


How to avoid these faults:

- Stretch the ankles and hips daily

- Do stability drills everyday no matter if you’re doing pistols or not

- Use activation drills BEFORE you try pistols

- Only try a few pistols to determine if you are strong enough, do not push as hard as possible through bad positions.



Warm up:

Spin on bike for 5 min




2 min ankle stretch each side

1 min banded hip stretch each side




3 rounds:

20 psoas marches

10 banded shin pulls

5 candlesticks


Pistol work:

1 stability drill (3 x 10 standing fire hydrants each side


1 - 2modified pistol movement (3-5 sets of 4-12 reps)

Ex. Single leg step ups


Boom, you have successful crushed a workout and gotten closer to pistols.


Now do that 2-3 times a week for a few months and pistols will be a breeze!


Focus on quality of movement, stability, and strength and you will always win.


If you have any more questions, shoot me an email


I hope this helped!


As always, the only thing between you and your goals is IN WORK!

I love you

- Rolo

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