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Author Topic: Anybody do single leg (pistol) squats?  (Read 697 times)
heavyNbasic
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« on: April 26, 2008, 08:09:52 PM »

I started them about a month ago while rehabing an injured knee.  Awesome movement.  Previous to injury, I would do barbell squats regularly with respectable weight.  Doing single legs squats certainly humbled me.  I could barely get 8-10 first time.  They require the use of a lot of stabalizers, and are great for lower body mobility.  I think they're a fantastic exercise to add to any lower body workout.  I've decided to drop barbell squats for a bit, as they were causing some knee pain.  Hip mobility problems are a bitch.  Dropping barbell squats was tough to swallow, but I've not noticed any atrophy, and I'm sore in places I was never with barbell squats.     

Long story short: Give single leg squats a try; good stuff.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLBAbqEZIeU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLBAbqEZIeU</a>
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jpm101
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 08:57:56 AM »

Sure, just about any exercise can be done one side at a time for muscle/strength improvement (even a DB bench press). Gives more focus to any targeted muscle group. That video showed the floor version of the one legged squat, which a lot of gymnast do in training. This version also gives more flex/stretch to the ankle & hip area, which an athlete needs. Though some people have a hard time with it no matter how long & hard they try. Could put the heels on a 2X4, BB plate, etc for better balance, as some do. If doing that, you will not get that extra stretch to the ankles/hips as doing it flat footed.

Another version is doing the one legged squat off a bench, the higher the better. May find it easier to balance yourself. More so when you begin to add weight (BB or DB) to the exercise.

Though not a one legged squat (in the true sense of the word), there is the Step-up. Which can offer more involvement from the hams/glutes because you are stepping forward and up rather than pushing straight up as with the squat. Might be a much better choice, for a lot of folks, over lunges if more work for the hams/glutes and hips is required. Many athletes are including Step-ups into their training. And using quite a large amount of weight (either BB or DB) in their workouts.

The regular squat is a wonderful exercise but a one legged version or Step-Ups should also be included in any workout plan. Can give a better muscle balance to leg development plus an equal amount of strength to both legs.  Good Luck.

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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 06:35:09 PM »

JPM hit the nail on the head.  Here the trainers have us on a 2 ft high box and do them.  They are hard but they work well.  Step ups with a leg thrust at the top makes you work even harder. You have to balance that much more with this variation. 
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