Squatting like it’s hot: Part II of Squat Training

August 18, 2015

Hi all! Today we continue with our road to the single leg squat.

So, if you did your homework (trained your squats from last week) and you are flexible enough to be able to do a controlled deep squat, it´s now time to improve.

I know that sometimes it is hard to train legs only with our natural weight, but today I will show you some examples of how to do this with some medium/high level exercises like the pistol squat. Of course, advanced skills such as the pistol or any other single-leg exercises must first be built on a solid foundation. You must first manage a complete deep squat in a proper position and not have any knee problems to start approaching this exercises.

Today we will start the second part of our squat training with the assistance of a TRX (sling trainer) and a box. The TRX will help with supporting your body through the movement with the help of your arms and the box, bench or chair, in decreasing how low your body will go during the squat. The less you squat (the higher your body remains) the easier it is. Try doing 5 reps on each leg to see how your body reacts to that movement. Once your legs get more used to these movement, try doing 10 reps.


Single Leg Stand with the TRX

Sitting on a bench or a stable chair with a 90° (or lower) angle between the foot in contact to the ground and the pelvis, extend the opposite leg. Try to stand up by helping the movement with the arms. In this exercise, and in the pistol in general, the hardest thing is the negative or eccentric part of the movement. You should try to control and slowly sit down. Your support (bench or chair) establishes the difficulty level, with a lower sitting position being a harder level. Always keep the whole foot in contact to the ground and  with one perpendicular line from the heel to the knee. No torsions please!


Pistol with bench and TRX


Single Leg Stand Up

Start sitting with one leg in extension. Try to stand on one foot. The same rules of the first exercise are also valid: the level is given by the height of the seat. You can also train this one keeping a weight with your arms and make it more challenging.


Single leg Stand


Assisted Deep Pistol with the TRX

Using the TRX makes the deep squatting movement easier, with less weight and more balance. It´s a deep pistol, so after a few reps, it starts to get hard to stand up and go down with control. Take it easy, quality first then quantity!

 Single leg stand with TRX


Pistol on the Bench

If your challenge is the back chain flexibility,  it´s definitely easier to try the pistol squat starting with the leg in extension under the line of the foot in contact on the ground at the beginning.


Pistol on the bench


Classic Pistol Squat

Start with the base of the foot flat on the ground. Don´t rock up on your toes because that could injure your knee. Try to keep the hamstring and calf on the pressing leg in contact, in a deep complete squat. The torso is leaning forward and the arms are in front, parallel to the ground for balance. From here, push up your body in the vertical direction, keeping the movement controlled and stable on the pressing leg.




Next week I will be back with more advanced squatting moves, including some dynamic squats.

I hope you have an active and productive week! Enjoy it!

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