5 prerequisites to the pistol squat

The pistol, a mythical creature of human movement that is typically reserved for the most competitive CrossFit Athletes to perform at staggering volume and with the highest stakes. An athlete’s ability to perform pistols repetitively with ease and consistency can be a major separator when spots at the Games are on the line. Maybe you’re an athlete who aspires to making it to regionals or the games, maybe you’re not. Regardless of your competitive goals performing this super human trick is a great party trick and chicks love it (right ladies?), so make sure you check out this video after you finish reading this post to put into action some of the things we are about to discuss.

When we contribute to the Brute Strength Programming our main objective is simple in concept and very complex in delivery, it’s our job to make injury risk as low as possible so that Brute Athletes can perform at the highest level without worrying about aches and pains. The pistol squat is one of those exercises that forces athletes to move through the absolute end ranges of their joint capacity so it’s especially important to us that before you try to perform one that you are physically capable of doing so without excessive compensations.

Things we look at:

Do you have enough ankle flexibility?

Do you have enough knee flexibility?

Do you have enough hip flexibility?

Do you have enough strength in active, static hip flexion (for the leg out front)?

Do you have enough spinal stability at the bottom?

Do you have enough strength in hip extension and knee extension to drive out of the bottom of the pistol?

When an athlete has all of the factors we just discussed, ability to perform a pistol becomes a simple matter of putting it all together, it’s motor control. This is where our job ends and the coach in the gym’s job begins. We hope you enjoy this short video we put together to help you get on your way! Until next time, let’s get movin’.

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