Since my Facebook post sparked some interest on how to progress to a full pistol squat, I thought I'd share my thoughts how to get there.
If you can't touch your toes without bending your knees you might have trouble achieving full depth. Body parts such as your lower back, will begin to compensate. When your back becomes your prime mover you can fall into a category of pain, and we don't want that.
How can you improve your mobility? Here are a few things I want you to focus on.
- Foam Rolling: Foam rolling is the single greatest thing since sliced bread. If you're not foam rolling, you're not living!
There has been tons of research out there proving foam rolling can improve movement, decrease pain, restore muscle imbalances and more. So, please take the time and roll!
Here is a video of all the spots you should be hitting every day to loosen up and improve your range of motion.
- Lower body mobility exercises: After your foam roll you should focus on a couple exercises that help improve range of motion. Here are three you should focus on.
Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch:
Squat Hip Mobility Stretch
You should take the time to practice these three exercises above, along with foam rolling on a daily basis, to improve your mobility. This in turn will allow you to achieve a deep single leg squat. Improving your mobility is just like anything else. Practice. The more you practice, the better it becomes.
The phrase "If you don't use it, you lose it" works quite well here. Mobility is earned and is taken away as you age. Get off your chair and start working these mobility drills ASAP!
2. Single Leg Strength
Along with building mobility you should also be strong on one leg. If you are a firm believer of squatting on two legs, you might have to open your mind a bit and try single leg variations like these:
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats:
Single Leg Squats to a Bench:
Single Leg Step Downs:
Being able to perform these three above with efficient movement and eventually weight will prepare you to try a full pistol squat. It might take some practice and time, but is definitely worth it, as it's more bad ass to pistol squat than a regular meat head barbell squat!