Written by Cat Blatner

Need a little boost? Squatting on one leg is no simple task. Sometimes having the smallest amount of assistance could help you as you develop strength and balance in your single leg squat. With a banded pistol progression, you can eliminate a bit of body weight to ease you into the skill of squatting with just one leg at a time.

Band Thickness:

The thicker the band and higher you set the band, the more assistance you will receive. So, if you are really struggling with pistols, you may need a thicker band at first. As you progress with this movement you can create a greater challenge by lowering your band resistance and/or set the band up a bit lower on whichever apparatus you choose.

Drill Set Up:

Option 1: Rack Set Up

Set up your J-hooks according to your particular needs. If you need more assistance, set the J-hooks a bit higher on the rack. If you only need a little boost out of the very bottom of your squat, you could set the J-hooks up a bit lower to lessen the assistance you receive from the band. Stand directly in front of your station as your perform your Pistol squats. Make sure the center of your butt is contacting the band for optimal assistance.

Option 2: Drape off of Pull-Up Bar

Drape your band of choice over a pull up bar of your choice. Make sure the bar isn’t too high as your band must be able to stretch almost to the floor. Also, remember the lower the assistance apparatus is, the less it will aide you out of your pistol squat depending on how thick your band is. The process of choosing the correct band will just be a trial and error process. Try a few different options until you find a band that will assist you without doing most of the work for you. I don’t want you to simply bounce out of your squat or feel like the band is just springing you to your feet.

Remember that this progression is not meant to spring you out of your squat with minimal effort by the squatter. I like to have my athletes hold for 1 second at the bottom of any banded options to ensure that they are using their strength to get them out of the squat and not just bouncing off of the band. Give this progression a try and see what you think!

Join us next week for the final progression in this amazingly fun Pistol Progression series!

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