CrossFit Workout: Pistol Power, Its Components and How to Master One-Legged Squats

In CrossFit, any single exercise that will make you stronger, more coordinated, more flexible, and which will give you the ability to run faster and jump higher is worth adding into your CrossFit training schedule. One of the exercises that have become popular in most boxes and are mandatory to get added to CrossFit workout is the one-leg squat also referred to a pistol. It is a demanding, but beneficial exercise which requires determination if you are to succeed.

Pistols are applicable in lots of athletic and real-world activities. One of the fundamental skills you will learn from pistols is how to exert power throughout the whole range of motion while on one leg. Whether you are jumping, running or changing directions, powerful legs give you the advantage of doing your stuff with lots of ease. Pistol helps you develop strength, balance, flexibility, and strength simultaneously.

CrossFit workout

How to Do One-Legged Squat

Stand on one leg and allow the other leg to stretch right in front of you while holding it parallel to the ground. Your hands should be kept to the side as you sink down in the same way you would when sitting on a low chair. When you get to the bottom of the position, your support foot should be flat while your glute/hamstrings resting on your calf. Thereafter, go up to the starting position, and by this, you will have done one rep.

Even though the description above sounds very easy, performing the pistol is somewhat complicated. If you want to master this movement, you should first understand its components and then learn how to troubleshoot so that you can correctly identify weaknesses in your form.

CrossFit workout

One-Legged Squat Components

One of the reasons explaining the complication of this CrossFit workout is the different physical skills it requires. The primary components involved include:

Balance –In internal martial arts, this is referred to as rooting because it resembles the solid connection the roots of a tree have to the ground. The center of mass of your body is shifted over a narrow base of support and then taken over an extended range of motion. This is what challenges balance.

Flexibility –The joints and muscles of the legs, hips, ankles, and low back are required to work at extreme motion ranges both in extension and flexion.

Strength –The thigh and glute muscles are powerful and responsible for moving your bodyweight through a relatively narrow base of support. In doing this, they recruit a tremendous stabilizer function in all of your lower body joints according to CrossFit workout. While tension is maintained all through the isometric, eccentric, and concentric portions, your core musculature is recruited to help in maintaining alignment and balance.

Mental Attitude –To maintain control over your body, you need a clear focus and concentration. When you release your fear of falling and instead re-introduce freedom of motion, you can overcome any instance of restricted movement.

CrossFit workout


When you identify the weak links in the components above, you can now start taking corrective measures so as to strengthen them. In the beginning, the skill may be so different and challenging in such a way that you can’t identify a specific weakness. Some people just get discouraged and accept the fact that pistols may not be for them. However, the best attitude is to press on because there are various steps you can take to correct the problems.

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