One Leg pistol

One Leg Squat (Pistol)

-Stand on one foot with the other foot straight out in front of you. 

-Hold your arms in front of you.

-Good rule of thumb, start with small ranges of motion and work up to increasing range of motion.

-Heel remains on the floor throughout exercise.

-If this is too difficult stand in front of a narrow pole and hold on during the squat or use cable machine (from high position) with a fairly heavy weight and hold onto handle(s) to assist you up.

Variation: Sit on a bench and attempt to get up with one leg only; descent slowly back on the bench.

NOTE: Dr. Stuart McGill  is NOT a proponent  of this particular exercise. He recommends a "bowler' type one-leg squat, which involves the non-planted leg behind you instead of in front of you. This places less stress on the low back.

Competency Criteria

- Client is able to complete a full OR ½ squat without the planted heel lifting off the floor.

-Knee of planted foot doesn’t bow in (valgus).

- Torso is leaning forward close to the pressing thigh, otherwise if you lean back, you will fall backwards
- Non weight bearing leg is relatively straight and doesn’t touch the ground.

- Arms are held out in front of you.


-Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand.