"Sara... pistols cause knee pain!” To which I say: "Pistol squats only cause knee pain if they are performed by someone who lacks the necessary structure, stability, and mobility required to perform pistol squats".
The key to learning pistols is following progressions.
Even if it's not your goal to learn pistols, I still encourage you to try these because they will benefit you!
*For all the exercises: keep your hips square, do them barefoot, keep your heel on the ground, and DO BOTH SIDES!
1️⃣ HIP FLEXOR RAISES (beginner-friendly)
Don’t lean back. This exercise will highlight any weaknesses you may have with your hip flexors. If your quads cramp when you try, it’s a sign your hip flexors need some work. Try to keep your knees straight, even if you only lift your leg an inch off the floor.
•3 sets of 10 per leg
2️⃣ CHAIR PISTOLS (beginner-friendly)
Move slowly & don’t use momentum to get back up. Use your glutes & hamstrings through the entire movement.
• 3 sets of 8 per leg
3️⃣ ASSISTED PISTOLS (beginner-friendly)
You can hang onto something (dip bar handles, TRX) to make you partial weight bearing. Respect your current mobility … don’t force yourself into deeper ranges that aren’t available to you (yet).
•3 sets of 5 per leg
4️⃣ ROLL-UPS (advanced)
Prerequisite: great ankle and QL (low back) mobility.
•3 sets of 5 per leg
5️⃣ ECCENTRIC PISTOLS + HIP FLEXOR RAISES (advanced)
Descending with control & hold the bottom position. Add bonus hip flexor raises! Prerequisite: great ankle and QL mobility.
Pistols give us a lot of clues about "cracks" in our foundation. Knee pain, back pain, and poor hip and ankle mobility are all signs that there are some weaknesses in your foundation. I can help you with your foundational concerns, ranging from back pain to urinary incontinence and even diastasis recti. Or if you just want to get hella strong and learn how to defy gravity, I can help you become a magnificent beast! Click here to join my Strength Academy.
Welcome! If you want to learn how to MOVE and EAT BETTER, you've come to the right place! I'm Dr. Sara Solomon. I'm a certified StrongFit coach and an intermittent fasting expert. I have degrees in dentistry (DMD) and physiotherapy (BSc PT), and I'm also a Pilates Mat Level 1 Instructor, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (2016-2021), ACE personal trainer, NASM fitness nutrition specialist, a Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor, and a certified level 2 Buddy Lee Jump Rope Trainer and Ambassador. I'm a BSN Supplements and Til You Collapse sponsored athlete. My passion is helping people overcome restrictive diets and muscle imbalances so they can FEEL their very best!