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Bodyweight Pistol Squat


Level 5 Valued Member
Hey Everyone!

I would love to learn how to correctly do Pistol Squat. Can you be so kind and point me towards correct resources to learn progression movements and supporting exercises so I can start learning, please?
Another one of my videos - the resolution is godawful on this one too, but the content is solid. For most people (assuming strength is NOT an issue), the concentric only pistol is a good place to start.
I've learned the pistol squat with the Naked Warrior Program. At the time I did 3 days of S&S (I know, the advice is near daily S&S but I didn't have time for more full sessions) and 3 days of GTG Pistol Squats. I did not practice the One arm Push-up, because I felt it interfered with my S&S progression.
The correct resource is Naked Warrior book.

For correct prerequisites (strength, balance, mobility) spend few weeks with split squats, Bulgarian split squats and cossack squats. There was a cool thread on this forum about how split squats can help you to achieve full pistol, but I am not able to find it.
I did not practice the One arm Push-up, because I felt it interfered with my S&S progression.
I believe you can give OAPU a try even when you are focusing on S&S progression. The biggest jump in weight in TGU I ever did was after several weeks of NW. The same for bent press. OAPUs have some surprising side effect if you do enough of them. You just need to program it wisely.
NW and GTG is a revolutionary approach. GTG is my strength program while I am working on my mobility issues through a “movement” based program.

Currently working on GTG style dead hangs and OAPU.

If you can’t find time during the day, in my experience even 2-3 sets a day works wonders and delivers progress.

But please stick to Pavel’s description of reps, intensity etc word by word.
Here are a few resources I found useful when trying to reclaim the pistol last year. I spent a lot of time on things that didn't seem to move me forward, programs, courses, articles, etc. and these are the 4 that seemed to make a difference. They are not in any particular order.
1. Naked Warrior book
2. How to Achieve Your First Pistol Squat | StrongFirst
3. One Good Rep: How to Perform the Perfect Pistol | StrongFirst
4. 6 Steps To Perfecting Your Pistol Squat

I will say Squat University's idea of "Anderson pistol squats" was pretty great, but requires you to have stuff you can stand on in a wide variety of sizes. Karen's pistol article is also top tier and I've always progressed when following her training. Mike Perry's mobility stuff was super useful to me as well. My ankles were where I had issues at the end of the journey and his stuff worked pretty well. (Never had sore shin muscles before that).
Pistol require balance, flexibility, mobility and of course strength. First recommendation would to be test those baselines and see what is your limiting factor. For example some people have the mobility to get rock bottom but do not have the strength to get back up while others have the strength but do not have the required flexibility/mobility to perform the rang of motion needed. I would be happy to help you assess either by sending me a video or going live on Facetime.
I also have written articles on the pistol here for STRONGFIRST and will like one on assessing your pistol.

Hope this helps. If you decide you would like my help with your assessment, please email me at
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