Pistol Squats: The Best Thigh Exercise

Pistol squats
The best exercise for slim thighs

© Artsplav / Shutterstock

So-called pistol squats are the best exercise for firm and slim thighs, for the buttocks and also for balance. This is how it works!

What are pistol squats?

Pistol Squats is a fitness exercise that, when done correctly, is somewhat reminiscent of a pistol – hence its name. Put simply, it is a one-legged squat. Doesn’t sound easy and it isn’t! In fact, pistol squats are one of the most difficult fitness exercises ever. But the training is worth it: Performed regularly, pistol squats ensure slim and defined thighs, a firm buttocks and improved balance.

Why are pistol squats such a great exercise?

The following muscles are trained with the Pistol Squats:

  • Front of thighs (quadriceps)
  • Posterior Leg (Ischiocrural Group)
  • Glutes
  • Foot muscles
  • Hip muscles
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Back muscles

And as if all of this is not enough, Pistol Squats also help us to improve our balance and our coordination skills.

This is how pistol squats are performed

Before you start, you should make sure that you warm up sufficiently before the pistol squats, otherwise there is a risk of injuries to the knees and ankles. The best way to start is with a short run and a few normal squats. When you feel warmed up, the right exercise comes:

  1. Stand hip-width apart and put your weight on one foot.
  2. Extend your arms forward at shoulder height.
  3. Slowly push your buttocks back / down (make sure your back is straight!) And bend your standing leg.
  4. Extend the relieved leg slowly and straight forward.
  5. Keep lowering your buttocks until your back thigh touches your calf. Make sure that the weight is evenly distributed on the foot of the supporting leg. The knee should be parallel to the ankle, the back always stays straight.
  6. Hold the pose briefly and then slowly push yourself up over the heel of the standing leg.
  7. At the same time, tense your buttocks.

For optimal success it should repeat the exercise twice on each side.

Pistol squats for beginners

Since the pistol squats are an advanced exercise, beginners in particular will find it difficult and they will not always be able to do it at the first attempt. But: There is an extra training course for beginners. These tips will help you master the pistol squats:

  • Do strength training for all muscle groups – it’s best to get advice from a trainer.
  • Incorporate balance exercises into your training, for example from yoga.
  • Most of us have a stronger leg – see which leg you stand on better and safer, and make it your general mainstay for exercise.

In order to train the pistol squats in a targeted manner, it is best to start with first to practice getting up from a chair on one leg, followed by one-legged squats on the wall. The most important thing, however, is to stick with it – and then celebrate success when the pistol squats succeed without any problems.