Exercise of the Week: Single-Leg Pistol Squat
Weight room time shouldn't all be spent lifting for strength and power. Other attributes, like balance and coordination, are equally important and should be developed as part of every athlete's training program.
Georgia Tech men's basketball performs the Single-Leg Pistol Squat for a combination of lower body strength, coordination and balance development. The exercise focuses on the ankles, knees and hips, which must be able to support the tremendous forces experienced when running, landing from a jump or changing direction.
In the Pistol Squat, the athlete's center of gravity is shifted by the light weights held in front of his body. The exercise forces him to stabilize his body through the entire movement—all while standing on one leg for improved balance. It also forces leg and hip muscles to fire in a controlled manner, which helps enhance the nervous system's ability to control those muscles, critical for coordination and overall athleticism.
The video above shows the Georgia Tech men's basketball team performing the Single-Leg Pistol Squat.
- Set up box at approximately knee height
- Stand on one foot in front of box, facing away, with light plate or dumbbell in each hand
- Slowly lower into squat with opposite foot forward
- Touch box with glutes, then drive back to starting position
- Repeat for specified reps
- Perform set on opposite leg