Pistol Squats for Martial Arts Strength & Balance

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Pistol Squats for Martial Arts Strength & Balance

This page provides details for the "Pistol Squats" (or Single Leg Squat). This exercise is used to improve the leg strength and balance of martial arts students. However, this exercise can put a lot of pressure on the knee. Not recommended for anyone with knee problems. All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized.

For additional exercises, please visit the main Martial Arts Balance Exercises or Strength Training sections.

Instructions for Pistol Squats

  • Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent.
  • Raise your other leg modestly off the ground and keep it straight.
  • Put your arms out in front of you.
  • With your standing leg, bend your knee and slowly lower yourself towards the ground. The other leg should stay straight and off the ground.
  • Keep your bending leg steady. Don't let the leg wobble side to side.
  • Keep your knee over your foot. Don't bend too far forward.
  • If your knee hurts at any time during this exercise, stop!
  • Repeat this exercise by standing on your other leg.

Instructional Videos for Pistol Squats


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This site is for informational purposes only. All martial arts techniques and fitness exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting or continuing any martial arts and/or physical fitness program.



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