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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
Alan Siebuhr
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How to work on pistols

I seem to fall in the large category of people who cannot do a pistol on their left leg; how do I overcome this? I feel like my hip flexor is the issue, but I don't know for sure.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
Damon Stewart
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Re: How to work on pistols

There are several ways, here are two easy ones:

Do pistols on a box. Basically put your leg up on a 20 or 24 inch box and press up into a one-legged squat. Lower as slowly as possible. Do 3 sets of 5-10 3x/week and you'll be getting there.

Roll on your back hugging your knees to your chest. Roll back forward into a pistol. If you can't do that then attach a rubberband to something vertical and hold it while you practice.

Last of all, pay attention to your ankle mobility and hamstring flexibility.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:10 AM   #3
Walter Augustine
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Re: How to work on pistols

If your left side is simply weaker, do what Damon says.

If you have trouble balancing at the bottom, try holding a small counterweight in front of you. Start with a 5-10 lb dumbbell and work your way down until you can do it with nothing.

It's funny how adding weight makes an exercise easier...
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
Mike Doehla
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Re: How to work on pistols

I am very new to these as well and in my home gym (garage) I have a support beam that I hold for help. I think this will definitely help my progress. If you don't have a beam can you hold on to a doorway somewhere?
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
Charles Applin
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Re: How to work on pistols

I've tested doing these on boxes where the boxes are side by side. Main reason was to simulate stair climbing, but scaling pistols can also work. Anyway, go down then up on left leg, switch to the other box for another quick down then up. Alternating legs is common for pistols, but more annoying if you try to scale it with one box vice two.

To build up to pistols (I'm guessing here), start with the taller box (20" or so) so that you're able to keep your leading foot off the ground. As soon as you can do ten clean reps, move to a shorter box. As said above, use a 10lb or 20lb dumb bell to help counterbalance. A good idea is include this is your warm-up routine.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
Jake Barrett
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Re: How to work on pistols

Thanks for posting this; I did my first pistils 2 weeks ago and I thought I was alone in having problems on the left side.
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