Each week, I put up a different fitness move for you to incorporate into your next workout, and this week’s Fitness Friday move is the pistol squat!
I did this in Bodybyrne Gym yesterday as part of my legs day circuit to target my lower body. It’s a brilliant exercise to strengthen your quads. But it also activates your core and almost every other lower body muscle, particularly your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Plus it can be done absolutely anywhere!
If you work out at home, then simply use a chair against the wall or a bench to do this move. In a gym, just use a normal bench.
My trainer, Amanda, recommends doing this exercise 2-3 times a week for noticeably stronger legs and glutes. Aim for 3 rounds of 12-15 reps. If you’re a beginner, then try it using only your own body weight, but more experienced gym-goers may want to hold a weight or kettle bell, as I did.
How to do the pistol squat:
1. Stand up straight in front of the chair or bench. If not using a weight, hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level and parallel to the floor
2. Raise your right leg off the floor and hold it there as straight as possible. Flex your right ankle so that your toes are higher than your heel.
3. Keep your shoulders down and your core tight, pulling in your belly button to your spine to protect your lower back.
4. Slowly lower your left leg down until your bottom touches the seat, then stand straight back up again, pushing up through your heel. Try to avoid collapsing down onto the chair or bench, as this can damage your lower back.
5. Repeat 12-15 times on the same leg, aiming to keep your right leg in the air throughout the whole exercise.
6. Repeat using the other leg.
Please note: Always consult your GP before beginning a new exercise regime, and especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle or are over the age of 35.