If It’s good enough to be favoured by the Russian Special Forces, then it’s good enough for you tough guy.
The One Leg Squat also known as the Pistol is a leg strength exercise that can be adapted to absolutely any skill level. A one rep max freak will get some serious benefits by practicing this exercise, but my 76 year old dad has no problem with the easier variation either.
I think the first time I tried to do a pistol I must have been 19. I rowed full-time competitive at the Ottawa Rowing Club often training 10 times a week. I was also no stranger to barbells squats because I was doing 225lb for reps once a week. But i was in for a shock, looking down at the Men’s Health magazine I saw the model at the bottom of the one leg squat squat and I thought, sure no problem, I can do that!
First of all just the act of extending my knee of my off knee gave me a painful sensation, and when I went down for my first rep… Well, I actually WENT DOWN and fell over. I never tried them again.
Until I watched The Naked Warrior DVD (link here). Pavel Tsatsouline is a former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, currently a subject matter expert to the US Navy SEALs and the US Secret Service. He taught me that strength is a skill. He also taught that bodyweight feats like this require practice not workouts often lasting less than 5 minutes. Suffice it to say, after following his advice I have developed some serious strength.
Despite not doing barbell squats for 12 months+. Last week I hit my friends basement gym. I’m officially a ass-to-heels 300lb squater. And its all thanks to the only leg strength exercise anyone will ever need: The One Leg Squat AKA Pistol.