Quick Synopsis from the Link-
Don’t have too much time at the moment…got to teach a class.
Pistols are similar to Sissy Squats or perhaps you could think of them as the bodyweight version of a leg extension. Now unlike many I would not say a quad isolating exercise is totally useless but…For the most part we want to work all the leg muscles as a team.
There are countless versions of squats and lunges which can do this without putting the pressure on the joint the pistols provide.
Plus, if you are “functional” type…Pistols are like triceps kickbacks or lateral raises, yes they work the muscle but why do them when you can work these muscles in other ways that are safer more functional and more effective?
I hope that makes sense. I’ll see if I can post my old weightless leg workout from way back.
Just look at the action of a pistol.
On one hand there is really no such thing as a pure isolation exercise. There is always somebody else involved in one way or another.
But think about what a pistol looks like and feels like. Does it look and feel like a regular squat (regardless of depth)?
My feeling is the action is more like a leg extension then other forms of squats.
But even if we say it is not. It is still not the best choice for a functional movement. How often in life do you perform a movement that looks or feels anything like a pistol?
I walk around every day and watch all kinds of athletes play all kinds of sports and I can not think of any times I have ever seen anyone do a movement that resembles a pistol.
There are many ways to do a one legged squat but only one way to do a pistol. When I do a squat It does not feel like a pistol.
Ultimately anybody here is of course free to do what ever exercise they wish.
I am merely stating my opinion. I don’t feel pistols provide any benefit that I can not get with another movement that I feel is safer to perform.
I can do pistols…No problem. But I don’t bother.
JC Brown: (owner of Crossfit in Philly)
I agree with many here,there are much better variations to go with such as Bulgarian Split Squats and simple Lunge variations.
Consider this, 80% of our lives are spent on one leg at a time so single leg training has a place for sure. But,I would rather my athletes work on Lunges,Step-Ups and Split Squats rather than Pistols.
Taku has a point although I don’t agree 100%. The Pistol is a quad dominant movement even though there is hip extension involved.