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Old 11-06-2007, 04:30 PM   #1
Chris Forbis
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Default One-legged Squat / Pistol

I've been working on my one-legged squat / pistol recently. When at the gym, and attempting them barefooted or in my Nike Frees, I usually lose my balance backwards at the bottom. During the course of the day, when I'm in my shoes for work (dress shoes), I can do them no problem, I assume because of the raised heel.

So do I work on flexibility so that I can do them without a raised heel? Or do I cheat, and elevate my heel on a weight plate?

What stretches and exercises would I work on to acquire the needed flexibility?
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:33 PM   #2
Garrett Smith
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First thing, just try reaching forward much harder--move the counterbalance more to the front--I usually touch my extended-leg toes with the same-side hand.

Or, you could hold a ten pound plate out in front, that should counterbalance you nicely.

If those don't work, you may have flexibility/mobility issues in the ankle or hip. That's not where I'd look first though.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:17 PM   #3
Ale Dileo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Forbis View Post
I've been working on my one-legged squat / pistol recently. When at the gym, and attempting them barefooted or in my Nike Frees, I usually lose my balance backwards at the bottom. During the course of the day, when I'm in my shoes for work (dress shoes), I can do them no problem, I assume because of the raised heel.

So do I work on flexibility so that I can do them without a raised heel? Or do I cheat, and elevate my heel on a weight plate?

What stretches and exercises would I work on to acquire the needed flexibility?
I noticed the same with wall-squats (I do them for flexibility warm-up). I can touch the wall with my toes depending on what kind of shoes i wear.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:28 PM   #4
Jordan Glasser
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I believe shoes offer a cheat, and not by raising your heel (although that does help some), but by giving your foot a method of counterbalancing. Dress shoes are like a lifting shoe, but I believe a normal running shoe would offer the same cheat.
You cannot lift your toes up in either barefoot, or in Nike Free's and maintain proper balance if you are doing any movement that is challenging for you to accomplish.
I've seen barefooted squats and Nike Free squats crash and fail because of the body's inability to use the counterbalance of a supported shoe that it is so used to having.

So....it means practice both ways. Do them with shoes (other then Free's), and challenge the movement by doing them either barefoot or in the barefoot shoes.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:10 AM   #5
Allen Yeh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Smith View Post

Or, you could hold a ten pound plate out in front, that should counterbalance you nicely.
I've used this method using 2 5lb db's.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:59 AM   #6
Scott Kustes
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I have the same issue Chris. In dress shoes I can do them with no counter-weight. But barefoot I require a 5-10lb weight held in front of me. I feel like that's cheating, but then is adding weight to an exercise really cheating?
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:39 AM   #7
Troy Archie
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What helped me was the weighted idea and also grabbing and holding onto the end of my foot and keeping my leg straight...
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:03 PM   #8
Garrett Smith
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I see no problem with adding weight at all. Balance improves, weight lifted increases, nothing wrong with that!

My goal is to increase my weight on pistols, so starting early with a little weight isn't bad at all...I've added a set of alternating pistols and single-arm single-leg DL to every other warm-up day and will steadily move up in weight in those over time.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #9
Chris Forbis
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Alright. Looks like I'll try these barefoot with a counterweight to help me balance.

Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:11 AM   #10
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10# DB did the trick. Time to start working on doing multiple reps per set.

Thanks for the idea.
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