Suspension Trainer Assisted Pistol Squats
Though your ultimate goal is to be able to gradually build up to a perfect pistol squat, keep in mind that this takes a lot of work, especially for larger and taller individuals. It also requires the hip and ankle mobility of a mutant and full pain-free flexion of the knee. That’s why most people will do best with the suspension trainer assisted pistol squat (TRX suspension pistol squat) variations or pistol box squat.
Exercise instructions for the suspension trainer assisted pistol squat
Here are detailed instructions on how to perform the suspension trainer assisted pistol squat exercise using perfect technique in order to achieve amazing results out of this superb quadriceps exercise.
STARTING POSITION (SETUP):
- Grasp the handles (one in each hand) of the extended suspension strap with a closed, neutral grip.
- Stand approximately arm’s length away with the upper arms next to the torso and the elbows flexed to approximately 90°.
- The foot of one leg (support leg) should remain in contact with the ground throughout the movement.
- The other leg should be flexed at the hip with the knee extended so the foot is off the ground and the leg is in front of the body.
- Flex the hip (sit backward) and knee of the support leg to descend in a controlled manner.
- The knee should stay positioned over the foot, and the foot should remain flat on the ground.
- Your torso should remain erect throughout the movement, and the head should maintain a neutral position with the eyes focused either straight ahead or slightly upward.
- Continue the downward movement until the thigh of the support leg is parallel to the ground or as far as you can maintain correct technique.
- Throughout the movement, maintain a hold on the suspension strap; the shoulders will flex and the elbows will extend as the body descends.
- Simultaneously extend the knee and hip of the support leg to return to the starting position.
- Keep the knee of the support leg positioned over the foot, and keep the foot flat on the ground.
- Use the suspension strap as needed to provide assistance during the upward movement by pulling on the strap handles while extending the shoulder and flexing the elbows.
- At the end of the set, switch the support leg and the leg in front, and then repeat the movement.
Additional tips & Key points to remember
- Avoid leaning too far backward during the downward phase of the movement.
- Don’t allow the knee of the support leg to lose alignment over the foot.
- Avoid allowing the heel of the support leg to come off the ground during the exercise.
Muscles engaged in the suspension trainer assisted pistol squat
- Primary muscles: Quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius), gluteus maximus;
- Secondary muscles: Hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, deep-hip
With all the different types of squats to choose from, you can say goodbye to workout boredom. Try these squats for every need and fitness level.
- Basic bodyweight squat
- Single-leg squat
- Single-leg squat on a sturdy box (see under single-leg squat)
- Goblet squat
- Sumo squat
- Sissy squat
- Barbell squat
- Dumbbell squat
- Front barbell squat
The pistol squats are the king of glute and leg exercises, requiring strength, power, balance, and a great kinesthetic sense. But chances are, unless you’ve been doing lower body training for a considerable length of time, you won’t yet have the strength to support yourself on just one leg through a full range-of-motion squat. At least not without some extra help.
If someone wishes to perform the original pistol squat but is unable to, there are progressive steps that can be taken, including holding onto a band with both hands (suspension trainer assisted pistol squat), shortening the range of motion of the squat, and/or using a bench to sit on at the bottom of each repetition (pistol box squat).