Is mobility & balance interfering with your pistol squats? For many athletes, if you don’t have a background in gymnastics or yoga, some movements pose more of a challenge to you than others. Pistol squats are notoriously difficult, not because they require immense strength (which is challenging enough on its own) but also due to the high skill level needed for balance, stability, and even flexibility.
Practicing the following yoga poses will ultimately make you feel more comfortable, stable, and secure with your balance & mobility. Even devoting a few minutes each day to these poses will have positive impacts on your skill levels.
Yoga for Pistol Squats:
Begin standing with your feet together, then bend your left leg slightly as you cross your right thigh over your left. Hook your right foot around the left calf and take a moment to find your center of balance.
Next, raise your arms in front of you so they are parallel to the ground, then cross your left arm over your right, and bring them up to create a 90 degree angle with your elbows. Your right arm should be wrapped around your left so that you can touch palms. Repeat on the opposite side.
As you become more & more comfortable with this pose try to sink deeper down on your standing leg each time. With time, you should be able to lower yourself down into this next pose…
From Eagle Pose, slowly start to sink down on your standing leg, letting your top leg un-bind and slide to the side as you descend. As you near the bottom, let your heel rise, coming onto the toes only of your standing leg.
You can practice getting comfortable at the bottom of this pose, or challenge yourself by pushing back up and returning to Eagle pose. Repeat the practice on the opposite side as well.
Extended Hand to Big Toe
Begin by finding your center of balance on your standing leg, and bringing the knee of your working leg into your chest. Bring your arm across the inside of your thigh and grip the outside of your foot (the palm of your hand is covering the top of your foot so your fingers can reach the outside).
Slowly straighten your leg out to the side while maintaining your grip on your foot. Here, you can practice getting comfortable in this position, or play around with moving your extended leg up, down & around in different directions while maintaining a solid hold on your toe.
Practice balancing in this pose, then switch sides and repeat.