Skip Nav
Diet Tips
If You're Trying to Lose Weight, You Should Probably Stay Away From These Fruits
Breathing Techniques for Anxiety
Anxiety
Calm Down Your Anxiety With These Expert Breathing Techniques
Joe Wicks The Body Coach New 90-Day Plan Review
Low Carb
I Did the New Body Coach 90-Day Plan, and I Think I Actually Like Exercise Now
Weight Loss
Start the Keto Diet With This Dietician's 1-Week Beginner Meal Plan
Body By Simone
Jennifer Garner Really Didn't Hold Back During Her Badass Training For Peppermint

How to Do Pistol Squats

The Squat Variation You Need to Do If You Want Strong Legs and Glutes

Building a great rear is no walk in the park, and just doing cardio will not get you a strong, plump bum. What does it take, you ask? We talked with Sarah Chadwell, CPT, a bikini competitor, who agrees that iron, sweat, tears, and glute-specific exercises are what it takes to transform a butt. Additionally, the hard truth about booty gains is that you need to be lifting heavy and lifting smart!

"I have years of experience in the booty building department!" Sarah told POPSUGAR. "As a bikini competitor, the shape of your butt almost becomes your obsession, because it's one of your most valuable assets on the stage and maybe the hardest part of your body to get just right. I used a myriad of exercises to sculpt my derriere, but my secret weapon was heavy pistol squats."

Why You Should Do Pistol Squats

Pistol squats might just be the most challenging unilateral bodyweight exercise ever dreamed up. They require tremendous lower-body strength, balance, and flexibility. They will definitely kick your glute's bum (if that's even possible), and they'll help eliminate muscular imbalances, helping you build near-perfect symmetry. But remember, this is about going heavy. That is the singular truth about booty gains — lifting heavy weight will yield results!

ADVERTISEMENT

How to Do Pistol Squats

  • Stand in an athletic stance, feet hip-width apart. Raise one foot slightly off the ground while you balance on the other.
  • Hold your arms straight out in front of you parallel to the floor with your palms facing downward.
  • Brace your core.
  • Hinge at the hips to begin lowering your body toward the ground. Don't allow the heel of your balance foot to leave the ground.
  • Your nonbalance leg should be extending straight out in front of you parallel to the floor while you descend downward.
  • At the bottom of the movement, your glute should be resting on your calf (on the balance foot side).
  • One you reach the bottom, pause and then begin moving back up into standing position.
  • Don't allow your raised foot to touch the floor before beginning the next repetition. Do as many reps as you can. This will not be high-volume work.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

How to Modify Pistol Squats

"You may not be able to complete a pistol squat without building up more glute, hamstring, and quad strength first. That is OK!" Sarah advised. "If you are just starting out, start with a progression that will help you achieve a full-blown pistol squat."

Here is a modified progression that will help you work up to a full pistol squat. Stay patient, and remember that it takes time to accomplish a pistol squat. You'll feel so accomplished when you finally get there, though!

  • Stand in front of a box or flat bench. You'll sit down on this box or bench as you perform the pistol squat instructions from above.
  • When you descend, go all the way down until you actually sit on the box.
  • Pause and begin moving back up to standing position.
  • Each week, try to use boxes that are lower and lower to the ground, until you are strong enough to touch your glute to your calf and stand without assistance.
From Our Partners
Camilla Luddington Grey's Anatomy Season 15 Interview
Catherine Hardwicke Talks About Directing Twilight
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Twilight Audition Story
Workouts to Get Back in Shape
What Are the Best Bodyweight Ab Exercises?
Upper-Body Dumbbell Workout
Quick CrossFit Workout
Kelsey Wells Upper-Body Dumbbell Workout
Georgia Toffolo Dermalogica Interview
Butt-Building Workout With StairStepper
Zendaya Smallfoot Interview 2018
Lucy Hale Interview
From Our Partners
Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds