Pistol Progression – Carl Paoli
In this series, Coach Carl breaks down the Pistol movement into a number of progressions to develop the one-legged squat. We’ve talked about adding the Candlestick Roll and using its momentum as an assistance to the Pistol, but now Carl is on to exploring the strict version of the Pistol and exploring why it is so challenging for some athletes.
In this first video, Carl demonstrates a number of quick tests and drills to diagnose and challenge the athlete with regards to balance, strength, and mobility for the Pistol. Just like any other movement, as soon as we remove a point of contact and decrease the base of support, we instantly increase the difficulty as there are more degrees of freedom and less stability. When this happens, we need to go back to check that our movement mechanics are solid before removing the point of contact, and in this case we have to test to make sure our Squat and Lunge mechanics are solid before we attempt the Pistol.
In this segment Carl begins by reviewing proper squatting mechanics and positions for a normal two-legged squat. Carl explains the need to change orientation in order to engaging the posterior chain in order to stand up, and also emphasizes the need to drive the knees out in order to keep the shin vertical to avoid stress and shear on the knees while squatting. Finally, Carl progresses to the next drill which is to do step-ups onto a box.
In this video, Coach Carl continues to continues to use the step-up on the box to discuss the rotational component of the Pistol. Carl then moves to the side of the box and steps up and down with a hanging leg to a small swing to find balance and full range of motion in the hips for the squatting leg.
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