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Warrior Wednesday – Pistol Squat

 | 42 Comments  | Bodyweight, Exercise Library, Favoritable, Fitness


Pistol squat is one of the first challenging bodyweight exercises I mastered already 8 years ago, and as much as I’m proud of it, there’s one thing that makes me even more happy and accomplished – when I can pass this skill on you and see your progress. The pistol squat is on of the best bodyweight exercises for developing your lower body strength and it’s a highly functional, compound move which will help you to also burn a lot of calories and get lean if you incorporate it into your training. It’s also an awesome party trick if you can do it in your high heels 🙂

After all these years of reading your comments, and talking to some of you on my fitness events or even randomly on the street when we ran into each other, I have finally came up with the bulletproof approach to Pistol Squats. It was a learning curve for me too, and thanks to your comments and guidance, the lightbulb in my head went off: The most common problems when it comes to Pistol Squats are:

  1. the lack of mobility and flexibility in the lower part of the leg
  2. the lack of muscle/brain connection that helps trigger all of the muscles in the leg simultaneously and makes them work as a unit

In today’s video I will show you a few tricks that will take care of the problem:


If you’re a ZGYM member here’s your Pistol Squat workout for today where you can practice the exercise and tricks you just learned.

How much and how often to practice:

  • practice daily if you can until you master the move. You can take one day a week off.
  • Start with the easiest modification and try to work your way up to 10 reps per set. Complete 3 sets a day.
  • As soon as you’re comfortable with the easiest modification, remove one of the tricks you’ve been using and start working your way up to 10 reps per set again. Even if you can do only one rep at a time. Repeat this same approach until you remove all the tricks and can do at least one perfect pistol squat.
  • Once you’re able to do one pistol squat, you’ll be working on strength endurance and try for more reps. If you stick to consistent practice, you’ll be doing pistol squats in no time.

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42 comments on “Warrior Wednesday – Pistol Squat”

  1. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    Thanks for that tip!!! I use a TRX for pistol squats. I will try these tips though. How about the ninja tuck jumps? Do you have a video for that one? I still can’t do those.

    • private avatar image

      Private  | 

      I use the TRX as well. It makes pistol squats doable for me and it is still challenging. Though I will work on them without the TRX as well. I also would love to learn ninja tuck jumps. I am too afraid to do them because I feel like I will fall on my face. lol

  2. private avatar image

    Private  |  Stevens Point, WI, United States

    Oh my gosh, Z…. I’m so excited to have these to try. I was able to do a couple pistols four years ago after doing that older pistol video you had out but haven’t been able to do them since having kids. I am sooooo psyched to try these tips. Thxthxthx

  3. private avatar image

    Private  | 

    I can’t believe I can do pistol squats now!!! Only 2 in a row on each legs so far but that’s such a great feeling 🙂 Thanks so much Zuzka!

  4. private avatar image

    Private  |  USA

    I am not able to do pistol squats because of bad knees and bad ankle. With that said it does not stop me. I sit on a chair and lift off from it. So I could probably in time use a chair to sit lower and lower as I progress. Thank you Zuzka.

    • private avatar image

      Private  |  Los Angeles, CA, USA

      I can’t do them either because I’m not that flexible and possibly not as strong, but as you said that does not stop you(me). I think a chair to a small stool or even a exercise ball. I think I am going to hold on to something till I build strength. The idea of using an exercise ball will also be good it will also help with the abs too.

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