Pistol Squats

by Claire

This video came across my facebook feed a few weeks ago. It shows Jillian Michaels doing a pistol squat – holding out one leg horizontal while doing a squat with the other leg. Pistol Squats are an incredible feat of control, combining strength with balance. Apparently it has taken Jillian Michaels ten years to learn how to do this.

I figure I’ve got ten years, bring it on!

In all seriousness though, I am using this as much needed inspiration. My recovery has been much, much slower than I assumed (hoped) it would be and I am getting frustrated with the lack of progress and bored with my restricted life. Including pistol squats (or preparing for them) in my morning exercise routine is a daily act of defiance. It reminds me that I won’t always be like this, that there is a healthier future waiting for me that I can find with the right medication and knowing how to successfully counter my allergens. The pistol squat exercises also help to reinforce my pacing and management strategies; I can only exercise in the morning if I have not overdone it the day before, and I can’t go too hard or I’ll pay for it the next day.  Including the pistol squat exercises has also forced me to include a ‘rest’ immediately after my exercises as I find the strength work very tiring. This is a bonus because I can use this rest period as a short meditation. (I need to meditate more often and with more regularity.)

Pistol Squat Exercises

1. Horizontal leg balances
5 seconds on each leg

balanceFrom a standing position, bring your foot up and grab your toe. Hold on and extend the leg to the horizontal position.





2. Squats

squatFrom a standing position, bring both arms out in front, and bend the knees to come into a squatting position. Keep the weight over the toes as much as possible and the feet flat on the ground. Slowly and with control stand back up again.




As my health improves and I am able to build my fitness I’ll expand on these exercises and post updates as I go. Stay tuned for developments over the next ten years!!