3 COMMON ISSUES WE SEE AND HOW TO FIX THEM...
Pistols are not something that everyone has success with right away. Just like all of the other gymnastics movements we learn and practice, pistols require a lot of flexibility, mobility, range of motion, strength and practice. Here are some issues we see and some remedies. You'll get to try them out in class today, too!
1. Heel comes off the ground.
This is an indicator to us that your ankle mobility is lacking. Your ankle needs super dorsiflexion (think of what happens to the front of the ankle as you squat) for pistols. If you don't have full range of motion here or your calves/achilles area is tight, your heel will pop up.
REMEDY- for now, you can practice with a little lift, like cheating your poor range of motion. Use lifters or a 10# plate under the heel. Your long term goal should be to increase range of motion with various ankle stretches. ROMwod has some great ones for this purpose!
2. Your front foot touches the ground.
This is an indicator that your hamstrings are tight/short.
REMEDY- for now, practice holding your toe out in front as you go into your squat or put your entire pistoling foot on a 45# plate so your free leg can go "below' ground level. Your long term goal should be to increase hamstring flexibility- but don't settle for the standing forward bend we did in high school sports practices. Standing with hamstrings under tension actually doesn't help lenghthen them. Seated stretches are preferred Again, romwod has an excellent variety of hamstring flexibility exercises.
3. You just can't get low enough.
This is an indicator to us that you are either 1)scared to plop on the ground unsupported or 2) You just aren't strong enough yet. If you are in case #1 then I need you to start practicing going into a pistol and failing. Put a yoga mat or two down if you really have a fear of letting your butt hit the ground.
If you are case #2, then your REMEDY for now is to do some single leg squatting with a box under your butt. Lower the box over time so you can get progressively more challenged. Your long term remedy is to strengthen by squatting more! Once you can back squat 100-125% of your bodyweight, you should be good to go for pistols.
Workout of the Day
Skill- pistol progressions
50 Air Squats
17 Minute TIMECAP
*If unassisted pullups are new for you, try cutting the reps so you still get some good practice in, but won't get bogged down with doing 50 singles.
Posted on Wed, August 10, 2016
by Dana Soprano