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Raizen

Some interesting ideas on pistol variations...

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Raizen

These are two parts of discussions I had with none other than Mr. Sommer himself. Hopefully it will help you guys out there. Good luck!

...I was wondering if you could answer a question of mine. I've been trying to find the most efficient way to train my legs for the primary purpose of increasing my vertical leap. I've been doing pistols for a while, and can now do 3 sets of 5 (strength training parameters) fairly easily. I was wondering if you could suggest a better routine. I was also concerned about the effectiveness of pistols themselves for increasing vertical leap, as I was under the influence that glutes and hamstrings where more important when it came to jumping...

...Single leg squats will continue to work fine for you if you either a) progress onward to more difficult variations or b) simply add weight (weight vest, dumbbells, plates or sandbag on the shoulder) to the basic single leg squat.

More difficult single leg progressions could include:

1) single leg squat with jump

2) single leg squat with jump for distance

3) single leg squat with jump for height

a) jumping up onto a box

4) single leg squat for jump and distance

a) jumping up onto a box from a distance.

...The squat is only quad dominant when performed as a half or parallel squat. Performed as a full squat (butt to floor) there is significant engagement of the glutes and hamstrings. The issue for conditioning is not with the squat itself, but with people performing half range of motion (ROM) variations.

You are quite correct in asserting that the section of the body from the lower back down the glutes to the upper hamstrings is the primary mover for explosive movement in the lower body. I will share with you that in Building the Gymnastic Body there are some very hamstring/glute specific exercises which should make you quite happy (as you smile through the pain! )...

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Edward Smith

i'm having trouble balancing during my pistols. And i can do them weighted so strength ain't the problem.

any good balancing tricks? look far ahead? just keep your body very tense?

any ideas?

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zennode

If balance is an issue you can practice doing the pistols on stairs. Do down from your pistol and it on say the second stair. Keep doing this till you have good balance with it, then move to the first stair and so on. I would try to get it without weight first. Move on to weighted pistols when you can do say 3 sets of 10 reps with no balance issues.

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Raizen

If balance really is your only issue, and you do possess enough strength to perform the movement relatively easily, then perhaps its just your form that is lacking. Go to www.beastskills.com, and read the tutorial he wrote on how to perform proper pistols, and see if that improves your balance.

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Blairbob

Ed X, have you been doing them with a weight as a counterbalance or with a weight vest or weights strapped to your body somehow?

Besides doing pistols on the ground, we do them on a slender surface like a balance beam. When they can do this, we transition to a trampoline for balance purposes. Basically it's like a wobble board. Don't worry, I don't have any of them do pistols on the tramps, just holding the bottom of the pistol.

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Edward Smith

yeah i am talking about using the weight as a counter weight

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Guest Ido Portal

From my experience with working with hundreds of clients, the balance component in pistol training is highly influenced by tightness and lack of proper flexibility, especialy in the ankle joint and the soleus muscle of the calf.

I recommend stretching the ankle joint in the bent knee position - specific for the pistol.

I would use a stretch where you stand a few inches from a wall, with a foot forward position (the foot of the leg to be stretched) and while keeping the leg bent in the knee joint and maintaining the heel on the floor, drive your knee towards the wall, hold it there for a count of 3 and return slowly. work in a 2-0-2-3 rythem and perform anywhere from 10-15 reps. repeat for the other leg, and perform 1-3 sets until you reach maximum mobility for that day.

Another trick is to use something for balance (in front of you) and simply spend some time in the lower position of the pistol. 3 sets of 30 seconds in this position before starting the pistol training will result in much better flexibility.

Other mobility problems can arise from eversion and inversion of the ankle, but those are less common from my experience, and should be treated completely diffrent.

Remember, the magnitude of movement around the ankle joint is effected by your mobility, and it represents your ability to get yourself out of a situations where loss of balance occurs. If you are tight, you have a smaller margin of error. simple.

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