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Alexander Castiglione

Pistols - Playing catch up?

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Alexander Castiglione

Hey GB, 

 

So I've been working on pistols aka single leg squats. I went thru a bunch of progressions, and made some great progress vis a vis balance and overall leg strength. However, my dominant leg (left) remains to be stronger and i have better balance on it. I've been doing sets of 5x5 on both legs, but sometimes, i only do 3x5 on the left to let the other side catch up. I also do pistols with a kettle-bells sometimes (which aside from counterbalancing) tacks on some extra LBs, making solely bodyweight "feel" easier. 

 

Has anybody had this issue - one leg being stronger and better balanced than the other? If so, did you back off volume on one leg, add weight to the other, a mix of both? Or just stayed the course and the "weaker" leg eventually caught up? 

 

Please let me know. Thanks! 

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Petri Widsten

Hi Stigz

 

I did pistols pre-F1. While I built up to a single set of 20 per leg my right leg was always a step ahead in strength and it still is. Maybe the only way to balance them out is to train one leg exclusively for a while. Not sure if there is any point in this though. I think it's normal for a (jump-dominant) leg to be a bit but not too much stronger.

 

I did weighted pistols too with a single 8-16 kg kettlebell that I held in one hand next to my chest on the side opposite to the working leg. That way it didn't shift my centre of gravity forward which might have helped. They also made unweighted pistols feel very light.

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Jon Douglas

I also did weighted abd unweighted single leg squats prior to getting on foundation. The nice thing about alternating exercises in Foundation is that you will always be going at the pace of your weaker or less flexible side, which helps close that gap :l)

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Christian Nogueira

I had the same problem prior to starting Foundation but now my legs are much more balanced, right leg still stronger than left, but much more balanced. I'm on F3 in legs, so I'm happy that my "weak" leg has mastered SLS. 

 

All I can say, is that for me, it wasn't just a question of strength, my ankle mobility in dorsiflexion is much better in my right foot than in my left (I once sprained it pretty bad and I didn't know how to maintain my body back then). If it's something like that for you, than you need to look into mobility not strength. The FS series has a wonderful set of ankle stretches.

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Matthew Jefferys

I've found that starting with my weak side when training unilateral movements makes quite the difference. My left arm was lagging behind in pulling strength, so I made a point to do it first when training for OAC. My left arm feels slightly stronger than my right now!

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Alexander Castiglione

Thanks for the replies gents! I have found that working the progressions has helped immensely, and now my left leg is only slightly stronger than my right (as opposed to massively stronger)... 

 

That being said - how is the balance on your non-dominant legs? Do you feel you are better balanced, even slightly, on the dominant one? 

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Christian Nogueira

For me I'm better balanced in my dominant leg, but I feel I has more to due with ankle mobility as I mentioned.

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Petri Widsten

I have no ankle mobility issues but have somewhat better balance on my slightly stronger dominant leg.

 

Besides FS series I'd also consider working Hawaiian squats which improve all kinds of lower body mobility especially as you try to go deeper and deeper below horizontal glutes. I'm close to full ROM (ass to grass) on my dominant leg. They also seriously challenge your balance.

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