I wanted to share an exercise that I’ve been using as part of my warm up for a while now. I love this thing. I call it Pistol Squat Walking.

  • Pistol– like the one leg squat.
  • Squat– it’s a full squat.
  • Walking– it alternates side-to-side,┬ájust like walking does.

 

Instructions

This is a great exercise to use in your warm up. The weight shift from side-to-side teaches you to open up the back of your hips and being in the full squat position helps shut off your back.

1) Exhale, then round your back and reach forward.
2) Squat down, still reaching forward.
3) Straighten left leg off ground and reach forward with right hand.
4) Take a breath in the nose and out the mouth.
5) Switch and repeat.
6) Hold your hips underneath you as you stand up.

I usually do about five reps each side before I stand up.

 

Why Bother?

There are two reasons I love this exercise so much:

  1. It works the hip through full flexion range of motion without loading and moving too much. This saves my old person hips.
  2. Walking is so important to humans. Being able to control side-to-side movement reinforces our ability to walk.

Now, I know the latter sounds weird. “I walk all the time,” you say, puzzled.

It’s important to understand that as humans, we’re built asymmetrically and tend to retreat to our right side. You might even say that some people have trouble getting off of that right side; they’re stuck over there. So sometimes, even though you’re moving, one side doesn’t look nearly the same as the other.

What this exercise does is it gives you an opportunity to make the right side and the left side look at little more similar. So when I’m squatting on my right foot, I need to find my right inside foot arch, then push my knee out. Otherwise, I fall too much to the right. Conversely, when I’m squatting on my left foot, I need to feel my left heel in the floor or else I get pushed back over to the right.

Experiment with it and let me know what you think!

 

P.S. Who is this NOT for? People who can’t get down there. I want you to maintain pressure on your heel at all times. If you’re forcing it, it’s not for you. Thanks for playing, try again later.