Pistol Squats and One-Armed Pushups: What Worked, What Didn't

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm not recommending these movements to others. And I don't consider them to be the summum bonum of bodyweight strength-skills. But I am immensely proud of having accomplished them and thought some of you might be interested in learning what didn't work for me and what did work for me.

    What didn't work for the pistol squat: attempting to squat to lower and lower objects, which is probably the standard recommendation. Some say this approach instills a false sense of confidence. For me, it didn't address the primal fear of what happens when I go all the way down with my existing knee condition.

    What did work: several workouts of negatives. Slow, controlled descent. Yielding to the carpet to begin with. Eventually holding for a bit at the bottom. Then, for a few more workouts I used a doorframe for assistance, only lightly tapping the doorframe with fingertips to maintain balance as I went down into the hole and came back up again.

    What didn't work for the one-armed pushups: Convict Conditioning. There are an interminable number of progressions to go through and I wasn't willing to wait that long.

    What did work: as with the pistol, several workouts of negatives. I had the notion that at which point I could manage ten slow negatives, in a contiguous set, I'd be ready for the real thing. It only took five on my right side and six on the left before I was popping right back up! Now, granted, it's not as easy as just doing a pushup and taking away one arm. I did studying up a bit on the 'corkscrew' technique ahead of time.

    Take away: whereas I had putzed around aimlessly for months, these techniques enabled me to really get down to business and nail the moves in a few weeks time.
  2. GuyWhiteyCorngood
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    GuyWhiteyCorngood Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff. Have you ever tried slacklining?
  3. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even know what that was until I youtubed it! Looks like fun. Every once in a while I get a hankering to do something a little 'off' like that. On the other hand, I suspect pistols and one-armed pushups are a little off for an aches and pains-riddled guy who's going to be 56 in August.

    Sidenote: I just don't think balance was much of an issue with the pistol. Sometimes people talk like that's all it is. I rather suspect it's building strength through the weak portion of the movement. My fear of injury was inhibiting me from building strength through that particular range-of-motion. Once I made up my mind to push through it ... it went down quick.
  4. GuyWhiteyCorngood
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    GuyWhiteyCorngood Well-Known Member

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    I'm on a long road to recovery with my right leg. I've had my knee sliced and diced too many times, and I have a small range in my squat movement where it's like the muscles in my right leg need to disengage in order for me to descend. I can only do pistols on my left leg. I think the slackline is going to help a bit for me, but I agree I need strength in a range of motion more than anything else. And of course mobility is a big challenge for many.
  5. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    It's true. There are lots of folks who can't squat deep on two legs, let alone one. For these folks, Step One is bleeding obvious. And of course no one actually needs to do pistols.

    For me, lateral knee movement equals pain. Conversely, proper glute function eliminates lateral instability. I had to swallow my pride and use whatever hand assistance was necessary to allow the glutes to do their work.

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