THE PISTOL SQUAT PROGRESSION LADDER

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: PELVIC TILT TO GLUTE LOCK

HOW TO DO IT
Stand Tall and Grab Your Pelvis – You wanna grab the PSIS and ASIS. That’s the bony bit on your pelvis at the front and back. Take your time, find the bony bits that stick out, it’s going to really help you with control and understanding where your joints are here.

Slowly Tilt Your Pelvis Forward – Your index fingers will drop, and your thumbs elevate. Your spine will arch very slightly.

Pause – Stay here for a second, get to know the position.

Slowly Tilt your Pelvis Backward – Then reverse the movement. Your back should flatten out very slightly, your thumbs lower, index fingers raise.

Lock Your Glutes – In this position it should be easy to tense your bum. This is important for a whole host of exercises down the line.

HOW IT GOES WRONG AND HOW TO FIX IT
You can’t do it! – If you haven’t moved much, haven’t trained consciously before and aren’t a natural salsa dancer, the chances are that you’ll find this bizarrely hard. That’s partly why most people have terrible form in the gym.

You find that it feels weird, and you just can’t quite do it: fear not, this is the process. Persist and stay slow. You will get the hang of it eventually.

Too much spine movement – watch out for moving too much from the spine. If you just can’t get it, you may find yourself pretending and just flexing and extending the spine. Naughty. Back off, be patient, and you’ll get it. Try the regressions below.

Glutes not on – At the top, we want to tense the bum. Not as hard as you can or anything, but just enough that the muscles firm. Go ahead and tap them or punch them and check they are rock hard. If they are not, they are sleeping. The fix is to touch yourself up on every rep until you habitually get it right.

WICKED CUES
Stripper Back! – My Experience with strippers is not a lot. I would remedy this to add experience to my tip here, but alas, my wife won’t let me.

But, (ladies if you’ll forgive me) – but if you picture the classic image of a stripper, high heels, bum sticking out, chest bits sticking out and arched lower back… that’s what the front part of this move should feel like – and precisely how the posterior tilt should NOT look. Picturing this while practicing can really rather help people. Try it.

See Your Six Pack – When you slide into a slightly more anterior tilt of the pelvis, the back will arch, and the six pack abdominal muscles will stretch. When a muscle is stretched – or concave as the Rectus Abdominus would be shaped here – when this happens the muscles will look longer and less well developed. Flip it and move back into a posterior tilt – if you can see your abs – and they will look way better. More developed, bigger and stronger. I suggest you try to picture showing off your abs (and feel them engage) as you posterior tilt.

Picture Bruce Lee – posterior tilt – ripped abs. Master this and you can emulate.

Tip the Bucket – The top of your pelvis is bucket like in shape. Imagine slowly, gently tipping the bucket back and forth. That can help with this. Try it!

PROGRESSIONS
Hip Hinge to Glute Lock

Speed it Up

Upside Down Handstand

REGRESSIONS
Do it on a Chair

Do it lying down

Slow Down

WHY DO IT
Control. Skill is everything – If you get good at this, you have the potential to have better technique and better skill on EVERYTHING you do physically. This is one of the key places to start. Set out to master it: don’t ignore it, or it will come back to bite you.

You’ll get better muscle contractions – so you’ll get stronger and more muscle because your bones and joints will be in better positions.

You’ll have better technique – on everything – because your bones and joints and muscles (and spine and neck and head) will be in better positions.

You’ll have less pain – because you’ll have better technique and better muscles contractions in the right places and suffer fewer spasms and pulls because your bones and joints will be in better positions on EVERYTHING!

In short: THIS MATTERS. You may not fancy performing this in public through fear of looking like a psycho – that’s common, don’t worry. If that’s the case, just do it at home, but whatever you do, make sure you can control your pelvis.

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