THE PISTOL SQUAT PROGRESSION LADDER

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN: BODYWEIGHT HIP THRUST
HOW TO DO IT
REST YOUR BACK ON BENCH – Or bed or couch or suitable thing. Rest your shoulder blades on the edge of the bench or thing. The ideal height will allow you to tap the ground at the bottom of the move and get your hips just above the shoulders at the top.

PLANT YOUR FEET FLAT TO THE GROUND – or you may find this works better if you lift your toes as you go through your set, try both and find which is easier for YOU to push through the heals and feel the Glutes. Just make sure you don’t slip. You should be able to do it well with feet flat though – with practice.

SQUEEZE YOUR GLUTES TO LIFT YOUR HIPS UP – If you don’t focus on this you’ll be a high risk suspect for using too much lower back or Hamstring – then this won’t go well for you.

LOCK AT THE TOP – At the top we should be hyperextended very slightly at the hip. The Pelvis pushed just past the thighs – the ribs in line with Pelvis – the Spine neutral and of course the Glutes squeezed tight with a slight posterior tilt at the top. If you have anything wrong here, you won’t get the desired result.

CONTROL DOWN, TAP THE GROUND AND REPEAT – Keep the spine in position and feel the hip joint move as you lower down. You’ll feel the Glutes control the movement on the way down if you’re good at this.

HOW IT GOES WRONG AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
YOU DON’T FEEL GLUTES – If you can’t feel them – you’re doing it wrong!…Either your Hip Flexors are tight and you can’t get through the range – or you haven’t built the awareness to get into the best position. To make sure this isn’t you, stretch your Hip Flexor muscles and practice some Pelvic Tilt to Glute Lock moves. If you’ve got this down, you simply need to get good at it in a different position.

Then, if you still can’t feel the Glutes working, it could be…

YOU OVERLY ARCH THE BACK – it’s common that instead of keeping your ‘Iron Spine’, you over arch as you move (or throughout) this means you wont use full ROM at the top, your Lumbar Extensor muscles will spasm or at least work overtime and you won’t be able to Glute Lock at the top. All this will make it impossible to get the buttock magic we so desire on this.

The Fix – I have a great fix for this. If you like to finger yourself that is. Get one finger on your lower rib and your thumb on your ASIS (*the bony bit near the top of your pelvis) – then feel the connection, when they are aligned, your Abs will be ‘on’ and your spine will be neutral. Then, make sure your finger and thumb don’t move away from each other during the drill. If they do, you blew it – you arched your back. It will be tricky at first, but you’ll get good at this quickly and then you’ll love this exercise…

Plus – with your fingers on the ASIS, just like in the Yoga Style Forward Fold, you can feel the upper thigh moving in the hip joint, this is where you should move from here, feeling this helps you initiate the right move and not try to ‘by’ the move from somewhere else.

YOU DON’T USE ENOUGH RANGE – Of course, you could just be being lazy and not going all the way up or down. Naughty. Pay attention and make sure you’re doing the whole move.

YOU BLAST THROUGH WITH NO CONTROL OR THOUGHT – classic error. These can offer quite a bit of feedback when done correctly (they are hard), if you just blast through it with no control you’ll get less than half the benefit – at best. The fix: re-motivate, re-read the instructional and practice like you actually want to change your body not just get a tick on a sheet.

YOU DON’T DO IT – It’s very common that people feel a bit silly or lack confidence with these and ignore them. Well, no activity is vital, but its a standard manoeuvre performed around the world – if you want a great backside I would suggest you get confident doing these anywhere.

WICKED CUES
PUMP THE GLUTES – Feel them stretch on the way down, feel them squeeze and lock at the top, feel the fatigue and the blood flow into the muscles as you go through rep after rep.

IRON SPINE! – One of the most common and effective cues. Lock the Iron Spine in position and then move it around with the hip joint.

GLUTE LOCK! – learn it, embed the motor pattern, use it.

FLEX then EXTEND THE HIP JOINT – a nice simple cue to help you remember where the movement should come from.

PROGRESSIONS
ONE LEG

ADD RANGE

ADD WEIGHT

REGRESSIONS
PELVIC TILT TO GLUTE LOCK

HIP HINGE TO GLUTE LOCK

WHY DO IT
GLUTES! – If you hadn’t picked this up by now – its going to strengthen and build your Glute Muscles. If you want a great looking bum – these are one of the very best things you could do.

SPRINTING/ATHLETICISM – Hip Extension – essentially what this is – is one of the keys to human athleticism. Getting good at these will boost your sprinting and your strength in a fundamental and important way.

EASY SKILL – despite my longwinded waffling above, these are a relatively easy skill. It will probably take you 4 or 5 practices to get it, but there is only one joint moving and it doesn’t take great genetics or flexibility to be able to do this well after a little focused practice.

DEADLIFT, SQUAT, KB SWING, PLANK – The top of all these moves require a strong Glute Lock at the top. This move will make you a lot stronger in this position as the supine (lying back) nature of it makes it ideal to make the backside really work against gravity. It’s worth doing if you want to get More-Athletic and better at any of these things.

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