Pistol Squats

Pistol Squats – Strength & Balance Exercise

This page provides details for the Pistol Squats (or Single Leg Squat). This exercise is used to improve the leg strength and balance of martial arts students. However, this exercise can put a lot of pressure on the knee. Not recommended for anyone with knee problems.

All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. For additional exercises, please visit the main Martial Arts Balance Exercises or Strength Training sections.


  • Stand on one leg with knee slightly bent.
  • Raise other leg modestly off the ground and keep it straight.
  • Put arms out in front of you.
  • With the standing leg, bend knee and slowly lower yourself towards the ground. The other leg should stay straight and off the ground.
  • Keep your bending leg steady. Don’t let the leg wobble side to side.
  • Keep your knee over your foot. Don’t bend too far forward.
  • If your knee hurts at any time during this exercise, stop!
  • Repeat this exercise with your other leg.

Pistol Squats