How to Do Pistols for Youth Soccer Conditioning

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Jul 06

Not this type of pistol...

No, not the kind of pistol you carry around in a holster.

Pistols are an advanced leg strength and balance exercise that is an excellent posterior chain exercise.

They are basically a one legged squat. The leg you are not using is extended out in front and you try to go all the way till the seat of your pants touches your heels.

I’ve tested over 50 individuals and have had only one person be able to do them without training.

They take a lot of strength, but perhaps even more, they require balance. Athletes who can squat two times their body weight can’t do pistols without practice.

Because they require so much balance, they develop all the muscles of the legs; glutes, adductors, abductors, quads and hamstrings. I believe they help prevent pulled groin muscles a common injury among soccer players.

I’ve been doing them during my workouts and they are exhausting. I’m up to 7 consecutive repetitions off of each leg (all done with support). Let me tell you, they are difficult…and you feel them the next day.

I wouldn’t do these with very young kids but for athletes that are over ten they are more than appropriate.

This type of pistol. The one leg squat

When teaching kids (or yourself), use some modifications. Here are some ideas…

  • Hold on to a horizontal bar with both hands. Use as much upper body support as necessary. Usually, more is needed to get down for balance and the strength is needed for coming up.
  • Use one hand on a vertical support.
  • Try holding a partners hands and go down. When they can do two hands move it one hand.
  • Have players sit down on a bench while doing a pistol. They won’t have to go so far and it’s easier. The lower the bench, the more difficult.
  • When doing a pistol without support, bring the arms forward for balance. Holding a weight can aid in balance as well.

Pistols are a challenging exercise. Soccer players and athletes like challenges. See how many of your players can do. Work up to ten with each leg.

Pistols are not part of the Athletic Skills for Soccer Program, though the fundamentals taught will help all athletes be able to perform them easier and faster.

Improve your team’s soccer fitness by following the exercises in the program and have better, happier athletes.


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