5 Rock Bottom Bodyweight One Legged Squats (how to do it)

5 Rock Bottom Bodyweight One Legged Squats (how to do it)

I hope you had a great Easter.

My family and I had a great time in Disneyland looking for the Easter Bunny on one of the trail rides.

Looking at the rides from yesterday, the best was the Tower of Terror.

For today I have my friend Sean Schniederjan, who will be teaching you the inner workings of the one-legged squat over the next few days.

Take it away Sean.


If you are a man or woman, big or small, and interested in health and strength and teaching others to do the same, you need to be able to do at least 5 rock bottom, clean, under control one-legged squats.

Your imagination might be telling you this is “hardcore.” It isn’t.

The bodyweight one-legged squat is about one thing: precision.

Precise ankle mobility. Precise hip mobility and stability. Balance and control over your lower body and core. Precise muscle patterning. The ability to maintain strength under the demands of above-average flexibility and mobility at the same time.

You can’t have tight ankles or hips and do a bodyweight one-legged squat. You can do a weighted one to compensate for poor mechanics, but not a pure bodyweight “pistol.”

You might say that it takes strength and mobility that most people just don’t have.


I couldn’t do it for years, but it was easy after learning a few “tricks.”

I don’t know how to sugarcoat this: you can’t be weak and do a one-legged squat. You can do squat thrusters and mountain climbers with everyone else, but not “la Pistola,” as they call them in the mountains outside of Spain.

How much strength do you need?

I did the math, and a BW one-legged squat is equivalent to whatever two-legged squat you please – with 70% of your body weight.

So if you weigh 200 pounds, a one-legged squat is approximately the same, in terms of load per leg, as front squatting two 70-pound kettlebells, for example.

That isn’t off the charts strong by any means, but what it tells us is that you can get into the “heavy” neighborhood without relying on any equipment. Donnie Thompson, a mountain of a man who squats over 1000 pounds, does his double KB front squats with two 88 pounds (40 kg) bells – so we are in the neighborhood.

If you ever find yourself without a squat rack or some kettlebells, you have the freedom to strengthen your legs.

So go ahead and try it to establish a baseline, let’s do this. Stick one leg out and descend slowly, butt to heel, and come back up.

If you want to quickly turn your leg to jello, go real slow like this:

Don’t worry if you have failed. I used to be in the same boat. It isn’t easy.

I once heard a trainer who worked with a professional football team say that it would take him 15 minutes to teach this move to professional football players, some of the best athletes around.

There are two parts to this puzzle: mobility and strength.

Start with fine-tuning your hip and ankle mobility.

Trying to get strong with poor joint mechanics and tight muscles is stupid, or at the very least not very smart. We use engineers to design buildings and bridges to withstand heavy loads; we should do the same with our bodies if we choose to push them beyond mediocrity.

The “mobility minimum” of a one-legged squat is the ability to do a close stance squat. This is where your two feet are touching.

So bring your feet together, touching, and go butt to heel into a squat. Having trouble?

Don’t worry.

Tomorrow you’ll get a FREE video with 4 simple and easy exercises (bring a light-medium kettlebell) that will INSTANTLY improve your hip and ankle mobility for a close stance squat and eventually a bodyweight one-legged squat.

I can’t wait to help you instantly improve your mobility tomorrow.

Sean Schniederjan, RKC

PS: If you or your clients or both have tight hips or ankles, do not miss the free, exclusive video tomorrow.

Bodyweight Workouts 101