For a long time, I thought of the pistol squat as pretty much the only one-legged squat. (There was the airborne lunge too…but back then, I looked at that as a lead-up move to the pistol squat.)
But the Kavadlo brothers, Al and Danny, introduced me to some new moves. If I remember correctly this occurred at one of the Progressive Calisthenic Certifications I was an assistant instructor at, where these new moves clicked for me.
And by that, I mean mentally, not physically.
At that time pistols were easy. I’d done them for reps. I’d done them explosively. I’d done them with weights.
I wouldn’t say I’d mastered them completely…but certainly, I was quite proficient.
Then I was introduced to the shrimp squat.
And the dragon pistol.
And the Hawaiian squat. (I later renamed this the figure 4 squat as I feel that’s a better name. For some reason I don’t like exercises named after places.)
And most of these stopped me cold. I was humbled…which is a good thing. Really, this presented a few new challenges to me.
And so I started going after them. Soon enough I was making good progress.
In doing so I recognized that each of these four one-legged squats had the “free” leg in each of four different directions.
Pistol = in front
Figure 4 = to the side
Shrimp = behind
Dragon = to the other side
I can’t say exactly when the idea popped into my head. But I thought that would be great to do these back to back to back to back. The idea for the 4-Way One Legged Squat was born.
If you haven’t seen this yet, you can watch here.
…and it would take several months of training before I could achieve it.
Now, I have done it a number of times but I’m far from proficient. I still need good amounts of warming up to do it. I’d say I’m far from proficient. So I’m still working at it. Making those steps towards mastery.
In my mind, it’s one of the best bodyweight leg challenges. Primarily, it’s going to take active flexibility to do, and one or more of the squats is likely to stop most.
In the new Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Squats and Pistols 2nd Edition, the pistol is covered throughout modules 4 and 5.
It’s in the final module, number 6, that these other squats get the spotlight. As this was all new material for me, I had a lot of fun figuring out the best way to progress in each of these.
And that’s the interesting part…what works best in each move is different from the others!
You may or may not be ready to tackle these tough moves, but either way, there’s squatting challenges to go after for pretty much every level of ability here.