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The pistol squat sought after leg workout in calisthenics.

But you cant immediately make the jump from regulars squats to pistol squats in an instant. You’ll need to follow a progression to properly prepare your mind and body for the exercise.

Shrimp squat hold is an excellent progression for pistol squat exercise. This exercise strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and works on balance.

This is a unilateral exercise and needs to be done on both sides. This means it can help in balancing out muscle imbalances.

This is an isometric hold that also prepares you for the dynamic version of shrimp squats. If you cannot execute the dynamic shrimp squats in full range of motion, you can use the shrimp squat hold to strengthen the movement.


You should have mastered the regular squats by now before attempting the shrimp squat hold. One exercise you can use to prepare yourself is the shrimp squat (box). This is similar to the dynamic shrimp squat but instead of holding your foot, you’ll place your foot on a box behind you for support and balance.

Be sure also to prepare hip and legs flexibility for attempting the move. You’ll also need good core strength to help you balance.

Summarized Benefits

  1. Balances leg muscles through unilateral movement
  2. Strengthen legs and core muscles
  3. Improves balances
  4. Increases strength and mobility for dynamic shrimp squat
  5. Progression skill for pistol squat

How to Perform

  1. Begin standing up straight, feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Bend right knee, foot to your butt and hold the foot.
  3. Squat down on the left leg, holding the right foot.
  4. Hold position for specified time.
  5. Stand back up straight, and switch legs.

Keep in mind

Keep your chest up

Like a proud lion in the savanna, keep your chest up. Low chest position will off-balance you and will cause you to shift your weight forward. This will cause you to put unnecessary load on your knees when going down. We don’t want to have a bad knee. So don’t also let your knee go beyond your foot.

Of course, don’t also place too much weight backward. It will cause you to fall on your butt.

Coaching Points

Starting Position:

Stand up straight

Hold one foot behind butt

Other standing leg with slight bend

Other hand assist in balance

Movement Position:

Chest up

Bend standing leg

Keep core tight

Free hand assist in balance

Finish Position:

Stand up straight

Hold one foot behind butt

Other standing leg with slight bend

Other hand assist in balance


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