Self-assisted Single Leg Squat (bar)


Utility: Basic or Auxiliary
Mechanics: Compound
Force: Push



Stand behind horizontal bar, lower chest to waist height. Place finger tips or inside base of thumbs on bar, hold with just enough contact for balance and self-assistance. Balance on one leg with opposite leg extended forward off of ground.


Squat down as far as possible while keeping leg elevated off of floor. Keep back straight and supporting knee pointed same direction as supporting foot. Raise body back up to original position until knee and hip of supporting leg is straight. Repeat and continue with opposite leg.


Supporting knee should point same direction as foot throughout movement. Range of motion will be improved with greater leg strength and glute flexibility. Significant spinal flexion is acceptable form in full range single leg squat. Erector Spinae becomes stabilizer if spine is kept straight. Also known as Self-assisted Pistol Squats.

Weighted versions of this exercise would normally be considered auxiliary in context of other basic exercises (ie: Barbell Squat, Sled Leg Press). However, in the context of 'body weight' only program, this exercise can be considered basic.

The degree of self-assistance required affects the significance of upper body muscles utilized. The style of self assistance (hand positioning, bar height, etc.) used affects which and how the muscle are used. See Pistol Squat with one arm assisting.


Grasp bar with firm underhand grip and pull body up with just enough assistance to complete rep. Other slightly easier single leg squats can can also be performed.


For greater challenge, perform with only one hand for balance or use no assistance.




Dynamic Stabilizers


Stabilizers (raised leg)

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