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A climber of eight years, Anna Hazelnutt demonstrates one helluva impressive pistol squat. The tricky maneuver is primarily useful for Hazelnutt’s favorite style: technical, vertical face climbing and slab.
“To be able to pistol squat up a high-step is essential in routes where the holds are minimal and balance is key,” wrote Hazelnutt to Gym Climber.
Indeed, pistol squats are excellent for sharpening balance, strength, and stability. They train lower body and core strength, making them a useful tool for climbing and difficult approaches.
“I first learned how to do a pistol squat by holding a weight at arm’s length in front of me as a counterbalance, and practicing the movement,” stated Hazelnutt. “I decreased the weight until I could do a pistol squat without assistance, and then started adding difficulty by holding the weight closer into my body. Flexibility is also extremely important— stretches like a deep lunge and pigeon will help open the hips and make pistol squatting feel easier.”