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Pistol Ability Exercise Improvement Program

Range of Motion’s Exercise Improvement Programs have been developed to assist in improving the ability to complete the movements that people most commonly struggle with. They are designed to be cycled through over time, with each session running for only five minutes. This allows them to be completed in addition to (not instead of) your regular programming.

  • Session 1: TEST: Establish your one rep max weighted pistol (weight held against chest). If you cannot complete weighted, use band assistance (sitting onto a horizontally stretched band set at mid-thigh) and find the smallest band you can complete with.
  • Session 2: PNF calves and soleus. Minimum 30 secs each stretch on each leg. Two mins stretching total. Foam roll calves and soleus with pointed toes. Minimum 60 seconds each leg. Go up one band size from your smallest successful assisted pistol and complete as many reps as possible in two minutes. Complete weighted if you are able to.
  • Session 3: Complete five sets of 8 pistols with a plate under your heel. Use the smallest band possible and use the thinnest plate possible. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
  • Session 4: PNF calves and soleus. Minimum 30 secs each stretch on each leg. Two mins stretching total. Foam roll calves and soleus with pointed toes. Minimum 60 seconds each leg. Accumulate one minute balancing at the bottom of a pistol on each leg (finish one leg before progressing to the other). If it takes you longer than 2 minutes on each leg, stop. If possible, don’t use any balance aid, but if needed, hold onto a object but fight hard to not let your weight fall backwards.
  • Session 5: Complete 5 sets of 10 pistols using band assistance if required. Complete weighted if you are able to.
  • Session 6: PNF calves and soleus. Minimum 30 secs each stretch on each leg. Two mins stretching total. Foam roll calves and soleus with pointed toes. Minimum 60 seconds each leg. Complete eight sets of five air squats. Your feet should be parallel and as narrow as possible (ie: gold standard would be a full depth squat with instep of feet touching). Aim to bring your feet closer together each set. Rest 30 seconds between sets.
  • Session 7: Stand side on to a box and place the foot closest to the box on top of it. Your knee should be above your hip crease, if not, use a higher box. Lift the ball of the foot that is on the ground so you cannot push off your toes. Complete a single leg lateral step up. Complete five sets of five repetitions each leg without rest. If you cannot complete a rep, use a lower box.
  • Session 8: PNF calves and soleus. Minimum 30 secs each stretch on each leg. Two mins stretching total. Foam roll calves and soleus with pointed toes. Minimum 60 seconds each leg. Complete 10 deck pistols each leg (20 total, alternating legs each rep). Rest 10 seconds between reps. Ideally, keep your hands off the floor, but if you need to use them, you can tap the floor on the way up to build momentum.
Dan Williams

Dan Williams

Founder/Director

Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology. He has worked with many thousands of individuals along the full spectrum of health, and has coached at The CrossFit Games. He regularly presents to corporate and fitness industry groups and mentors Fitness Professionals.