The Overhead Pistol Squat Is the One Move You Need for a Toned and Chiseled Six Pack

overhead pistol squat calisthenics exercise
Overhead Pistol Squat for a Chiseled Six PackHearst Owned

Lower-body compound moves such as deadlifts and squats are some of your greatest weapons for building muscle. But if you plan on using that muscle for more than selfies (hey, we’re not judging), you need to add suppleness to your strength. Happily, this legs-day warm-up increases both hip and shoulder mobility, while the complexity should earn you a PB on Instagram, too. Better still, the overhead position and single-leg movement forces your abs to contract while being stretched, for a fuller, more defined core than any crunch could muster.

Since the weighted version of this move is as difficult as it is dangerous, we advise parking your ego for now and replacing a precariously hoisted barbell with a resistance band: ‘It’s a safe swap from the barbell, helping to develop improved coordination and core strength,’ says personal trainer Lee Boyce.

This turns it into a full-body movement, which opens up your torso and engages your abs for increased stability. Complete five reps on each leg at the start of your workout and watch your functional strength shoot up.

Form Check:

  • Stand tall with your back straight and one end of the band in each hand, shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms overhead, tucking your pelvis to stop your back arching.

  • Lift your left leg off the ground, keeping it straight, and make sure your hips stay square. Bend your right knee as you tighten your core to stay balanced.

  • Let your right knee flare out slightly as you squat, lifting your left leg clear off the ground. Keep your arms high to prevent you leaning forwards.

overhead pistol squat calisthenics exercise
Hearst Owned
  • Pull your shoulder blades back to keep your torso upright as you return to standing, drawing your left leg underneath you. Now, pull the trigger on your next rep.

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