3 Fitness Benchmarks You Probably Can't Hit
Think you're a strong and balanced athlete? How well do you perform these 3 advanced movements?
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You can get in shape in any number of ways, but there are always going to be a few exercises that are are a bit more difficult to master. Unless you take that statement as a challenge - we’ve got a brief list of exercises that will simply be impossible for the vast majority of people, including fitness buffs. Each one requires an incredible level of strength, balance, skill and determination.
Be warned – these are exercises you won’t be able to just “try” the next time you hit the gym, so if you want to do them, take a look through and see tips from personal trainers on how to get them done.
NUMBER 1: Pistol Squat
What it is:
A pistol squat is like a regular one-legged squat that goes too far. For most people, a one-legged squat either stops about when you create that 90-degree angle with the back of your knee or when you drop below that and fall backwards. The pistol squat requires you to drop down far below that right angle to the point where you squat into a crouch on one leg. For balance, you keep your free leg and arms outstretched in front of you, so that if someone watches from the side, it generally resembles a pistol.
Why it’s so challenging:
Being able to bring your body into a squatting, one-legged crouch is just something most people will never be able to do. It takes a tremendous amount of leg strength and balance throughout the body to perform, and doing it for a number of reps will wear out even the fittest guys at the gym, if they can do a pistol squat in the first place.
How to get there:
“The best way to master a movement is to do that particular movement as often as you can,” says personal trainer Mike Duffy. In effect, if you want to master this move, he recommends sitting down on a chair and standing up on one leg, with the other one outstretched in front of you. Try to find the right height – if the chair is too low, you won’t be able to do it, and if it’s too high, it will be too easy. Do 3 sets of 10 on each leg for at least two or three weeks before moving on to a lower chair or object. Progressing forward, you will eventually make it low enough so that “you will be able to do a pistol squat no problem.” Duffy adds that you shouldn’t worry much about being able to do more on one leg than the other – that’s natural. It’s only a reason for concern and a doctor’s visit if the disparity is huge.
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