How To Do & Muscles Worked

kettlebell pistol squats

Squats are an extremely functional exercise as they teach us to maintain a neutral spine while bending down to pick things up from the legs instead of the back. The pistol squat is a unilateral version that really challenges your ankle and knee stability, as well.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Kettlebell pistol squats

Primary Muscles

Quads Glutes Hamstrings

Secondary Muscles

Biceps Abs Inner Thighs

Exercise Type

Kettlebell icon

How to do kettlebell pistol squats Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin standing with all your weight in one leg. Hold a kettlebell at your chest with both hands so that arms are bent.

Sit the hips down and back as you squat down while driving the knee of the working leg outward. The non-working leg will shoot forward, straightened to allow you to squat lower.

Once the hips are below the knees, reverse the motion as you stand back up and straighten both legs.

Repeat for the desired repetitions on both legs.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is squatting straight down instead of sitting back into the squat. Pretend as if you’re sitting onto a chair behind you and shift the weight into your heel to more evenly strengthen your entire lower body. If you’re unable to do this, then get rid of the kettlebell and do bodyweight only.


Animation of how to do Kettlebell pistol squats