The way I heard about one legged squats is to them like this: stand, lower yourself on one leg while the other points forward, then push yourself up. When I try to do this, I don't even get my standing leg to 90° bent before the knee with weight on it feels weird and I run into trouble lifting the other leg.
So, today I've been doing this: squatting down (sitting on the back of my feet), and then doing a squat where I lift one leg so the other one does all the work. I think it works great and I guess I will feel my legs tomorrow. The feeling in the knees was ok.
One thing I will do different the next time is to force myself to end the movement with my upper body upright. Today I cheated by leaving the torso bent forward. I think when I end the movement with my torso upright, I will also hit the posterior chain. At a later stage, I may add some weight, but before I do that I want to have more feel for the movement as I'm a bit wary for my lower back. The last time I did legwork it was 30 deep bodyweight squats, could have done more, and today I did 3 sets of 10 reps per leg. Keeping the balance was no issue.
However, I've never seen this way of doing one legged squats advised anywhere and I think I read a bit about bodyweight work. So, I wonder if I'm doing something that's horribly unhealthy and I just did not notice.
- Is this a good way to do one legged squats?
- Are there any risks associated with this exercise, should I be on the lookout for certain signs of trouble?
- Any tricks to improve the exercise?
Edit to add:
I do this occasionally, with 10-12 reps per set and leg. I try to be anal about form (feet pointing forward, weight on heel, tight abs) and so far my joints don't complain. When I'm not strict about form something feels wrong immediately. Possibly the pistol is inherently safer. Another possible downside is that it's easy to cheat oneself out of the full range of movement. You need to flexibility to squat deep (ass on heels), balance is easy. All in all I still think I stumbled upon a valuable exercise.