"No other exercise will work your legs as hard as the pistol squat," says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., creator of the legendary Spartacus Workout series. (The new Spartacus workout is now on DVD! Click here to try it today!)
If you haven't heard of it, picture a one-legged squat to the floor in which your non-working leg is held straight out in front of you. Brutal. In fact, this simple movement takes an enormous amount of strength, flexibility, and balance -- which is why many guys have a hard time doing even one properly. Watch the video below to learn how to perform the pistol squat with perfect form:
But Cosgrove has a cool trick to help you balance so that you can reap the strength-building benefits of this amazing exercise: hold a weight at chest height with your arms extended. It will counter your bodyweight, helping you balance as you lower your body. "Think of it like a teeter totter," Cosgrove says. "As you squat and sit your hips down and back, your body wants to fall backward. Having the weight in front of you will keep you upright."
The straighter your arms, the more counterbalance you have. As you become more comfortable, bend your arms and hold the weight close to your chest to make the squat harder. And if you can't go all the way to floor at first, lower as far as you can, pause for two seconds, then push your body back to the standing position. Increase your range of motion as your strength improves.
For a fast-paced plan that will give you the body of a warrior, check out The NEW Spartacus Workout from Men's Health -- now on DVD!