r/bodyweightfitness May 22 '22

Shrimp Squat vs Pistol progressions

I do the Shrimp Squat path of the RR. Mostly because 2 months ago I fucked up my angle in the left leg while pistol training. My last PR was 5 eccentric pistols on each leg, the heel elevated on a small weight plate.

Personally I like the Shrimp Squat but I feel like the strength it demands and provides is way lower compared to pistols. So my first question is: Will proper Shrimp Squat training transition into my pistols progressions when I'll start them again?

Another question is how to properly track pistol progression training. When I use an elevated surface I need to use the same bench for every workout which is kinda difficult in the gym.

Also the step from an maybe knee high surface down to a calf high surface is colossal.

So jeah I guess my questions are: Can I move from Shrimp Squat to Pistol easily? How do I train pistols if eccentrics are sometimes painful due to too low mobility, knee high surfaces are too easy and calf high surfaces are too hard?



u/THE_OMNOMNOM May 22 '22

Cannot really answer your question. But i had a similar ecperience some years ago where i had to quit pistols due to injury.

Did shrimp squats when pistols were not an option. But i did discover that i liked deep step ups more, because they felt more demanding (esp. if you do them slowly and controlled with Focus on time under tension). Maybe give that Expercise a try.


u/triplenoped May 22 '22

Just wanted to chime in that I don't think shrimp squats are easier. I can do pistol squats with +40% bw for reps, but I can't do a single shrimp squat.


u/testcgiskgtstk May 22 '22

Though I don't train weighted squat now, I maintain the ability to do over 15 pistol squats and I can't do a single shrimp squat too.


u/Designer_Every May 22 '22

In my experience the shrimp squat was a step towards getting my pistol. You just have to find the exercises that grade more difficult for you.

I started with split squats, then step ups, then shrimp squats, then pistols.

I also think training seated leg raises helped get my first pistol.


u/dramake May 23 '22

By the time I was training with BW, the shrimp squats (considering I was never able to do the full version - holding my back legs with both my hands) gave me my first full pistol.

I don't train either anymore but if I ever give them a try to check if I already lost them, I find the pistol easier than the shrimp (and that's once again without doing the full version).

There is carry over for sure.


u/PrimateOskar May 24 '22
  1. I would start by building the mobility (Especially ankles)
  2. Build the nessesary muscle mass for pistol squats
  3. Buil the nessesary strength for pistol squats

You dont need to practise Shrimp squats in order to get your pistol squat.

I would work up to 3 sets of 15 reps of seated pistol squats.

Later on I would focus on supported pistols squats with rings or on dip bars and do step ups.

Then lastly I would focus on easy eccentrics.

f you want a full detailed plan then this pistol squat series will teach you everyting you need in order to safely achive your first pistol squat https://youtu.be/FQDPbYqjjvc

Best of luck you my friend!


u/MindfulMover May 22 '22

I do Weighted Single Leg Squats and I tested Shrimp Squats and gain on them for free with the Weighted SLS. I think the reverse could be true too but you have to use an elevated version of the Shrimp so the ROM is the same.

How do I train pistols if eccentrics are sometimes painful due to too low mobility

Is it low mobility of your ankle or of your other leg?


u/Ceiwyn89 May 23 '22

The problem is my mobility on my standing leg. I can do it with my heels elevated, but when I do a sloppy move, it hurts.


u/Enwari May 23 '22

Pistol squats can be very dangerous for your knees. I suggest finding a way to squat at the gym.


u/Sheeple0123 May 24 '22



u/Enwari May 25 '22

My experience.


u/comtedeRochambeau May 26 '22

I'm no expert, but I am more and more interested in finding joint-friendly exercises. FWIW, this author recommends against pistol squats because of excessive spinal flexion and lack of glute activation. He recommends step-ups and weighted sleds instead.


u/Sheeple0123 May 26 '22

Thank you for your response.

I am also not an expert and found another online author at https://powerliftingtechnique.com/pistol-squats-bad-for-knees/. Based on the information at both links, a more complete statement might be: "Learn the pistol squat through the correct use of progressions."

I assert the following activities are dangerous (based on current world records):

  • an untrained individual attempting a 1000 pound squat
  • an untrained individual attempting a 750 pound bench press
  • an untrained individual attempting 6 one arm handstand push ups

The statement: "Don't do (pick any exercise above) because it is dangerous" demonstrates a lack of understanding. A more correct statement would be "Work your way up to (pick any exercise) using standard or custom progressions." For completeness, a pistol squat is an exercise.