Perhaps this will sound dramatic, but when it comes to a workout routine, in my experience, leg day could legitimately be considered a mild form of torture. And I'm just talking about basic, run-of-the-mill workouts like squats and lunges. Even those moves alone will leave your body shaking with soreness. Jessica Biel's butt workout, on the other hand, takes leg day to a whole other level — one that I didn't even know was possible. TBH, guys, I'm sore just watching her do this workout. But, if you're up for the challenge, Biel's workout can easily be replicated in your own fitness routine.
Over the weekend, the 36-year-old actress posted an Instagram video of herself completing a series of pistol squats. Of course, Biel made this extremely difficult workout look completely effortless; she even did a cute little dance at the end of her set (ugh, I love her). But, seriously, I'm convinced that if I tried to do this exercise myself, I would both face-plant and pull, like, five leg muscles at the same time, so, there's that.
"Hey, Emmy, my butt is coming for you. (Assuming I can walk after these pistol squats)," Biel captioned her post, to which her followers replied with comments like, "I don’t know if my knees can bend like that," and, "ummm this looks impossible." Another follower wrote, "yeahhh I can’t even do one of those...without weights and assisted." #Relatable.
While Biel said in her Instagram post that she's doing the workout to prepare for the Emmys on Sept. 17, the exercise is definitely accessible to those of us who don't have a fancy awards show to go to, who maybe just, you know, don't want to feel winded anymore by the time they get to their fourth-floor walkup apartment.
According to Jenna Epperly, a personal trainer at Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, there are so many benefits to doing pistol squats, despite their intimidating appearance. "Pistol squats are a great, bodyweight, unilateral movement that challenge and strengthen ankle, knee, and hip mobility," Epperly tells Elite Daily over email. "They help with muscular activation and stability since you’re relying on a small base of support (i.e. one foot), while strengthening the quads and glutes."
If you're admittedly pretty intrigued by both the booty-building benefits of this workout and Biel's jaw-dropping performance, you, too, can pistol-squat to your heart's content. However, Epperly recommends that beginners modify the advanced move to ease into it and avoid injuries, which makes total sense.
"A great way to modify if you’re a beginner is to perform single-leg squats with the help of a TRX (suspension trainer), or perform pistol squats with a bench beneath you to sit on at the lowering phase," Epperly suggests.
With the TRX, your arms will be able to assist you on the way down to your pistol squat, taking some of the pressure off of your knee joints. The bench, on the other hand, will catch you if you lose control on your journey to master the pistol squat, and it'll provide you with a buffer to help you get used to this tricky move.
Yes, you might not look quite as graceful as Biel on your first few tries with the pistol squat, but life is about taking risks, people! Fire away, and, well, just try not to think about the inevitable soreness that awaits.