Module 5: Pistol

Lead Instructors:  Yoana TeranJohn Spezzano
 Access:  Public   Status:  Active   Lesson:  Part of Course

One martial arts legend has described the pistol as “a severe exercise used to promote great strength and flexibility in the leg and hip muscles.”

It is all that and much more. Weight trained athletes who have gone to the trouble of becoming skilled at the pistol report that they feel much more powerful, agile, and athletic in the game field or the ring than when they barbell squatted more twice their bodyweight—without the debilitating soreness and chafing thighs that accompany barbell squats.

Lesson Specs


  1. Watch the Lesson
  2. Take notes on key aspects
  3. Bookmark key points in the Lesson
  4. Ask questions on the Forum
  5. Use Lesson resources to supplement your knowledge

Lesson Chapters

  1. Introduction to the Pistol
  2. Technique
  3. Pistol Mobility and Flexibility
  4. Conclusion to the Pistol

Lead Instructors

Yoana Teran

StrongFirst Certified Senior Instructor

Yoana (StrongFirst Certified Senior Instructor, Elite, SFG II, SFL, SFB, Primal Move Coach, & Physical Therapist), a native Venezuelan, has inspired, trained, designed programs, given nutritional consulting and rehabilitated hundreds of people for more than 15 years. Her passion for helping people is evident in her up tempo, dynamic, fun and Latin teaching style. She received a Physical Therapy Degree from the University of Caracas in Venezuela. Her career involves years of radio and television production, organization of sporting events, and Seminars.


John Spezzano

StrongFirst Certified Senior Instructor

John Spezzano has been a student of martial arts for the last 35 years and a student of strength for over a decade. Covering as many combat bases as possible, John has instructor certificates in Filipino Martial Arts, Pencak Silat and Jeet Kune Do from Guro Dan Inosanto, Muay Thai from Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Wing Chun from Sifu Francis Fong, a Silver Glove in Boxe Francaise Savate from Professor Nicolas Saignac, and a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Professor Shawn Williams.


Other Lessons in This Course

Module 1: Intro, Expectations, and Safety

Most people skip the foreword to a book or the introduction to a video because it is full of obvious nonsense. Not at StrongFirst. If we say it, it needs to be said—and it will help you get stronger and stay in the game longer. Skip at your peril.

Module 2: Joint Mobility, Warm-Up, and Breathing

We called it a “warm-up” just because you are used to the term. It is much more than that. Our goal is to “make your joints bend easier” to take the brakes off your strength.

Module 3: One-Arm Pushup

Hitting the deck and casually knocking off perfectly strict one-arm pushups—not the twisted ugly reps that pass for OAPs in most circles—never fails to impress. A total zero-to-hero progression to this classic feat is right here, at your fingertips.

Module 4: Tactical Pullup

The tactical pullup is your ticket to lats that could be mistaken for folded wings of a pterodactyl—and raw strength for sports and hard living.

Module 5: Pistol

One martial arts legend has described the pistol as “a severe exercise used to promote great strength and flexibility in the leg and hip muscles.”


Module 6: Hanging Leg Raise

Our hanging leg raise is insanely strict and challenging. Get proficient with it and you will get your bullet-proof abs—that goes without saying. An unexpected bonus: it is a fantastic lat builder.

Module 7: Program Design

“One mind, any weapon,” the motto of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, could have been StrongFirst’s. So it is no surprise that our bodyweight programming is based on the unbeatable Soviet Olympic weightlifting programming.