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Jessica Biel's Pistol Squats Will Kick Your Booty

by 
author image Cathleen Krueger
Hoku Krueger is a freelance writer who specializes in mental health, wellness and pop culture.
Jessica Biel's Pistol Squats Will Kick Your Booty
Jessica Biel’s pre-Emmy pistol squats look insanely challenging, so what exactly are they? Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/GettyImages

Jessica Biel is whipping her booty into shape for the 2018 Emmy Awards with some weighted pistol squats, and we can feel the burn from here.

Video of the Day

“The Sinner” star shared a video of herself doing the formidable squat variation via Instagram, writing: “Hey, Emmy, my butt is coming for you. (Assuming I can walk after these pistol squats.)”

Biel can be seen holding what looks like two 15-pound weights in either arm while performing a series of pistol squats — basically one-legged squats that require you to extend the other leg in front of you without letting it touch the floor. Standing on a box, as Biel does in the video, makes the pistol squat look 10 times more badass.

It’s no surprise that the 36-year-old actor has added pistol squats to her routine — they target all of your lower-body muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and, of course, the booty. Pistol squats also activate your core muscles and the muscles on the inside and outside of your legs (the adductors and abductors), because they require a lot of balance.

One major benefit of pistol squats is that they help to correct any imbalances you might have. For example, if your left leg is weaker than your right leg, your right leg may do a lot of compensating during a regular squat. Targeting one leg at a time ensures that both legs are getting a good workout.

If you want legs like Biel’s but aren’t ready to tackle her brand of pistol squats (yet), one slight variation can make this move a little easier: Simply hold lighter dumbbells while extending your arms out in front of you. This provides a counterbalance to help stabilize your squat.

For Biel, pistol squats are just a small part of her obsession with single-leg moves. Her longtime trainer, Jason Walsh, told Popsugar earlier this year that the two will do “any and every type of single-leg exercise you can think of,” including single-leg deadlifts and single-leg hip thrusts. They’ll also do “lots of band work to strengthen the muscles around the hips.”

Biel has also gushed about her love of yoga, which helps her to focus on self-care and her body’s needs. “I like that yoga is just me with myself, my practice. And wherever my practice is in that moment on that day, then that’s where it is,” she told Shape. “No one’s yelling at me to push harder and go tougher, it’s all about me. And sometimes if I want to sit still and lie in Savasana for 20 minutes, then that’s my practice for the day.”

As for her diet? Biel tends to stay gluten- and dairy-free, noshing on foods like Paleo pancakes, veggie burgers, salmon and veggies. But, just like the rest of us, she craves junk food and will break from any restrictions when indulging in her favorite cheat-day meal.

As the executive producer and star of “The Sinner,” Biel is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie alongside Laura Dern, Michelle Dockery, Edie Falco, Regina King and Sarah Paulson. Last year, Nicole Kidman took the crown for her performance in HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”

Catch this year’s ceremony to find out who wins — and peep Biel’s gorgeous legs — September 17 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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