Progressing with sissy squats: a training regime example

training regimeThough every person’s training is unique, and a good instructor would adapt your regime to your personal needs, you always need a structured plan to monitor and encourage progression. To give you an idea of how you should take sissy squats from basic curiosity to perfect mastery, here’s an example plan of action that you could stick to. Please note this plan is for demonstrative purposes, and your personal training timeline should be adapted to your personal abilities and ambitions.

Perform Sissy Squats Daily

This must be maintained throughout the regime. Consistency is the key to improvement, and even if you adjust the other details of the plan, it is important to perform the exercise regularly, without fail.

Week 1

Perform 10 single rep sets each day, holding the squat for 10 to 15 seconds at the first point that you start to feel discomfort.

Week 2

Perform 5 sets of 3 reps, each day. Hold each rep for 10 to 15 seconds at the point of discomfort. Hopefully by now the first point of discomfort should be slightly further than in week 1.

Week 3

Perform 5 sets of 5 reps, each day. Hold each rep for 10 to 15 seconds at the first point of discomfort. By the end of this week, aim to increase the range of motion enough to move your knees to a wall.

Week 4

Start to adjust your starting distance.
Perform 6 sets of 5 reps, every day. Hold each rep at the wall for about 5 seconds. On the first set, start with the block so close to the wall that your toes are almost touching it. On the second set, move the block back 2mm, and move it back a further 2mm for each additional set. If at any point the block seems too far away for you to comfortably touch the wall with your knees without pain, move the block 2mm towards the wall. Perform the remaining sets at that distance.

Keep developing the plan in the weeks to come in this fashion, increasing the distance from the wall. When you are fully comfortable doing the sissy squat from distance, attempt single leg sissy squats, starting very close to the wall. Never extend your range of motion if the exercise hurts (more than just discomfort) during the exercise.


Sticking to this plan, you should expect some discomfort in the knees each day after the exercise. The pain will reduce over the weeks as you improve. The act of performing the exercise should actually switch off any discomfort you were feeling as the exercise starts to activate the right balance of the quadriceps and improve the patella tracking. Persistent pain during the exercise, however, means you are either overdoing it or not giving the muscles enough time to find the right balance.

To see results, this takes time and dedication. With a proper plan like this, you have goals to aim for, and those results will come.

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