Squats are one of the best exercises to improve your overall fitness level, but they don’t always have to be performed in a traditional standing position. A cossack squat is an advanced variation of the standard squat exercise that requires you to hold onto something for support while keeping your legs as straight as possible.
However, there’s more than one way to perform them! If you’ve done regular squats before but want to try something different, this will be right up your alley!
What is Cossack Squat?
A cossack squat is a squatting exercise similar to lunges and split squats. Instead of simply going down until your hands touch the ground, you hold on to some weight (like a dumbbell) in front of your body while going down. The result is a deep squat that engages both legs and glutes.
How to Do Cossack Squats Correctly
- Keep your chest and shoulders back, so it’s below eye level when you look at the floor.
- If you have trouble keeping them there, place a rolled-up towel under each heel to create a small platform for support. This will help keep pressure off the knee joint and reduce compression on the cartilage inside.
- Place weight on heels rather than toes or soles of feet (which can lead to overpronation).
- Keep belly tight and don’t let hips sink too low; this is where many people start rounding their lower backs because they think it will make their butt appear higher in the air — but actually, all it does is increase stress on lower back muscles. Unnecessarily! Instead, focus more on keeping the belly tucked in a while and not letting hips go below parallel depth (where they sit directly beneath knees). Also, don’t overcompensate by arching back excessively either—that’s no good either!
Cossack Squat Variations
Several variations to the Cossack Squat include using a medicine ball or kettlebell. The sandbag and dumbbell versions of this exercise challenge your core muscles more than others because you must stabilize your body against these weights as you squat.
Another variation is holding a barbell behind you instead of something in front of you. This will help strengthen all areas around the lower back and hamstrings and build stability in those areas.
Cossack Squat Benefits
Cossack squats are a great exercise to improve flexibility, range of motion, and performance. They’ll also help correct imbalances and strengthen the hips, knees, ankles, quads, and hamstrings.
It Gets You Out of the Sagittal Plane
It is a unilateral exercise, meaning you only use one leg at a time. This forces your body to work against gravity, causing additional stress on the muscles involved in the movement.
The cossack squat forces your body to work against gravity and strengthen different muscle groups than more traditional exercises like squats or lunges. The sagittal plane divides the body into left and right halves; when you perform a regular squat, both legs move together and keep you balanced. In contrast, during a cossack squat, each leg acts independently for stability and helps prevent injury by distributing weight evenly throughout both legs instead of putting all of it on just one side of your body, as some other leg exercises may do!
Improves Range of Motion
it is a great way to improve your range of motion, which can help you avoid injury and improve your performance. Improving flexibility is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury while performing an exercise that requires a wide range of motion, like a squat.
The cossack squat builds strength by increasing core stability and stretching tight muscles from chronic sitting or desk work. This will allow for greater flexibility in all areas where tightness is commonly found, including hips, hamstrings, quads, glutes (buttocks), lower back, and shoulders.
Cossack squats will help improve your performance in any sport, especially sports that require a lot of jumping and sprinting. The squat strengthens the lower body muscles and makes them more explosive, and it also improves coordination and balance, which can help with agility and flexibility.
Athletes should do cossack squats as part of their warm-up routine before each practice or game to increase muscle endurance, power, speed, and agility for improved field performance or court performance.
It is one of the best exercises for correcting imbalances. You can do it with a barbell or dumbbells or just body weight. It is a slightly advanced exercise and not for beginners, but if you want to strengthen your core, improve balance and stability and get those thighs in shape, this will be your go-to exercise.
Tips to Avoid Mistakes Doing a Cossack Squat
Keep arms straight and extended at shoulder height with palms facing forward and parallel to the floor (or higher). They should be directly over their hips with elbows slightly bent if necessary to keep shoulders back and create a nice straight line from head to toe when viewed from a side profile view; that is, keeping the neck long so it doesn’t hunch forward as if looking down at hands instead of looking straight ahead like Superman flying through space would do!
This may require practice until it feels comfortable without straining back muscles too much. Don’t worry about this happening for now because we’ll talk more about how much weight should go into each leg later on when discussing balance techniques during workouts.
The Last Word on the Cossack Squat
Cossack squats are one of the best exercises for improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion. It also helps you to improve your performance by working on imbalances in your body. In short, it can help prevent injuries from happening in the future.