Make more out of your leg day without having to rep and rest through multiple sets of different exercises. Try this all-in-one rotational Cossack lunge and squat routine from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. instead.
“This is total one-stop leg training shopping, but it’s more that, too,” says Samuel. “The motions by themselves hit your legs in pretty standard ways. You’ve got the bilateral pattern of the squat, the unilateral feel of the lunge, and all that rotational goodness with the Cossack.”
You might not be impressed with the description of the movement thus far. Your workout really gets interesting when you zero-in on two particular areas: your core and glutes.
“First off, core and glutes must work together to drive out of the rotational Cossack, then diffuse all that rotational energy so you can control the squat (and not over- or under-rotate) and regain your balance in the sagittal plane,” says Samuel. “It’s an exercise in controlled athleticism. Core and glutes also get a more unique stabilizing task throughout: You’re moving backwards, then forwards, then backwards, then forwards, and your abs are tasked with maintaining rigidity against the constant shifts in momentum.”
To take on the rotational Cossack lunge and squat series, you’ll need a set of kettlebells to provide a load.
- Hold the kettlebells in a double front racked position.
- Pivot on one foot to rotate into a cossack squat.
- Once you return to the squared stance position, immediately perform a standard squat.
- Step back with the same leg you performed the cossack squat with for a rear lunge.
- Step back forward and perform another standard squat.
You’ll be constantly moving throughout the series, but what tires you out first might surprise you. “This will fatigue you faster than you think, possibly wiping out your core before your legs,” admits Samuel.
Add the rotational Cossack lunge and squat series to your leg workout or use it as a standalone session with 3 sets of 4 to 5 reps per side. Take particular care to focus on being in control of the squat phase of every rep.
By Brett Williams And Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.