PowerliftingTechnique.com is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Feeling good and powerful. • Take a wider than shoulder-width stance• Hinge forward at the hips and grab the barbell directly under your shoulders• Bring your hips down so that your shoulders are directly in line with the barbell and the shins are vertical• Initiate the movement by ‘pushing’ the floor with your legs• Keep the barbell on your shins and thighs throughout the entire lift• Lock your hips and knees simultaneously• Return the barbell to the floor and repeat. Unilateral exercises help you become more resistant to injury, improve balance, and increase your overall technique and movement pattern. However, some people simply prefer machine-based exercises, and if that’s you, feel free to use the single-legged leg press as a Cossack squat alternative. Read my article on the Cossack Squat vs Lateral Lunge: Pros, Cons, Differences. It is not only a strong move but it will build strength in your hip, knees and ankle joints. Another Option: Single Leg Ball Squat The single leg ball squat is another phenomenal substitute for the pistol squat or any other single leg squatting movement. In a Cossack squat, you would assume a wider than shoulder-width stance and move your body laterally without moving your feet as you cycle through reps. Stop hating on them. This will enable you to sit downwards so that the left knee travels forwards over the toes, with the chest up high. Coach’s Tip: Every stance width is different, and you can adjust it once you are in the bottom of the squat if need. Coach’s Tip: Think about keeping the weight at or above chest level, as the higher it is the more you will be able to stay upright. Instead, consider it a great drill for flexibility and mobility, awesome to dynamically warm-up with for any lower body activity. Just lift them up and rest them on your shoulders. The Cossack Squat is used as a single-leg exercise to build strength in the glute medius (upper side part of the glute) and quad muscles. Whatever you choose, explore this movement to increase your range of motion, recover from training sessions,’and better protect yourself from often preventable injuries. It's great for strengthening and lengthening the adductors and building the active flexibility needed for the side splits. If you are off-balance during this movement then use the squat cue of ‘clawing the ground with your feet’. Below are two primary training goals and programming recommendations when programming Cossack squat into training sessions. Your chest should remain upright with the hips down. The exercise that I’m referring to is the “Cossack Squat”. Weight lifting chains can be used with the cossack squat to add weight. Squat Key Pointers: Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Learning the Cossack squat is similar and you should see this article as an encouragement, find a Flexible Steel instructor in your area and work together to build a strong foundation for splits. If you suffered an ankle injury, keeping the rear foot caulked on the ball of the foot is an acceptable alternative, thus increasing hip flexor activity through slightly raised rear leg position. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to perform the cossack squat. If moving the leg lateral to the body feels uncomfortable, then the Bulgarian Split squat is an effective Cossack squat alternative as the legs are split forward and back vs side-to-side. In fact, the box should be right next to your calf/shin as you initiate the movement. You want to keep your toe slightly internally rotated as you lift your leg sideways so that you get the maximum contraction with your glute medius. When performing a front squat, the bar is held in the fingertips (or directly on the front of the shoulders) and is supported by the front deltoids. It’s important that when you do the x-band walk that you keep your feet pointed forward as you’re stepping sideways. Keep your weight in your heels, maintain neutral spine, keep your chest open and flex at your hips. The glute medius (upper side part of the glute) and quad muscles are the prime movers in the Cossack squat, which assist in taking your leg laterally to the body and bending your knee into a deep squat position. • Assume the seated position in the leg press machine• Place one leg on the footpad with the other leg on the floor in a passive position• Using one leg, take the leg press machine through a full range of motion• Maintain constant tension on the muscle the entire time by using a controlled tempo• Perform equal reps on both sides, I would use this exercise sparingly as a substitute for the Cossack squat, mostly because there are better alternatives that you can do. • Stand with your feet together• Take one foot and move it out to the side while simultaneous squatting down• Bend into the knees and hips until the thighs are parallel to the floor• The torso can assume a slight forward lean so long as the back remains neutral• Drive into your foot to stand back up and return your feet together• Perform equal reps on your right and left side. The TRX-assisted Cossack squat is a slight variation on the body weight or dumbbell Cossack squat that uses a TRX strap. This will force you to not only bring your knee up, but also to swing your leg laterally, which is similar to a Cossack squat. Note, that these are general guidelines, and by no means should be used as the only way to program Cossack squats. For more advanced variations of the lateral side lunge, you can hold dumbbells in each hand or place a barbell on your back. Takeaway: An effective Cossack squat alternative needs to primarily target the glute medius and quad muscles. The Cossack Squat is practically a forgotten lower body exercise. As you step to the side, you will engage your glute medius, which is a primary muscle group in the Cossack squat. The side-lying dumbbell clamshell is performed lying sideways on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degrees. Cossack Squat Alternatives Side/Lateral lunge. The seated Cossack squat is the most challenging Cossack squat variation, as it demands advanced flexibility and leg strength. The only downside to the side-lying dumbbell clamshell, when used as a Cossack squat alternative, is that there is virtually no quad activation. With an ankle strap attached to your ankle, you will face sideways to the cable machine and lift your leg laterally. I’m Avi Silverberg and this is the place where my friends and I nerd out about powerlifting technique. As well, the Bulgarian split squat fills the criteria of being a unilateral exercise, so you can get the same balance, stability, and motor control that you’d see in the Cossack squat. If you start to rotate your foot outward, then you’ll use more of the front part of your hip vs glutes to bring your leg laterally to the body. The other muscle groups listed are used as stabilizers in order to prevent your torso from twisting, to maintain an upright posture, and to keep your balance. 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