Cossack Squats are a new favorite of mine. I used to only do them as a part of my dynamic warm-ups; bodyweight only, essentially using them just to get ready for heavy cleans, squats, lunges etc.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started using them as assistance work in place of other similar(ish) single leg movements (lunges, splits squats, pistols and step-ups). First time I did 3 sets of 12 reps to failure I was sooooooooooore, and figured my legs were digging the new stimulus and I now love having them as a staple in my programming.
In this episode, I discuss how to find the best foot position, how deep to lunge as well as different ways to load the movement.
The principles of technique are similar to all squats. Chest up, knee out/over toe, flat back / neutral spine, press through heel or mid foot. Only go as low as you can while maintaining all the points of performance.
Like all non-bilateral squatting, it’s a little easier on your back since the total spinal loading is much less that it would be if you were doing back squat to failure for the same sets and reps wit the loading on each individual leg being similar.
Do them as assistance work or in a metcon. 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps per leg once or twice per week (depending on how the rest of your programming is structured) is a great addition to your program if you need some more volume for your legs and you want to try something new.