The Cossack Squat is an extremely challenging movement that tests both your hip mobility, flexibility, balance, and leg strength. Your glutes and inner thighs will be tested to the limit as well as activating your quads and hamstrings.
Although similar to the Side Lunge, the Cossack Squat requires your legs to start at a wider stance, and the toes of your non-bending leg will be raised up off the floor.
How to do a Cossack Squat
Start with as wide a foot stance as feels comfortable. Point your toes outward at 45-degree angles.
To maintain balance, extend your arms out in front of you or in a ‘prayer’ like clasp at your chest. Shift your weight to your right leg and squat down as low as feels comfortable. Your left leg will remain extended out to the side with your toes pointing up to the ceiling and your heel planted firmly on the floor.
After squatting on your right as far as you can go, push through your right heel and raise yourself back up again to end to a standing position with your original wide leg stance.
Now repeat the same movement for your left leg.
Cossack Squat Variations
Most beginners find this to be a very difficult exercise, but try to keep your chest and head upright (instead of leaning forward) as you perform this movement. You may also place your hands down on the ground in front of you until your leg strength and flexibility can perform the movement unassisted.