Are you actually having fun when you work out? Sure, you’ll feel good after you finish a session—especially once you start to see the results of your hard work—but you shouldn’t just slog through the same vanilla movements day-in and day-out with little reward in the moment.
Take on some multi-planar movements to break from your boring routine with this challenging leg day finisher from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. The rotational cossack to lunge finisher gets you squatting and lunging in ways that you might typically miss out on, so it’s well worth your time to close out your workout.
“This is all about managing rotational energy and sagittal plane energy (as well as directional energy) and quickly converting from one to the other,” Samuel says. “You have to create rotational energy coming out of each Cossack squat, but then, can you quickly control that energy, decelerate your body, and shift backwards into the pure sagittal plane reverse lunge? And coming out of that lunge, can you quickly reroute yourself and restart towards rotational energy?”
Your ability to perform the move is all about the lower body. “Management of that comes from more than your legs, even though glutes, hamstrings, and abductors and adductors get a ton of work in this series,” Samuel continues. “Your core and even your torso up through your shoulder blades helps you create and diffuse all this change-of-direction energy, making this a total body workout.”
To take on the rotational cossack to lunge finisher, you’ll need a set of kettlebells and some room to maneuver. Check out this set of weights if you want to try it out at home. Samuel does suggest that you keep the load low, at least to start. Start light, or even with bodyweight, then progress.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Start holding a pair of kettlebells in the rack position, gripping the handles with the weight rested on your forearms.
- Pivot on your foot to step back and perform a rotational cossack squat directly behind you, then return to the starting position.
- Immediately follow by stepping backwards into a reverse lunge. Return to the starting position.
- Repeat the two movements for 5 to 6 pairs of reps.
- Switch to the other leg and repeat the series.
Ultimately, your goal is to move with pace. “You’ll need to start slowly, mastering each motion, but, eventually, you want to try to transition quickly from move to move, challenging your core to maintain consistent tension and control against a bevy of directional forces,” says Samuel. “This seems simple, but there’s a lot more challenge than you think.”
Take on the rotational cossack to lunge finisher for 3 sets on each leg to close out a lower body session.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program on our All/Out Studio app.
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