Side Lunge; Cossack, Siamese, Air, and Goblet Squats – the subtle differences

If you have been doing our Functional Fitness workouts for a while, you might notice that there are a few exercises that are quite similar.  I wanted to take a moment and go over the exercises to give you some pointers to remember to ensure you are doing the correct form for each exercise.

Here is a list of a few of our squats with the video links:

Air Squats 
Cossack Squat
Siamese Squats 
Side Lunge
KB Goblet Squat
Of those listed, there are 2 of them that never use any weights. The Air Squat is called “Air Squat” because you are holding nothing in your hands other than air (versus a barbell, kettlebell, etc). The Air Squat is the foundation for all of our squats and wrote about proper form here. The Siamese Squat differs in that you begin with a perfect form Air Squat, but before standing back up, lean to your left side (or right) and then back across to the other side before returning to the middle and standing up.
Cossack Squats and Side Lunges can be with – or without – any weight. They are also very close to each other and differ only slightly.  A Side Lunge is exactly what it sounds like. Step to one side and lower yourself down. You can either push yourself back up to the starting position or keep moving sideways (sometimes we tell you to Side Lunge for a distance). A Cossack Squat is extremely similar, however, you are not lunging to the side, but more like sticking your butt back at a 45 degree angle (think halfway between a Side Lunge and an Air Squat).
To add weight to a Side Lunge, hold a dumbbell in each hand and lower them (without rounding your back) with your lunge. A Cossack Squat will have you holding one weight such as a Kettlebell or Dumbbell up at your chest when you squat.
That brings us back to the Goblet Squat. As with the Cossack Squat, keep the weight at your chest, but do not squat on an angle. Think of this as an Air Squat with a weight in your hands. Just remember, the farther the weight is out in front of you, the more you use your back, especially your lower back. This can be dangerous if you have too heavy of a weight and a weak lower back. In that case, use the appropriate weight and keep it up to your chest.
Clear as mud?  Thought so. Just remember, you may see or hear of other variations, but when you see these exercises on Kemme Fitness workouts, you now know what I am asking.
And yes…any of the above named squats are painful and will kick your butt.

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