Why Lumber Jack squats are good:
1. If you have a back injury they load the spine less (I know of someone with a herniated disk in the lower spine who cannot dream of loading anything on their shoulders, but can lumberjack squat with no problems).
2. Many practical everyday scenario lifts are front loading:
Bump starting a car
If you use your imagination I’m sure you can think of many more things that our hunter gatherer ancestors would have used similar movements like this for.
Find a suitable log then repeat the following phases:
1. Stand in a strong lunge position heel straddling the log.
2. Taking a hand over hand grip (think holding an axe helve) lift, initiating from the lower limbs rotating the leg into the centre of your chest.
3. Maintaining a firm base adjust your heel to give space for your squat.
4. Keeping good posture squat deeply drifting your hips back, as you rise back up squeeze sharply on the glute (large muscles in the bottom) to snap the hips forward to assist with punching the arms out to full.
If logs are not abundant, but gyms are, try this version:
1. Take a barbell (preferably Olympic spec).
2. Load one end and place the other in a corner.
Technique is the same as with the log.
The volume and intensity of these squats depends on the weight of the object and your strength.
Protocols I like are:
Heavy – 5 x 5, 30 – 60 seconds rest.
Moderate – 4 x 8 or 3 x 10, 30 -60 seconds rest.