The Bulgarian Split Squat, also known as the “rear-foot elevated split squat”, is a great exercise to help build single-leg strength. This exercise specifically targets the glutes, hamstrings and quads as well as working the core muscles to maintain balance.
- Place one foot on a step or a bench which is around knee height
- Step the other foot forwards about half a metre into a lunge position
- The torso should be upright, back straight (engage the core to do this)
- Keeping your torso upright, lower straight down until the front knee is bent to around 90°
- Drive through the front heel to return to the starting position, squeezing the glutes throughout
- Breathe in on the way down and out on the drive up
- 4 sets of 6/8 on each side
Key technique points:
- Imagine having a sheet of glass either side of your torso to prevent any forward lean
- Keep the front knee behind the toe line, the shin should be vertical
- Squeeze the core and glutes throughout to help maintain balance
When you are able to easily complete each variation then move onto the next, however, if you are unable to control the movement then take a step back.
- Add a dumbbell to each hand and hold them down by your side
- Use a kettlebell to front load the movement
- Use a barbell on the shoulders (go lighter than you would for a normal lunge)
It is always better to be able to perform an exercise with correct execution at an easier level than poor form at a harder level. Poor technique creates an injury risk – particularly in the lower back for core exercises.
- Start with a lower box/step to get used to the movement
- Take out the rear foot elevation and perform a normal split squat
- Use a TRX either for a normal split squat or a Bulgarian version to aid with balance