Exercise of the week: Bulgarian Split Squat

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.

Starting position:

- 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)

Movement:

- 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

 

Sets/reps:

- 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

 

Progressions:

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)

 Progression: Bulgarian Split squat with Kettlebell

Progression: Bulgarian Split squat with Kettlebell

 

Regressions:

 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

 Regression: Normal Split Squat

Regression: Normal Split Squat