How To Do A Bulgarian Split Squat

Need to know how to do a Bulgarian split squat? Bulgarian split squats are not for the faint of heart. This exercise isolates one leg at a time and works every muscle, all while testing your balance. Bulgarian split squats take some getting used to, so go lighter on the weight at first. You can always add weight or go slower to make the squat harder.

  1. Take a weighted barbell and place it across your upper back and shoulders. Do not place the barbell on your neck. Stand to the side of a weight bench, facing away from the bench. Make sure you have enough room between you and the bench to perform a lunge. Place your weight on your right foot.
  2. Place your left foot on top of the bench behind you, with the top of your foot resting shoelaces down on the bench. Keep your weight balanced on your right foot and slowly lower your body down until your left knee is several inches off the ground. There should be no weight on your left leg. Do not allow your right knee to extend past your right ankle. Your upper body should remain straight.
  3. Pressing through the right leg, push back up into a standing position. Be careful not to lock your right knee. The slower you go, the more your leg will work. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
  4. To make Bulgarian split squats harder, hold the barbell in front, across your upper chest. To make Bulgarian split squats easier, use a pair of dumbbells held down at your sides. Standing closer to the bench will give you a shorter range of motion in the Bulgarian split squat and will put more workload on the quadriceps.

Bulgarian split squats work the entire leg as well as the gluteus muscles. Don't plan on doing a lot of (pain free) walking the next day.

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