Hi Friends of Oompf, it’s Alvan here. Today we will be talking about Bulgarian Split Squats, why you should do them and how to perform them.
The Bulgarian split squat is a version of a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on a bench. This is an advanced exercise that requires good balance and coordination that will not only strengthen your quads, glutes but also your core and stability. If you have been doing barbell squats, weighted lunges or reverse lunges and would like to take your lower body day to a next level, you can implement this into your next workout routine.
Why do the Bulgarian Split Squat?
Doing the Bulgarian Split Squat or, any unilateral exercise for that matter, helps to target just one side of the body which helps you to spot and correct any imbalances. You may not be able to spot an imbalance with the naked eye and you probably will not feel that you have an imbalance until you do a unilateral movement. However these imbalances may be affecting you more than you know. You may subconsciously be using a dominant side of your body to do bending and lifting movements which overtime lead to pain and poor posture.
This movement is also a great way to train your lower body without putting any pressure on your back. If you have any injury or are recovering from your back session, bulgarian split squats are a must!
Cues to perform a bulgarian split squat:
1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a bench.
2. Raise one foot behind you and place it on the bench, (toes should be facing down, sole facing up)
3. You may find that you need to readjust the front foot to get into a comfortable starting position. Go ahead and do so however make sure that both feet still remain at hip width distance.
4. Once you’ve found your starting position, engage your core, pull the shoulders back and slowly bend the front leg till your thigh is about parallel to the ground.
5. Exhale as you push from the front foot and rise to your starting position.
6. Repeat until you have completed your number of reps and immediately complete the other side.
Remember that the first few times you do this, you may find it a struggle to balance. That is normal. Try distributing the weight evenly throughout your front foot. You should feel more stable by your 2nd / 3rd set. You also want to perform slow and controlled movements, avoiding using any momentum to finish your reps.
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