In this video, Team Gaspari athlete Jessie Keller gives us a quick how-to summary on performing the Bulgarian split squat.
The split squat is an excellent exercise for anyone looking to build their glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors.
It’s also a useful exercise for those looking for an alternative to the barbell back squat that might put their torso in a more favorable position for squatting – while also building unilateral strength and balance.
Lastly, this versatile exercise can be performed with a few foot positions and implements to help you target different muscles of the leg.
Breaking Down the Bulgarian Split Squat
The split squat is often confused with the lunge, however, the lunge utilizes both legs while the split squat uses only one leg to generate force.
To perform the Bulgarian split squat, you’ll need something to elevate your rear foot on. You can keep your toes up or point them facing down depending on whichever is more comfortable for you.
Keep the toes of your front leg facing forward and keep a neutral spine during the movement.
The further out you place your front foot, the more the exercise will emphasize your glutes. The closer you have your front foot to the box, the more you’ll place tension on your quads.
You can perform the exercise with bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and other pieces of equipment. For this demonstration, Jessie uses a Smith machine.
Once you’re in position, unrack the weight, squat down as deep as you can go, hold for a brief second, and push the weight back up. You’ll perform this sequence for however many reps your particular workout program prescribes.