Split squats are one of the most challenging squat variations. When performed correctly, this unilateral-oriented exercise will help you build strength in your quads and glutes, improve your balance, and coordination. If you’re not familiar with them yet, let us introduce you to the Bulgarian split squat. A variation of the standard split squat that requires more stabilization from your legs, abdomen, and back. The Bulgarian Split Squat can be your best friend when it comes to building muscle, but this split squat variation will definitely feel like an enemy while doing them. They’re truly the definition of frienemy.  

A challenging but rewarding movement. The Bulgarian split squat puts your body into an unstable single-leg position that focuses the majority of the load on the front leg with stability from the elevated leg. To perform it correctly, focus on these cues:

  1. Keep your feet in line with your hip width to achieve better balance and control.
  2. Focus the load onto your forward leg and through the quad and glute. Avoid placing too much load through the toes.
  3. Place your rear foot with laces down in a more passive neutral position.
  4. Descend until the crease of your forward hip is the same height as your knee (approx. 90 degrees)
  5. Start with bodyweight until it burns, then do a few more reps!

So is the Bulgarian Split Squat better to do than a back squat or hip bridge? For some people, it might be a more beneficial alternative depending on biomechanics, technique, and joint mobility. But for most people, the Bulgarian Split Squat is another great exercise to add to your lower-body workout along with back squats and bridges. They all require movement at the ankle and knee, with dominance given to the hip joint. Try them in your next workout! 


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