Exercise Upgrade: Bulgarian Split Squats 2.0

December 25, 2015

Exercise Upgrade: Bulgarian Split Squats 2.0


  • This exercise will help you squat more weight for more reps.
  • Single-leg exercises allow you to get levels of joint torque and muscle activation that are similar to what you can get with double-leg exercise, but with less spinal loading.

The Bulgarian split squat can be used as a supplemental leg exercise to help balance weakness in one leg or hip, build better glute strength and hip stability, or as an exercise for hypertrophy at higher reps. However, if you're looking to step up your game or just increase your squat and strength in your lower body, the dumbbell deficit Bulgarian split squat is for you.

Step 1: Create a 2-4 inch deficit using boards, mats, or aerobics steps. This is for your front foot.

Step 2: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Standing on top of the platform, reach back and place the top of the foot on the top of the bench. The majority of the weight should be kept over the front foot (around 80%), with the additional weight on the rear foot (around 20%).

Step 3: While keeping the torso mostly upright, descend under control until your knee lightly touches the ground.

Step 4: Drive through the heel of the front foot back to the starting position. Keep a neutral head, pelvis, and spine throughout the range of motion.

Tip: Don't allow the knee to drift too far in front of the toes or shift from side to side. If you're prone to knee aches and pains, sit back more and maintain a vertical shin throughout the movement.

Original Article: Tip: Make the Bulgarian Split Squat Even Tougher, T-nation.com, 12/7/15

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