Bulgarian Split-Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is an excellent single-leg strengthening exercise, which is slightly more challenging than a lunge.


Benefits

This exercise will help strengthen the quadriceps, hamstring, gluteal, and core muscles and will also help to improve balance.


Population

This exercise is challenging for many individuals, as it requires great flexibility through the hip-flexor muscles in order to keep a neutral spine (not arched or curved) throughout movement.  Before attempting the Bulgarian Split-Squat, you should ensure that you are able to safely perform a static lunge, while maintaining a neutral spine.


Technique

Place one foot well out in front of the other in a slightly staggered position. Have your rear foot placed firmly on top of a bench or box, no higher than 18 inches.  Set your core muscles and maintain an erect torso.  As you descend into deep squat, focus on keeping your front heel firmly on the floor.

You may feel a stretch in your rear leg’s hip flexor region as you descend.  Make sure the knee of your front leg stays in line with the midline of your foot and ensure the knee does not pass the end of your toes.

Complete 5-15 repetitions on each leg

Progression:  Add hand weights or place back leg on a physio ball or bosu ball

Bulgarian Split-Squat










Tips

Ensure to keep a neutral spine with all core-related exercises.  Everyone has a slightly different ‘neutral spine’ position; generally this is halfway between completely flattening your back and arching your low back as far as you can.  The important thing is finding your neutral spine in the starting position of an exercise and maintaining it throughout the entire movement.