The Bulgarian split squat, also known as the split squat, is an exercise that targets your quads, glutes, spinal erectors, abdominals, hamstrings, and calves.
To do this exercise, you will need a bench or sturdy chair to elevate one leg behind you.
The Bulgarian split squat is a variation of the single-leg squat that places greater focus on your front leg. This exercise emphasizes your calves and hamstrings more than regular squats and lunges, which helps to build balance in your lower body muscles.
Why Bulgarian Split Squat?
The Bulgarian split squat is an excellent exercise for your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. It strengthens your core muscles, improving your overall body posture and balance.
Traditional squats put a load on your lower back – potentially causing injury – but the Bulgarian split squat removes the lower back movement, placing all the pressure on the legs. It is the best exercise for jumping, running, stretching, and athletes.
How to do Bulgarian Split Squat?
- Place a sturdy bench or chair on the backside of you. Look forward, opposite the side of the placed bench.
- Now raise your right foot back and place it on the bench, stand shoulder-width apart.
- Your back leg is for your support so plant the back foot as you can easily do lunges to target the front leg. ( Tip: Make sure your back foot toes are aligned with the back or bent knee).
- Inhale and drop down your lower body slowly by bending your front knee until your right thigh is roughly parallel to the ground.
- Exhale and come back to the starting position by pushing through your front foot.
- Repeat until your front leg reps are complete.
- Step your right foot off the bench after completing a full set and switch the left leg.
I. Bulgarian Split Squat with Barbell
Take the same position of placing one foot behind you. The additional thing is to load a barbell on your traps and shoulders with the grip of both hands. The additional weight puts more pressure on your leg that results more muscle development.
II. Bulgarian Split Squat with Dumbbell/Kettlebell
Grabs a dumbbell or kettlebell on each hand and do a Bulgarian Split squat. Relex your hands at shoulder line to the floor.
III. Bulgarian Split Squat with Medicine Ball
Do Bulgarian Split Squat by putting the medicine ball behind you instead of Bench or chair. It is not an advance option but for doing medicine ball you require more balance to do.
IV. Bulgarian Split Squat with Smith Machine
Place a bar at shoulder height, and grip it overhead wider than shoulder width. Take a position and unhook the bar, now lower your body to squat with one leg.
Bulgarian Split Squat with Smith machine is easier than other variations and it checks the strength of your lower body.
V. Bulgarian Split Squat with Resistance Band
Make the same position of the original Bulgarian split squat by placing one handle of resistance band underneath your front foot and one on hand by the bent elbow and holding the handle up at your shoulder- level. Squat down in a controlled way with the band handles.
Bulgarian Split Squat Vs Single Leg-Squat
Both Bulgarian splits squat and single-leg squat is the best and most effective exercise that targets your legs and core muscles.
In a single-leg squat, you are targeting both legs that come out in front of you. In a Bulgarian split squat, you are focusing on one leg by putting another on the bench.
A Bulgarian split squat also allows you to reach greater depth than a single-leg squat, requiring flexibility in your hips.