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How-To: Conquer Bulgarian Split Squats

Kick Leg Day up a Notch!

The Bulgarian Squat Split is often cited as the key to fit, muscular legs, and with good reason! This simple exercise works not only the thighs, but also the quads, glutes, hamstrings, shins, calves, and over 35 small core muscles that help keep the body stabilized.

How to do Bulgarian Split Squats

Remember, it’s best to practice form first! Once you’ve mastered the movement, you can add weights. Our how-to uses kettlebells, but you can swap out with dumbbells.

Set up:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Rest one foot on the bench behind you. 
  • Step the other foot out 3 steps in front. 
  • Breathe.

Squat:

  • Squat with your standing leg. 
  • Lower with control, let your bent knee almost touch the ground. 
  • Raise with control. 
  • Breathe.

Keep your chest up, your spine straight, and your weight on your front foot. Now, repeat!

Bulgarian Split Squat Mistakes to Avoid

Keep your spine straight and neutral—don’t lean forward or round your back. You should definitely feel the burn in your thighs and core, but not your knees or back. If this happens, stop the exercise and reevaluate your stance.

Feel your toes, but don’t rise up on them. Keep your weight in your front heel. The back foot is used solely for balance in this exercise. It should not be used to support weight or drive movement. 

Keep everything forward-facing. If your front knee skews to the left or right, halt the exercise. This may indicate that more prep training is needed before tackling this exercise. 

Monitor your stance. The back foot should be straight back from your shoulders and hips—NOT the front foot. If the back foot is in-line with the front foot, balance is trickier. Work out smarter, not harder!

Have Fun!

The Bulgarian Split Squat is a great exercise for those looking to maximize leg day. This exercise is designed to work both sides of the body and minimize injury or imbalances. Remember your stance and remember to breathe. Happy Leg Day!

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