Do you wish to have strong legs? Bulgarian split squats must top your exercise schedule so that you can have those toned legs. A Bulgarian split squat workout will make your dream come true as you easily incorporate it into your daily routine. It will benefit your lower body by targeting as many muscles as a traditional squat with a good emphasis on your quads. With regards to the shape it takes, it is also called a pistol squat.

Placing one leg behind it helps strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads effectively like no other exercise. It is a widely preferred exercise as it helps to maintain balance. Unlike a traditional squat, a Bulgarian squat exercise puts pressure on the legs rather than the lower back. Thereby it prevents injury extensively and is an ideal workout even if you have a back problem.

How To Do A Bulgarian Squat Step-Wise?

You can now perform a perfectly flawless Bulgarian split squat form as follows.

  • Start doing this squat by standing 2 feet away from a bench or step.
  • Now lift one leg behind you by placing it on the bench or step.
  • Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and the raised leg must be far behind such that you can lunge comfortably.
  • Once you have found the right spot, lower down the other knee taking care that the legs do not fall over the toe lines.
  • Engage the core and roll your shoulder back.
  • Lean forward at your waist slightly and begin to lower down by bending the knee.
  • If you aim to do a quad-dominant Bulgarian split squat, you have to stop before the knees fall over the toes.
  • If you want to perform a glute dominant Bulgarian split squat, stop when the thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Push up by using the power from the quads and hamstrings.
  • Return to a standing posture.
  • Repeat the Bulgarian squat any number of times as desired.
  • Switch to the next leg and do the same as mentioned above.
  • If you are a beginner, start with 2 sets on each leg. Perform 6 to 8 reps and gain strength. Then as you acclimate to the move, you can increase the count.
  • To increase the intensity, add lightweight dumbbells for additional resistance to the Bulgarian squat exercise.

What Are The Variations In Bulgarian Split Squat?

Make use of props to add resistance once you have mastered the bodyweight Bulgarian split squat exercise.

Barbell – Place the barbell on your shoulders and traps. Complete the same stepwise movement as mentioned above. Ensure that you place the foot behind you and don’t lose body balance as extra weight is added to your shoulders.

Kettlebell or Dumbbell – Hold either a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand and execute the Bulgarian split squat. This variation is comparatively easier than a barbell, but you have to have a good grip on your hands.

Smith Machine – This Bulgarian split squat form is also known as an assisted squat machine. It will allow you to test your strength while performing the Bulgarian split squat safely. Position the bar on your shoulder to your height and get underneath it. Then, unhook and finish the workout.

Gym Ball – Gym ball variation is a challenging exercise as the surface is unstable. The gym ball takes the place of the bench here. You will have to put in extra effort to maintain your balance and stabilise yourself while performing the squat.

Resistance Band – Start doing this Bulgarian squat variation by positioning a resistance band underneath the foot. Bend your elbows by holding the handles of the band at your shoulders. Squat along with the resistance band and take care to be careful while doing it.

Benefits Of A Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat benefits the lower body of the system by increasing its strength. This move targets the muscle groups, same as lunges and squats. Quads, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, calves, and spinal erectors are those muscles that are highly benefited here. With a Bulgarian split squat, home workouts are highly possible as they can be performed even on a box or a step. In addition, it can target one side of the body independently and improve muscle imbalance from side to side. It will enhance movements like bending, lifting, and various other activities that require proper body alignment.

A Bulgarian split squat benefits the body balance in everyone by improving it along with greater agility and core strength. Balance is not a big deal for the younger population, but elders with regular practice of Bulgarian squats can regain good body balance. Therefore, this also extensively reduces the rate of falls, thereby helping to avoid injuries like hip and wrist fractures.

Common Mistakes While Performing A Bulgarian Split Squat

A Bulgarian split squat exercise is much easier to master than a traditional squat. But there are a few things to take care of while performing it in the right form.

  • Ensure that the leg in front is in a comfortable position. If it is not placed correctly, you will spend more time trying to determine the sweet spot. This reduces the performance rate.
  • In this workout, your torso has to be slightly tilted forward. If you stay upright, it will limit the range of motion, which will eventually force your knees to pop out as you reach the optimal depth in the exercise. Therefore, always bend your waist until the torso is at a 30-degree angle.
  • Rising onto the toes is a common mistake caused by placing the foot too close to the bench or when you are leaning forward at your hips as you squat. Whenever you find yourself raising the toes, stop the workout and reset. Check the foot placement and alter your torso accordingly.

The Takeaway

A Bulgarian split squat workout is adequate for your lower body and significantly benefits both the core and legs. Most importantly, it does not use the lower back muscles during the move, and because of that, it adds extra strength to the lower body. Finally, ensure to perform the Bulgarian split squat in the proper form and prevent committing the common mistakes mentioned above so that you see visible results quickly.

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December 30, 2021

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