Bulgarian split squat work the lower body muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads. This exercise also tests flexibility and coordination and works the core muscles.
The bodyweight bulgarian split squat is an effective exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and increases stability and strength in the legs. This exercise can be done anywhere without the need for specialized equipment, making it perfect for training at home or on the go. Here’s how to do this exercise correctly.
Bulgarian split squats are a type of exercise performed with only one leg, so they provide great benefits to your lower body. They allow you to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves just like squats and lunges, but they focus more on the quads and engage your core for balance. All you need is a bench or chair, and if you feel comfortable, you can add a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells to increase the intensity and effectiveness of the exercise.
You will also have the opportunity to improve the muscular imbalances that exist on one side or the other. This will prevent one side from taking over when performing different activities and reduce the risk of injury over time.
However, it is very important to learn the correct form so that the exercise is safe and effective. Simply follow the instructions below.
How to do a Bulgarian split squat
If you are a beginner in this type of exercise, try to do only 2 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions for each leg, once you get used to the movement and have more strength, you can increase the number of repetitions for each set. Now you will be able to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions. Pay close attention to the following steps.
1. Stand up straight about two feet away from a bench, box, or sturdy chair at the height of your knees. Remember that your feet should be hip-width apart; you can place your hands on your waist or bend your elbows to bring them together at chest level, as shown in the picture.
2. Lift your right foot and place it on the bench or chair behind your body, making sure your feet are still hip width apart or a little wider. You will most likely have to jump or move your left foot until you find the right position that is safe and balanced. You may even need to do this several times after doing one or two repetitions.
3. Your back foot will only help you keep your balance as the movement should be concentrated on the front leg, which in this case is the left. Now engage your core, pull your shoulders back, lift your chest, try to keep your eyes straight ahead and lean forward a little.
4. Bend the left leg, letting the right knee and ankle bend naturally, making sure the left knee stays in line with the toes as you descend. Lower until left quadriceps is almost parallel to floor, then push back down. After completing one set, remove your foot from the bench or chair. Remember to complete the same number of sets and repetitions on each side.
How to do a bulgarian split squat with dumbbell
Start Step: Stand in front of bench or elevated platform with dumbbell in each hand. Step back with one foot and place the top of that foot on the bench, keeping your torso straight and your abs tight.
Body Position: Maintain an upright stance with your feet shoulder width apart. Your front foot should be far enough forward that your knee is at a 90 degree angle when you squat.
Motion: Begin the motion by flexing the knee of the front foot and lowering the body toward the floor, keeping the torso straight and the weight on the heel of the front foot. The back foot should remain on the bench and the back knee should drop towards the floor.
Contraction : When you reach the bottom of the squat, push through the heel of the front foot and return to the starting position, extending the leg and pulling the body up.
Return: Repeat the movement to complete the desired number of reps, then switch legs.
Tip: Maintain good posture throughout the exercise, keeping your chest up and shoulders back. Be sure to maintain proper technique and prevent your front knee from extending past your toes. If necessary, adjust the distance between your feet to find the most comfortable and secure position.
Benefits of bulgarian split squat with dumbbell
Strengthens the legs and glutes: The Bulgarian Squat intensively works the leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This helps build strength, power and endurance in these areas.
Improves balance and stability: Performing the exercise with one leg raised requires greater control of balance and stability. This strengthens the stabilizing muscles of the hip and core, which can be beneficial for sports and functional activities.
Develops asymmetric strength: By working each leg independently, the Bulgarian Squat allows you to correct muscle imbalances and strengthen both lower extremities in a more balanced manner.
Activates stabilizer muscles: The Bulgarian Squat activates the stabilizing muscles of the knee, which can help prevent injury and improve joint health.
Increases hip range of motion: Lowering the exercise promotes a greater range of motion in the hips, which can be beneficial for mobility and flexibility in this area of the body.
Potentially Dangerous Mistakes
Wrong: Your shoulders are rounded forward, so your back is also rounded. Your squat is not deep enough.
Correct: Pull your shoulders back and straighten. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
There are some mistakes that are easy to make and that need to be watched for to make the exercise safe and effective. For example, it is very important not to use the back leg too much, as it is only there to help with balance.
Be careful not to lean too far forward from the hips, as this will only limit the benefits of the exercise to the core. It also puts too much stress on the front knee, a slight bend is more than enough.
Another mistake is to rise on the toes while lowering the body, this is because the front foot may be too close to the bench and you need to move it for better balance and alignment. In these cases, it is advisable to stop, check the position of the foot and make sure to keep the torso upright during the exercise.
Do not allow the front knee to lose alignment with the toes, do not allow it to move in or out, as this puts too much pressure on the joint, especially in this type of exercise where the weight falls on one side.