The Bulgarian split squat is an asymmetrical exercise that helps you to work different sides of your body. It’s very useful for anyone wanting to build up their flexibility, agility, athleticism, and strength.
If you have muscle soreness or injuries from a previous workout, this low intensity exercise is a great way to work all of that out.
This is an exercise that strengthens the feet, thighs, and glutes, and it stabilizes the pelvic area at the same time, improving your overall balance.
You can also use the Bulgarian split squat if you want to enjoy greater hip mobility and flexibility. It aligns your ankles too, ensuring more powerful running and better balance.
I like how it works a lot of the body at once and how you can use it to focus on weak areas on one side of the body or another.
Do you know how to do Bulgarian split squat exercises? I will show you step by step how to do them so they can really benefit you.
It is important that you know the right way how to Bulgarian split squat or any other exercise that you do. Improper form or motion in an exercise can cause injury or can rob it of its physical benefits.
I just listed a bunch of benefits that come from using this exercise, but if your form is off, then you will struggle to get all of those benefits.
You can actually put yourself at risk of injury by not doing them the right way or not get the full benefits. That’s why I’m going to break this exercise down for you. I think it is a great addition to any workout routine that is fairly easy to do and so helpful in so many ways.
How to Do a Bulgarian Split Squat
I want to show you exactly how do this exercise so that there’s no mistakes. It’s an easy one to mess up, but once you know the form and how to place your feet, you’re less likely to make a mistake.
Start by standing just in front of a platform that’s up to your knees. You should be about two to three feet in front of it. This can be a bench, stair, or any hard, flat surface that’s about the height of your knee.
Stretch your right leg out behind you, resting the toes of your right put on the platform. Your toes can be tucked or kept flat, and your shoulders and hips should be squared.
Next, make sure your torso is bolt upright and start lowering the right knee. The front knee should be making a 90-degree angle as you do this. Make sure the knee doesn’t make a smaller angle than 90 degrees.
Keep your weight spread out throughout your entire foot and try not to shift your weight to the heel or the toes as you do this exercise. Return to your starting position in a smooth motion. At the top of the movement, you should be squeezing your rear glute muscles.
What do Bulgarian Split Squats Work
If you’re doing this exercise properly, you should feel a squeeze in your glutes at the top of the exercise movement. This will help to strengthen your glute muscles, and you will be able to develop your muscles there over time by doing this exercise repeatedly.
Now that you know how to proceed to do the Bulgarian split squad with perfect form, you can build up those muscle groups that it works, which includes not just the glutes, but also your feet and your thighs.
Let’s talk about how to Bulgarian split squat to hit glutes. There is a variation of this exercise that really hits the glutes and works on your hamstrings as well.
The way you position your foot will determine how your glutes are impacted.
If you want to place the focus on your glute muscles, you should place your foot further away from the elevated surface or bench. This really puts the focus on the hamstring and the glute muscles.
What happens if the foot is placed closer to your elevated surface? When that happens, you’ll be working your quadrilateral muscles more.
So, depending on which area of the body you want to develop and which muscles you want to build up, that will determine your foot placement.
People will choose one variation or the other based on their mobility and their flexibility. Basically, what feels more comfortable is what they will choose.
As your flexibility improves as you work out, you may be more comfortable trying some of these other variations.
Start off with what feels good to you and then go from there to try to focus on certain muscle groups for targeted workouts. No matter which version of the exercise you use, however, you will reap the benefits. They are both good for you.
What to Avoid When Doing a Bulgarian Split Squat
Let’s look at some of the things that you shouldn’t do- the common errors that people make when doing Bulgarian split squats. These are the mistakes that cause people injure themselves or not get the full benefits from this exercise.
You want to be careful about how high the platform is that you use for the rear foot. The perfect height is something that is as high as your knees.
Of course, people will have different knee heights depending on the length of their legs.
Make sure that whatever you choose is around the height of your knees. It could be a bench, a stair, the seat of a chair, or something else.
You also want to be careful of the length of your stride. You should begin by standing just a couple feet from the platform, around two to three feet.
The feet should be positioned so that the back knee isn’t extended all the way out and can move downwards as you descend into the lunge motion.
The Bulgarian split squat really is a kind of lunge, and if you keep that in mind, you have an idea of how it should look in action.
The starting position should not have the back foot directly behind the front foot. You’re not trying to walk on a thin line. The feet should be a natural distance apart, as though you’re walking on either side of a line.
Another mistake people make is worrying too much about how their toes are placed on to the bench. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the flat toe position or the tucked position. Either one works fine, and you should just choose the one that feels more comfortable for you and that provides greater stability.
One final error I want to talk about is shifting your body weight forward as you move down into the lunge. What you should not do is push into your front knee as you lean forward for this maneuver.
It’s better to bring your body straight downwards, making sure the front knee and front foot are lined up with each other.
Your hips and your shoulders should be in alignment with one another as well. This is what’s called a stacked position, and if you’re in that properly stacked position, you’ll feel engagement from your rear glutes and the frontward leg.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.