Bulgarian split squat are a type of exercise that is performed with only one leg, so it provides 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, as you feel comfortable you can add a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells to increase the intensity of the exercise and its effectiveness.
Also, it has the opportunity to improve the muscular imbalances that exist on one side or the other. In this way you will avoid that only one side takes over when performing different activities, as well as 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. Just follow each of the instructions below.
How to do a Bulgarian split squat
If you are a beginner in this type of exercise try to perform 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 complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions. Pay close attention to the following steps.
Stand up straight about two feet away from a bench, box or sturdy chair, the objects you choose will be at the height of your knees. Remember that your feet should be hip-width apart, here you can place your hands on your waist or bend your elbows to bring them together at chest level, as shown in the picture.
Lift your right foot up and rest it on the bench or chair behind your body, but make 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 location, which is safe and well balanced. You may even have to do this several times after performing one or two repetitions.
Your back foot will only help to keep your balance, as the movement should be concentrated on the front leg, which is in this case is the left. Now engage your core, bring your shoulders back, lift your chest, try to keep your gaze fixed straight ahead and lean forward a little.
Bend the left leg, allowing the right knee and ankle to bend naturally, as you descend make sure the left knee stays in line with the toes. Lower until the left quadriceps is almost parallel to the floor, then press back down. Remove your foot from the bench or chair after completing one set. Remember to perform the same number of sets and repetitions on each side.
Most common mistakes
There are some mistakes that are easy to make, so attention must be paid to this for the exercise to be safe and effective. So it is very important to avoid engaging the back leg too much, as its purpose is only to help with balance.
Pay attention not to lean too far forward from the hips, this only limits the benefits the exercise can have on the core of the body. 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 perhaps the front foot is too close to the bench and you need to move it to have a better balance and better alignment. In these cases it is advisable to stop, check the location 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 let it move inward or outward, as it puts too much pressure on the joint, especially in this type of exercise where the weight falls on one side.