Bulgarian Split Squat

Why Should You do Bulgarian Split Squat?

Bulgarian split squat is a strength exercise that has increased in popularity in recent years. The exercise, which is actually a variant of normal lunges, has gone from being relatively unknown to becoming a must in the training program for those who want to see real results.

Almost all training includes some form of movement where the legs are moved back and forth. Every time you run or walk back and forth, one leg will be in front of the other. Bulgarian split squat is an excellent and gentle exercise because it is a natural movement that the body recognizes and will benefit from whatever you train in general.

The Bulgarian split squat mainly activates the muscles in the quads and the sizeable gluteal muscle/buttocks, but the exercise also helps you become stronger and more stable in the torso and hips. Bulgarian split squat is an excellent complement to you who have done many squats before and want to vary your training with a new challenge. The exercise is also more gentle on the back than squats.

When you do squats, you activate the quads, and the same applies to the Bulgarian split squat. The difference, however, is that the latter also puts more pressure on the hip and forces the body to train its stability in the pelvis. You must always keep your balance when you stand with one leg backward on a bench or something similar, which also means that you train the oblique abdominal muscles during each repetition. Your knees can also benefit from forcing your body to keep its balance on one leg at a time.

Vastus Lateralis is the outer of your four front thigh muscles; it helps your thighs look large and beefy. When you perform the Bulgarian Split Squat, be sure to have an upright back; the back leg (which rests on the bench) will be loaded correctly in Vastus Lateralis. Therefore, feel free to perform the exercise if you want to build visible leg muscles.

Exercise Details for Bulgarian Split Squat

  • Primary Muscle
    Quads, Gluteus
  • Secondary Muscle
    Hamstrings, Inner Abs, Calves
  • Equipment
    Body weight, Bumbbell
  • Level


Stand with your back to a bench or drawer that is approximately at knee height. Stand about one step ahead. Place the top of one foot on the bench behind you. Make sure you stand firmly and do not sway in any direction. Do not stand too far forward with the leg because you will stretch the hip too much and at the same time not stand too close because then your knee will go over your toes when you bend the leg, which can overload it.


Firstly it is essential to mention that Bulgarian split squat is an exercise that can be done both with and without weights depending on how in shape you are. It may be a good idea to start without weights and then increase. You can use dumbbells, one in each hand, or a barbell behind the neck.

Secondly, when performing it, start by taking a deep breath. Now, keep your eyes looking forward and do a squat down to the floor. Move your leg as far back as possible Stay without touching the ground, but you should be very close. Then go up again, while you exhale, still with your back leg up on the bench, return to the original position. Rest for a second and repeat the movement again. Do 10-15 repetitions and then change legs.

As mentioned above, you can make the exercise heavier by having a dumbbell in each hand or a single in front of your body similar to a Goblet Squat

Guided steps for Bulgarian Split Squat

  • Remember to always keep your eyes directed forward when doing the exercise and do not turn your body
  • The back should be straight and not tilted in any direction. The outer thigh muscle of your hind leg will benefit from this.
  • Tighten your stomach and stabilize your hips
  • If you have difficulty keeping your balance, choose a lower bench behind you until you feel more secure
  • The front knee and the front foot should point in the same direction which is forward.
  • The centre of gravity should be in the middle of the front foot
  • Do not move your knee too much in front of your toes. Otherwise, it will strain the knee 
  • Keep your knees straight. Make sure that it does not move inwards or outwards to avoid injury.
  • Do not stress the exercise up and down, but perform the movement in a calm and controlled manner. As soon as you start swaying in any direction, it is best that you slow down and focus on regaining control
  • You can perform the exercise with a dumbbell in each hand or with a single one as in a Goblet Squat

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