Are stronger and bigger quads at the top of your wish list? The results from incorporating this exercise into your leg workout routine could be a dream come true — Bigger quad muscles.
The Bulgarian split squat is one leg exercise that will deliver big results to your lower body- particularly your “quadriceps”.
The Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg exercise that works your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Because you are on one leg, you put more tension on the quad muscle. This is a good thing as more tension means more muscle growth.
This move will challenge your leg strength like no other.
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What Is The Bulgarian Split Squats?
The Bulgarian split squat is an advanced variation of the split squat exercise.
Unlike the split squat, the Bulgarian split squat is performed with the back foot on an elevated surface.
This advanced version of the split squat is a more challenging movement.
It requires more balance and stability. It recruits more muscles in the legs and activates them for strength.
Bulgarian Split Squat Muscles Worked
Bulgarian split squats target the upper leg muscles as well as the glute. The body position during the Bulgarian split squats shifts your weight forward, increasing the balance challenge and the range of motion.
Primarily, this move works the quads, gluteus Maximus, and soleus. Adductors are recruited to assist in the up and down movements and to bring stability.
Additionally, you’ll be working your hamstrings, gluteus medius, minimus, core, and back to stabilize the body.
Not only this is a quad strengthening exercise, but it will also strengthen and shape your glutes.
The way to maximize the activation of all the target muscles is to perform the exercise with proper form.
So, let’s talk about the Bulgarian split squat form, and how to do it correctly.
Bodyweight Bulgarian Split Squat
- Set up a sturdy bench and make sure it’s secured. Stand about 2 feet in front of a bench facing out with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Keep your hands on your waist or out in front of you for balance.
- Lift your right foot and place it on the bench behind you. Find the balance between your toes and the ball of your foot.
- Bend your left knee and find balance on the left foot. Lunge into the single-leg squat and pause at the bottom where your left thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Your upper body should be remained upright throughout the exercise and don’t curve your back.
- Press through your front foot to come up to the starting position.
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat
- Set up a sturdy bench 2 feet behind you. Stand with your back facing the bench and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand. Adjust your feet so they are shoulder-width apart.
- Pick up your right foot and place it on the bench behind you. It may take several attempts to find a place on the bench and anchor your foot with the ball of your foot.
- Keep your back straight and core engaged. Bend your left knee and feel the weight on the left foot. Lower your left knee to get into the single-leg squat. Pause when your left thigh is almost parallel to the ground. This is the lowest point of your split squat.
- Press through your front foot to come up to the starting position. Repeat 10-12 reps per side and complete 2-3 sets.