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What Is the Bulgarian Split Squat? Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Guide to the Bulgarian split squat. (Image via Pixabay/Image by happyveganfit)
Guide to the Bulgarian split squat. (Image via Pixabay/Image by happyveganfit)

The Bulgarian split squat is a squat variation that focuses on one leg at a time. This helps in providing a greater emphasis on each quad rather than having both quads work at the same time.

Now, you must know the common mistakes, variations, benefits, and other things before making it a part of your workout routine. But let's begin with the technique.


How to do the Bulgarian split squat?

You don't need to perform this exercise with dumbbells initially. Start slowly using your bodyweight and move to dumbbells when you've found the proper balance and have mastered the form.

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Here's a step-by-step guide to performing this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your shoulders backward, chest forward, and core engaged.
  • Place your right foot on the bench, aligning your ankle with the edge of the bench. Ensure your left foot is firmly on the ground and your feet are hip-width apart.
  • You might have to jump around slightly with your left foot to find the right balance.
  • Once you've secured your balance, go down on your left foot in a squat (or lunge). The entire weight will be distributed across your left leg while the right leg provides balance. Slightly move your upper body forward.
  • Once you've gone down enough to feel a stretch on your left quad, push back with your left foot and return to the neutral position.
  • Ensure you keep a muscle-mind connection with your left quad.
  • Repeat for 10 reps before switching legs.

Tips for doing the Bulgarian split squat the right way

It will be a while before you can master the position, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't include this in your workout routine. Here are some tips that will help you with the Bulgarian split squat.

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Control your breathing

It is essential to inhale while going down and exhale while coming up. The more you control your breathing, the better you'll be able to execute the Bulgarian split squat.

Keep your core muscles engaged

Core muscles provide excellent balance and stability. This exercise requires immense balance. Therefore, it's important that your core muscles remain engaged throughout so you do not lose balance and injure yourself.

Extend your leg to find the position

If you're struggling quite a bit to find the proper position, you can try this:

  • Place your left foot on the bench and your posterior on the left foot. Next, extend your right foot completely. Place the right heel on the ground and stand up while placing the right foot down completely.
  • Keep your legs at hip width at all times.

Keep your hands close to your chest

Your hands can help you with balance. Keeping them close to your chest will help you navigate your stability while doing the Bulgarian split squat.

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Common mistakes

It will take time to master the Bulgarian split squat, but being aware of some common mistakes can help you get there faster.

Not maintaining distance between feet

If you keep your foot on the bench directly behind the leg on the floor, you will not find the right balance regardless of what you do. It even makes the exercise much harder to perform.

Leaning forward too much

You should not lean too forward with your upper body when going down. This might shift the pressure to the knees and disengage your core muscles. Ideally, you should bend slightly for balance.

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Using the back leg

If you find yourself pushing from the ankle on the bench and not the foot on the ground, you need to stop immediately. Pushing from the leg on the bench can lead to significant injuries. It should only be used for balance and nothing else.

Edited by Piyush Bisht
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