The Bulgarian split squat is an exercise that is highly regarded by many athletes and fitness experts. When it comes to building upper leg strength, it doesn’t get much better than this.
According to Barbend.com, this exercise targets the quads (Vastus Medialis, Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris, Tibialis Anterior), hamstrings (Semitendinosus, Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus), and glutes (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius). It also engages your core and helps improve stability. Unlike a back squat that can put a lot of strain on the lower back, the Bulgarian split squat puts emphasis on the legs, which means your lower back won’t take as much of the heat.
What is a Bulgarian Split Squat?
This movement is a single leg squat variation where the rear leg is elevated while the lead leg remains on the ground. The position allows you to go lower than a traditional squat, which is a plus for hip mobility. Since the Bulgarian split squat is a single leg movement, it can help you fix training imbalances. By correcting these imbalances, you can prevent injuries and move more efficiently, ultimately leading to better performance.
Bulgarian Split Squat Using a TRX Band
Andy Potts shares how he does a Bulgarian split squat using his TRX. However, you can use another unstable object, such as a gym ball, to incorporate an added challenge. If you’re new to the movement, you can start out by using a more stable surface, such as a chair or bench.
Setting up the TRX Band
- Attach the TRX Band to a structure overhead so that it hangs a few inches from the ground.
- Thread the handles twice through each other and then leg them hang.
- Bring one leg back, putting your foot through the handle (this step is easiest to do with your knees on the ground).
- Keep some tension on the TRX band, not a lot of stress, but you don’t want the band to go slack either- it should stay on your foot.
Doing the Squat
- While still on the ground, bring your lead leg forward in front of your body.
- At this point, the rear knee is on the ground and the leading knee is in front of the body.
- As you raise up from the ground, make sure your leading knee doesn’t go too far in front of the ball of your foot.
- Keep your hips square and your lead foot in line with your hip as you rise.
- Optional: Andy likes to add in a knee extension at the end of the movement.
- Always keep a big chest and arms slack at the sides.
- Go down slowly and explode up.
If you feel like using just your bodyweight is too easy, try adding in some weights. Keep your arms at your sides though, don’t curl the weights up.
The Bulgarian split squat is a useful exercise for many types of athletes. Incorporating a TRX band helps elevate your results and get even more benefit from the movement since your body has to use more muscles to stabilize. Also, make sure to recover after your workout so you can stay healthy and maximize your training results. Marc Pro is an easy and effective way to recover faster and keep your body fresh.
In this video, pro triathlete Andy Potts demonstrates how to complete the Bulgarian split squat.