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Want to find out about the best exercise for your legs? Learn about the benefits of the Bulgarian split squat and how to go about it.
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Bulgarian Split Squats – Overview
Are you an athlete or a sports enthusiast? Or someone who strives for stronger legs? Then Bulgarian split squats are a must-do exercise for you.
The Bulgarian split squat is a type of single-leg squat that is sure to give some enduring strength to your lower body. With one leg behind your body and slightly lifted off the ground, Bulgarian split squats work with the same set of muscles as the tradition squat, but with more focus on the quads.
Let's find out more about the benefits of the Bulgarian split squat and how you can add this exercise to your routine as you stay home and maintain social distancing.
Benefits of Bulgarian Split Squat
There are many benefits of the Bulgarian split squats, but some of the most desirable benefits include the following.
- Significantly improves muscle strength of the lower body.
- It improves the flexibility of the hip flexors, which in turn enhances the overall mobility of your lower body.
- Bulgarian split squats increases the strength and balance of your core muscles.
- Minimizes strength and muscular differences between the two sides of the body. As a result, it reduces the risk of injury due to falls. This might not be one for the biggest concerns for younger people, but fall is one of the leading causes of ER visits among the older population. If you incorporate Bulgarian split squats in your routine today, it is highly likely that you will have a minimum risk of injury due to fall as you age.
There are many other benefits of this exercise but since you know the most important ones, let’s find out how to go about it.
How to Go About Bulgarian Split Squats?
As people around the world stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, many feel that staying active is not an option as gyms are closed. But one of the best things about this exercise is you can do it anywhere. Whether you are in your bedroom or your living room, all you need is a slightly elevated surface, whether it is a bottom of the staircase or a stoop. As you practice this exercise, you can later add dumbbells or resistance bands for extra resistance. Here is how you can get started with Bulgarian Split Squats at home.
Basic Bulgarian Split Squad
- Stand around two feet in front of an elevated surface. As you stand upright, your feet should be hip-distance apart.
- Lift your right foot and place it on the elevated surface behind you. Make sure your feet are still hip-distance apart because you don't want both your feet to be right in front of each other as it makes balancing more difficult.
- With your chest upright and your face forward, bend your left knee and try to maintain balance. Your upper body will naturally move forward. Bend your knee to the extent that your left knee protrudes over your left toes, but both your knee and your foot remain aligned. Inhale as you get into this position. Exhale as you return to the standing position with your right leg intact.
- Now step your right leg from the elevated surface and repeat the same steps with your left leg up on the chair or any other high plane.
- To strengthen your legs, you will have to repeat this exercise a few times. Make sure you do the same number of repetitions for each leg.
Advanced Bulgarian Split Squad (with Bodyweight)
As you master the basic technique, you can move on to more advanced modifications of Bulgarian Split Squads. Simply level up the basic split squad by adding bodyweight. You don’t need to use dumbbells at this stage. Instead, try to balance the position without any extra weight.
Add More Weight and Hold
For better glute and hip workout, you can add additional weight such as dumbbells. As you bend forward for the split squad with added weight, hold onto the position for 10 seconds before returning back to the original position. This is known as the isometric hold and is one of the best ways to increase your muscle strength.
If you are staying at home and intend to strengthen your lower body, try to incorporate Bulgarian split squats into your exercise regime and couple them with a few other exercises targeted towards strengthening the legs.
Bulgarian split squats are excellent for your legs and core. Also, it is usually preferred over traditional squats as it requires less effort of the lower back muscles. But to make the most of the benefits, you will have to practice and master the technique by avoiding some common mistakes. With regular practice, you are bound to leg muscle strengthen, similar to that of an athlete.