Exercise of the Week(ish) – Front Bulgarian Split Squats

17 Apr

Ever since my show, and the diet aggravated hip injury that refuses to go away completely, I’ve started to utilize single leg movements into my training more often.  Bulgarian split squats have quickly become one of my favorite exercises, and I’ve spent a bit of time trying different ways of performing them to find a variation that I consistently enjoy.  This past week I decided to try loading the exercise like a traditional front squat, and BOOM, exercise infatuation.

side note: I hate the music at my gym

A couple of tips if you want to try these out.  I’m a big advocate of using lifting straps to do front squats(Check this out if you have questions on how that’s done), and for this I think it’s even more important.  Like most single-leg exercises, these are a bit unstable, and the straps can give you a more solid grip on the bar.  Second, pay careful attention to your foot positioning.  With the bar out front looking down at the ground is difficult, and consequently it’s pretty hard to get your feet in the right place when you switch legs.  You’ll notice that I had to reset my feet after my first rep on my second leg.  This isn’t an uncommon issue, and discovering a reliable way to orient yourself mid-set will help keep that to a minimum.

Three Things I Like About Front Bulgarian Split Squats

  1. Vertical back angle.  Bulgarian split squats are normally performed with a nearly vertical back angle, and the front bar position emphasizes that even more.  This takes stress off my lower back, which means I can do more and heavier deadlifts without fatigue issues.
  2. These torch my quads.  The combination of a vertical back angle and a high degree of knee flexion is great for emphasizing quad recruitment, and mine definitely need the work.
  3. They don’t require extremely heavy loading to be hard.  Anyone who routinely puts several hundred pounds across their backs or in their hands will tell you how exhausting it is, and conserving energy on quad allows me to…. wait for it…. do more and heavier deadlifts.

One Response to “Exercise of the Week(ish) – Front Bulgarian Split Squats”


  1. Current Training Plan – Squat Like a Motherfucker Edition | Bigger Stronger Smarter - April 23, 2013

    […] sets of front bulgarian split squats in the 5-7(per leg) rep […]

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