Our friend Smitty is back by popular demand with another great BodyweightCoach guest spot. This time he’s talking about Bulgarian Split Squats — a killa exercise for tightening that tush, carving those calves, and honing those hammies. How’s that for alliteration?
Okay, so you’re probably asking, “Why Bulgarian?”
We have no idea, actually. That’s just the name of the exercise.
You might have seen this movement in fitness magazines or at your local gym. It’s that weird cross between a squat and a lunge, where your rear leg is placed up on a bench. Though it looks a bit odd, it’s a great way to increase glute activation and to open the range of motion of your hip flexors.
So what about “deficit”? Isn’t that what countries are running these days as they drive the world economy into the ground?
Yes and no. I mean, yes they’re driving the world economy into the ground by spending more than they’ve got. But the deficit Smitty’s talking about won’t hit you in the bankbook. It’s actually a clever way to increase your range of motion incrementally.
You start with the basic version of the Bulgarian Split Squat, with arms crossed over your chest and your rear leg either pressed against or right up on a bench — but in Smitty’s variation you’re raising the front foot on a step or a block to get even deeper into the hip of the rear leg.
Once you’re comfortable with the basic version, the second level takes your arms overhead with a stretch band, allowing you to go a little deeper into the range of motion. Finally, in the third variation you add weight with a medicine ball held overhead.
Here’s a quick reminder of the performance cues of this exercise:
- Pre-set the tension in your torso by engaging your lats
- Sink into the foam at the bottom of the range of motion
- Grip the ground with the toes of your front foot to anchor it
- Center your bodyweight over the front foot
The Bulgarian Split Squat is a great exercise to add to to your toolbox. In addition to building a great set of legs and a nicely toned tush, you’ll build better balance on one leg, and you’ll increase the range of motion of your hip flexors — which is perfect for folks who spend too much time at a desk.
Thanks again to Smitty for stopping by and sharing this exercise with us. Please give him a little love in the comments!