The Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat, also known as a Bulgarian Split Squat, is a Squat variation that builds lower-body strength and power, particularly in the quads.
By working each leg individually, it requires greater amounts of stability and core strength while also effectively destroying muscle imbalances.
The act of driving and decelerating from a split leg position translates to a huge number of athletic movements.
"Most movements in sports (running, cutting, jumping, etc.) require the ability to decelerate eccentric forces in a single-leg stance," explains Mark Pryer, a Performance Specialist at the Michael Johnson Performance Physical Therapy Clinic.
Due to the isolation-focused nature of the exercise, it's quite difficult to cheat on a Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat. If it's a new movement for you, you'll feel this one almost immediately.
You can go lighter on Split Squats to use them as an accessory movement, but don't be afraid to occasionally go heavier and make them a primary lift.
How to Perform Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squats
- Assume staggered stance holding dumbbells or kettlebells at sides.
- Your back foot should be on a bench, box or platform a little lower than knee height.
- Bend front knee to lower into lunge until thigh is parallel to ground.
- Extend hip and knee to drive up to start position; repeat for specified reps.
- Perform set with opposite leg.
- This video with Mike Boyle is an excellent explanation of proper form.