The Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat is a gem of an exercise that should be performed on a regular basis to help increase single-leg pushing power, a key factor in sprinting, cutting, jumping and many other athletic movements. The exercise also helps to reduce and reset the stress placed on the back during regular bilateral exercises.
This type of single-leg training will help you build better balance, increase hip mobility, enhance strength, add muscle mass and create the explosiveness you've been searching for.
Although there are numerous benefits to performing the Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat with the barbell on your back, we can also benefit from performing the exercise with the bar in the front squat rack position. This front squat bar position changes the mechanics of the exercise by increasing upper back and core activation and requiring greater mobility.
Here's how to perform this challenging variation, which is demonstrated in the video player above. This
- Set up the squat rack as if you are about to perform a Front Squat.
- Get under the bar, place it safely on your clavicles and wrap your thumbs under the bar for control. You can use straps, as well.
- Set yourself up in a semi-lunge position depending on your height.
- Safely place your foot on a bench, box or Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS) apparatus.
- Bend front knee to lower into lunge until thigh is parallel to the ground; keep front knees back and core tight.
- Explosively stand up and return to the starting position.
- I recommend keeping the eyes up throughout the movement and tightening your core and stiffening your neck to perform the exercise most effectively.
With this variation, keeping the body in a forward lean position will help you better deal with having that load in the frontal plane of the body and aid in achieving optimal movement.
- The Split Squat: How to Master This Powerful Lower-Body Exercise
- Barbell Split-Squat 101: A How-To Guide
- 4 Split Squat Variations That Build Strong Legs