If you think the name is weird, wait till you try the exercise. The Bulgarian deadlift combines one of the most difficult lifts with one of the most awkward body positions (balancing on one leg)- bringing a whole new meaning to the term gym freak for those who undertake it. But master this Eastern European expatriate and the strangest thing of all will be how fast you add slabs of muscle to your lower body – even after you thought it had stopped growing altogether.
HOW TO DO IT
Stand a few feet in front of a bench that is about knee-high and place a barbell on the floor in front of your toes. Now rest the top of your right foot on the bench behind you. Bending your left knee, lower your body down until you can grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip . Using your left leg only and keeping your lower back in its natural arch, straighten your knee and stand back up with the bar (as in a normal deadlift) . Then lower your body and the bar back to the floor- that’s one rep. Begin your second rep from that position. Do 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps on each leg, resting 90 seconds between sets.
Training one leg at a time exposes and corrects any muscular imbalances in your legs-a great start toward busting any strength plateau. Meanwhile, this balancing act forces your body to activate more stabilizer muscles to control the movement, making the Bulgarian deadlift a freakishly good exercise for increasing overall strength and stability.