Men's Journal

Bulgarian Split Squats Are the Key to Big, Powerful Legs

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You already know how we feel about big compound movements like squats and deadlifts to work your legs (we love them). But you’re leaving single-leg strength on the table, and maybe even becoming dominant on one side, if you aren’t doing unilateral (think single limb) training. For that, we recommend the rear foot elevated split squat, better known as the Bulgarian split squat. It’ll keep you from favoring your right or left leg, and since you work one body part at a time, you don’t need to pile on the weight to get a good burn.

In this exercise, you’ll place one foot behind you on a bench or box while the other foot is planted on the ground in front of the bench. This is your split squat position. From here, keep your chest up and drop the back knee down towards the ground until the front thigh is parallel to the ground (or as close as parallel as you can get). Stand back up out of the squat, again keeping the chest tall. When you’re doing this move it’s important to keep your front shin as vertical as possible. When you have that down, it’s time to get into all the ways you can use this — and in the process, build a pair of powerful wheels.