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.
1 of 5
PVC Pipe Assisted Bulgarian Split Squat
If your first couple attempts at a Bulgarian split squat feel shaky, grab a PVC pipe and get into position with your back foot on the bench. Hold the PVC pipe in your hand on the same side as the front leg and plant it on the ground (like a cane). To load the movement and make it tougher, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in the opposite hand just in front of the thigh of the back leg.
2 of 5
Single Kettlebell Bulgarian Split Squat
Place one kettlebell on the ground on the side of your back leg and get into position at the bottom. Clean the bell up to the front rack position. Perform the squat as above, making sure to move slowly; the one-sided lift will test your stability more than anything.