Anytime you add an Eastern European country’s name to an exercise, it makes it sound legit.  Honestly, these are a staple in my routine and the routines of many of my athletes.  

Why are Bulgarian Split Squats so effective in improving strength, stability, and power?  Let’s take a deep dive!

Big Muscle Groups

You don’t need a keen eye to notice that this exercise targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, etc.  Surely after a few sets of 10-15 reps each leg, you will be feeling it.  These muscle groups are significant factors in power and force production in the lower body.  Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt to have an athletic-looking lower half. 

Unilateral Movement

We spend a lot of time moving both of our legs at a time.  Unilateral strength training taps into a different muscular system and doesn’t allow us to compensate with a dominant side.  Unilateral movements also require a level of balance and athleticism that bilateral movements don’t.  This is a way to develop stability and strength through the knee and ankle.  One-sided exercises are a great way to help develop a strong, athletic physique.

Active Stretching

If you’ve done this movement, you know how you feel your hip flexor stretch.  Hip flexors have a tendency to get very tight.  We use this muscle often and we rarely counter balance the flexion of the hip in our daily movement.  The Bulgarian Split Squat not only builds strength, but also acts as an active stretch for our hips.  

Closing Thoughts

If you aren’t already throwing this movement into your routine, I recommend trying it out.  Bulgarian Split Squats can be viewed as a functional exercise, a multi-joint exercise, perhaps a hypertrophy exercise, etc.  I recommend starting with your bodyweight and building a foundation of strength for this movement before adding resistance.

Is the Bulgarian Split Squat a go-to exercise of yours?  Tell us about your experience in a comment below.  Until next time.. Stay moving!

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