Bulgarian Split Squat aka Rear Foot Elevated (RFE) Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is probably the most demanding with regards to mobility of all the single leg variations. As the name implies you elevate the rear foot to place more load on the front leg. Can be loaded with either DB’s or BB.

 

How

 

With DB’s down by your side or a bar placed behind the neck set yourself with your chest up, shoulders pulled back, abs engaged and set what will be your front leg approx. 3 foot in front of bench or step. Place the front of your rear foot onto bench/box – this is your start and finish position. The distance of your front foot in relation to the bench/box may need to be adjusted so that the weight can be maintained through the rear of the front foot throughout the movement. From here, bend at the knee, keeping an upright torso, until your back knee makes contact with the floor. Push hard with the front heel driving you up back in to the start position.

 

Why

 

As with any unilateral leg exercise the RFE split squat is used to develop balance through the hips. It encourages dynamic stability of the glutes and lower abs to maintain pelvic alignment throughout. However, unlike other single leg variations, which develop mobility the RFE split squat requires you to have mobility to perform correctly. If you don’t have the mobility to perform with a full range of motion the work on another single leg exercise until you do

 

When

 

When used as a teaching progression higher reps (8-20) and lighter loads are used. For strength purposes reps between 5-10 work best.