- Target muscle: Quadriceps (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius)
- Synergists: Gluteus Maximus, Adductor Magnus, Soleus
- Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Hamstrings, Gastrocnemius
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
- Holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides, stand with your back facing the side of a bench. There should be three or four feet of space between you and the bench.
- Extend one leg backward and place the top of your foot on the bench so that your body is being supported by only one leg.
- Keeping your torso upright, inhale as you squat down with your supporting leg until the knee of your back leg nearly touches the floor.
- Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position, driving through your heel.
- Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
- Repeat the exercise with your opposite leg.
Comments and tips
- Keep your torso upright.
- Keep your foot flat on the floor and the knee and foot of your supporting leg pointing forward.
- When you squat, your front knee should not pass your toes.
- The wider your legs are split, the more you will emphasize your gluteus maximus instead of your quadriceps.
- The dumbbell Bulgarian split squat is an effective auxiliary exercise for improving your squat and lunge. It is also great for enhancing your balance and developing unilateral functional strength.
- Use the dumbbell Bulgarian split squat after your primary lower-body exercises.
- To promote equal contralateral strength (equal strength in both sides), start with your weak leg, and do not do more repetitions with your strong leg.
- Also known as the single-leg dumbbell split squat and the back-foot-elevated split squat.
Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat video