Barbell-between-legs split squat exercise

Barbell-between-legs split squat

Exercise details

  • Movement pattern: Lunge
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by barbell-between-legs split squat exercise


Starting position

  1. With the loaded barbell on the floor, step one foot over the center of the barbell so that one leg is in front of the barbell and one leg is behind it.
  2. Squat down and grasp the barbell with both hands, which should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. Keeping your torso upright, stand and lift the barbell between your legs.


  1. Keeping your torso upright and elbows fully extended, inhale as you lower your back knee until it almost touches the floor by flexing your front hip and both knees.
  2. Exhale as you reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  4. Perform the exercise with your opposite leg.

Comments and tips

  • The barbell-between-legs split squat can be used as a supplementary exercise to improve your barbell split squat.
  • Compared with the barbell split squat, the barbell-between-legs split squat places less stress on your lower back because the barbell is held low, between your legs.
  • For the safety of your knees, keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction.
  • Keep your elbows fully extended and your torso upright throughout the exercise.
  • This exercise is also known as the Jefferson split squat.
  • See also the barbell Bulgarian split squat and the Jefferson squat.

Barbell-between-legs split squat videos

If you want to increase the amount of space between the barbell and your groin, you can place your front foot on a slightly elevated surface, such as a weight plate resting on the floor, as illustrated in this second video.


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