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Bulgarian Squat - Instructions, Variations & Alternatives

Muscles involved

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Adductors
  • Hamstrings

Also known as

  • Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
  • RFE Split Squat
  • Single Leg Squat
  • Rear Foot Elevated Lunge
  • Balance Lunge

How to perform

Bulgarian Squat - Starting position

Bulgarian Squat - Starting position

Bulgarian Squat - Muscle Under Tension

Bulgarian Squat - Muscle Under Tension

  1. Set up & Starting position (standing)

    This exercise requires a raised platform ideally no higher than knee height. This can be a chair, bench, step etc. Make sure your support is stable and solid before performing the movement.

    Stand 2 to 3 feet from your platform and place your rear foot on it. Depending on the stand height, place your foot in a tucked (on the ball of your foot) or flat (on the top of your foot) position, choose the one that feels more stable. Slightly tilt forward so that most of your weight is resting on your front leg. Keep your back straight.

  2. Eccentric phase
    Lower your body down vertically by bending your front leg until your front thigh is parallel with the ground. Keep weight distributed to the front heel and mid-foot. Make sure your front knee stays in alignment with your toes and your heel is planted firmly on the ground.

  3. Concentric phase
    Push back on the front foot and extend the hip and knee to return to the starting position.
    Repeat with your opposite leg.

The Bulgarian Split Squat is a version of a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on a bench or a sturdy platform. It’s intended to target your front leg — your back leg is there to offer some balance support.

Exercise Alternatives