Bodypart Exercises

Quick Fix: Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat can be a tough move to master, with serious repercussions for poor form.

The Bulgarian split squat can be a tough move to master, with serious repercussions for poor form. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of this powerful exercise. 

The Flaw: Elevating the back foot too high. 

The Fix: The height of a standard weight bench is just about right for the back foot on Bulgarians. If you’re a beginner, you may even want to go lower than that, using an aerobic step and progressively raising it over weeks and months as you get stronger.

The Flaw: Stepping too far forward with the front foot.

The Fix: You definitely don’t want that front knee traveling past the toe, but you don’t want it too far behind, either. When you lower the back knee straight down to the floor, your front knee should be directly over the middle of the foot — and it doesn’t take a long step forward to achieve this.

The Flaw: Going too fast.

The Fix: Bulgarians are a difficult exercise, in part because of the balance issue of having your feet split while also being at different heights (one foot on the floor, the other elevated). That said, lower slowly and under control on every rep, especially if you’re using additional resistance in the form or dumbbells or a barbell. Frankly, we don’t recommend using a barbell unless you’re a highly advanced trainee.