The Bulgarian split squat isn’t an all-around better exercise than the barbell back squat, but if you incorporate it into your plan intelligently, it can help improve your leg development while reducing your risk of injury and muscle imbalances.
💪It’s a unilateral exercise, so we can reduce differences between left and right
💪We can work on anterior hip mobility
💪Also develops lower quadrant stability at same time. You engage lower body and your core for a functional workout.
Calves and core are involved for stability, which make this a good exercise for patients with back, hip,knee and ankle problems.
How to perform a split squat
There are three key parts to the Bulgarian split squat:
You balance on one foot, with your rear foot on a bench or box.
Your back stays more or less straight throughout the whole movement.
You usually hold dumbbells to add weight, instead of using a barbell.
Single leg squat versus the Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat has a greater range of motion than the single-leg squat, but it’s also harder to maintain your balance with heavy weights. And because balancing is easier with the single-leg squat, that means it’s also easier to use a barbell instead of dumbbells.
Bulgarian Split Squat versus. Lunges
Functionally speaking, the main differences between the lunge and the Bulgarian split squat are the lunge engages the rear leg more, and uses a shorter range of motion.
The lunge also requires even more balance than the Bulgarian split squat, making it less newbie friendly. Even advanced lifters generally can’t use as much weight on lunges, either.
All in all, though, lunges and Bulgarian split squats are very comparable. Use whichever one feels more comfortable to you.