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Bulgarian Split Squat Alteration

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about Bulgarian split squats (a.k.a. rear foot elevated split squats)and a nice alteration, if you, like me, have really tight quads.

A Bulgarian split squat is like this as follows. Your foot is up on something, you squat down, and then come back up. It’s a great exercise, but for me, I can’t get my back foot up there and really get down low without arching my back. This is because my quads and hip flexors are tight. I don’t have much hip extension and then if I stretch my quad, it’s probably even less than that. To really have my back leg up for a Bulgarian split squat, I just ended up arching my back. 

If you’re like me, and you’ve got some tight quads, there’s things you can do to

1) work on your quad mobility, and

2) get the same benefits of that single leg squat work without arching your low back.

I recommend using a lower step for your back foot. A standard stair would be a good place to start. Then, really turn on your abs so your low back is, not arching and it’s truly just hip extension at work. Try squatting down that way. You should feel a really nice quad stretch when you’re down at the bottom. If you can’t go all the way down, because that stretch is too intense, that’s fine, just go down as far as it feels comfortable.

As you get more comfortable with that over time and you start to gain a little quad mobility, you can start working your way down to a full squat.

Give it a try. Let me know what you think. And good luck!

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.