Exercises you should be doing: Bulgarian Split Squats

People tend to greatly underestimate the value (and difficulty) of performing body weight exercises correctly.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been talking with someone who is telling me how much they bench but then I see them attempt a body weight push-up and they can’t perform it correctly, or at all.  It never ceases to amaze me that people fail to see the huge gap in strength here.  Or, I see people, who can’t squat to any kind of appreciable depth with their own weight, load up a barbell in the squat rack and do (maybe) 1/4 of the range of motion they should be.

This is a classic case of working backwards.  I don’t have anyone that can’t perform 15-20 legitimate push-ups do any bench work.  And I don’t have anyone throw a barbell on their back until they can squat with their own body weight.

To be honest, body weight exercises can be very challenging.  I think there are two main reasons they aren’t done more often.

-1. People don’t understand the value of them.

-2. People just don’t know about them.

Here is a very challenging exercise that will be plenty of work for you with just your own weight.

Bulgarian Split Squats:

Cues:

-Set one foot up in front of you, a good distance from your body and place the other one on a step/bench/couch behind you.

-Lower your body, under control.  Try to drop your back knee down to the ground.  (If you can’t at first, that’s OK.  Try to get a little deeper each time you do them.)

-Once in the bottom position, drive through your front heel.  Avoid pushing through the back foot.

-Keep your chest up.  Don’t lean over.

-Avoid pushing your front knee forward.  It should stay above your ankle.

-Be conscious of the stretch you’re getting in your hips on the back leg.  This should open them up pretty good.

You can incorporate these into your regular routine by doing 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.  Expect to have a pretty sore butt the next day.

Let me know what you think!

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