How To: Bulgarian Split Squat

split squat

Bulgarian Split Squats are a tremendous unilateral quad dominant movement. I like to cycle these in into my programs quite frequently. In this article I’m going to go over how to perform them, as well as programming suggestions. 

Bulgarian Split Squat Tutorial Video


To begin, grab a standard flat bench and make sure you have enough room. 

  1. Sit down on the side of the bench. Extend one leg straight and keep foot in that position. That is how far your planted foot should be from the bench.
  2. Keeping planted foot at extended position, stand up. Place non planted foot onto bench so soles of your foot face the roof. This is your starting position.
  3.  Brace core and squat down by flexing knee and hip of front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. 
  4. Return to original standing position by extending hip and knee of forward leg and repeat.
  5. Perform all reps on one side before switching over and repeating for reps with opposite leg.


When looking to put this exercise into your routine, here’s a few things to take note of:

  • The movement is quad dominant and requires a moderate amount of balance.
  • It can be done as a primary or accessory lift.
  • When used as a primary lift, I recommend keeping the reps low and intensity high. 5-10 reps per leg is a great range. Depending on intensity, total reps should be around 20-35 per leg per session.
  • When done as an accessory movement, keep the reps higher, 8-15 per leg, 25-40 reps per leg per session.
  • The second leg is pretty much always feels more challenging. I usually perform non dominant leg first.

I hope you found this Bulgarian Split Squat tutorial beneficial. If you’re interested in getting custom programs made for you, check out my online coaching here.

Happy lifting!