The barbell squat is considered the gold standard of lower-body strength exercises, and deservedly so. But, if you’re looking for some variety (and, even if you’re not), U.K. researchers found the the Bulgarian (rear-foot-elevated) Split Squat to be just as effective for increasing strength, speed, and agility.
This exercise can be performed as a body-weight movement, or weighted with dumbbells (pictured), kettlebells, a barbell, or a weight plate.
The Bulgarian Split Squat is a great exercise for anyone — regardless of strength training experience and proficiency — because it’s less technical and requires less mobility (than the barbell squat), making it safer.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand tall holding two dumbbells next to your sides
- Place the top of your right foot on a bench behind you
- Brace your core
- Slowly lower your body as far as you can
- Pause, and then quickly push back up to the starting position
- Repeat for desired number of repetitions
- Switch legs
Choose weight and repetitions according to your training goals.