​Gain Strength and Length With the Tight Trail Leg Bulgarian Split Squat

This variation of the Bulgarian split squat will lengthen as it strengthens your lower body

Bulgarian split squats are a popular exercise for building strength and balance in the lower body. This tight trail leg variation from David Jack, Men’s Health training advisor, adds some extra stretching into the mix.

Related: Think Stretching Sucks? Here’s How to Warm Up Better

“Length is strength,” says Jack. Full range of motion is key to achieving maximum muscle recruitment. That’s why at the bottom of each rep, you’ll be holding for 5 seconds. That not only increases the difficulty on the front leg, but allows you to sink into the stretch of your back leg. You should feel a pull primarily in the quad of your rear leg, though you may feel the stretch extend to the hip flexor as well.

Related: The Best Lower Back Stretch You’re Not Doing

Jack advises keeping your shin straight or nearly straight on the front leg with your foot flat on the ground. Your chest should be upright with a braced core and in line with your hips. The key is not to extend at the spine and “fake” the stretch. You want to keep that positioning locked in so as you sink down, the focus of the stretch stays where it should be—with your quad and hip flexor.

Related: How to Build Bigger Quads Without A Leg Extension Machine

This is a great move that can be done anywhere you have a place to elevate your leg—whether it be in the desert on a log or in your lounge using a chair.

Jack recommends doing 5 reps per side with a 5-second hold at the bottom of each rep. That’s one round. Do 2 to 3 total rounds.

Article originally found on menshealth.com

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