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Oxygen Health & Fitness
One Legged Squat
Also known as Bulgarian Split Squats or Rear foot elevated Split Squats, these are a great exercise for strengthening the Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves. They are great for offering less spinal loading, greater hip stabilization requirements, and rear-leg hip flexor stretch-activation. This means that you can increase both strength and flexibility.
One Legged Squats are a very “user-friendly” exercise, meaning most people can do it well. Many lifters struggle for years learning how to squat correctly, and heaps of people never squat at all. The risk of getting hurt on one legged squats is far less.
In a regular squat, the limiting factor is typically the lower back. Ina front squat, it’s the upper back. In the rear foot elevated versions, you essentially eliminate those limiting factors and are able to hone in more directly on the legs. Moreover, because you’re not loading the spine as heavily, it doesn’t take as long to recover, so you’re able to do them with greater frequency, potentially leading to greater strength improvements.
Set up by placing a box or flat bench directly in front of a squat rack. Stand facing away from the bench. Determining how far you need to stand from the bench is somewhat individual and will take some trial and error to figure out.
- Position the bar so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not on the back of your neck.
- Take a small step back and stabilize yourself. Now carefully extend your right leg behind you and place the top of your foot securely on the bench. It’s usually best to plantar-flex the rear ankle and set “shoelaces down” on the box to avoid pushing through your toes.
- Keeping your eyes facing forwards slowly squat down by flexing knee and hip of the front leg until knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Make sure to keep the torso upright.
- Return to original standing position by extending hip and knee of forward leg.
- Do the reps in a slow and controlled fashion and focus on keeping your weight on the heel of the front foot.
- Repeat for reps on the opposite leg.
Recruit those glutes
Always push up through your heels to recruit the glutes. Curling up your toes as you stand up can help you get the technique right.
Pump up the volume
Traci leads by example