Split Squat and Bulgarian Split Squat

A 2 part picture showing a Bulgarian Split Squat. The image to the left shows a man hinging at the hip while he performs the exercise. The image to the right shows the man staying more upright.

The Split Squat and Bulgarian Split Squat are two excellent single leg variations.

The Split Squat is usually the first single leg exercise I have wrestlers start with.

It is a great way to build the proper foundation.

It also helps bring balance to the lower body. It’s common to see a noticeable difference in leg strength in wrestlers.

And it makes sense as to why that’s the case, right?

I mean, think about how much you do off of one leg when you’re on the mat.

See how an imbalance may develop?

Anyway, here’s a video on how to perform the Split Squat.

It’s not a super technical lift, but there are some important things to keep in mind.

1. Keep your core braced so that you maintain an upright posture.

2. Touch your knee to the ground on each rep. Do this very lightly. It demonstrates the strength and control necessary to progress. It also makes each rep consistent so you can track progression.

3. Start with your weak leg. You won’t know this off the bat, but you’ll figure it out. It’s more than likely your lead leg since your trail leg is the one that does most of the work on the mat.

Once you’re confident with the Split Squat, you can progress to the Bulgarian Split Squat.

Bulgarian Split Squat

The same technique points above apply to the Bulgarian Split Squat.

Obviously, the stability required for this exercise is a lot more. So, start by using bodyweight only and work up in weight from there.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is placing the top of your foot on the bench. Some people drive their toes into the bench and it affects their range of motion.

But, if you’re staying consistent with touching your knee to the ground on each rep, you’ll figure this out quickly. It is very difficult to touch your knee with your toes driven into the bench.

Finally, you can use a bar or dumbbells for both variations above. I prefer dumbbells, but I encourage you to try both and see what you feel will work best for you.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion
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Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.

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Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.

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Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.

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