This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

Everything you need to know about Bulgarian squats (but were afraid to ask)

The specific muscles targeted by this exercise are the glutes, quads and calves.

A man gives a demonstration of a Bulgarian squat.
A man gives a demonstration of a Bulgarian squat.
Image: YouTube

THE BULGARIAN SQUAT is a superb lower-limb exercise performed by many sportspeople. The dynamic nature of it makes it a difficult one for beginners to master but after some practice it becomes much easier.

Like most exercises, there are many variations of it but for the purposes of this article we’re going to stick with using either a barbell or dumbbells.

Getting your first few reps of the Bulgarian squat isn’t easy. Positioning yourself properly is often the first hurdle we’ll face; you want to be far enough from the bench (explained further down) that you can touch your knee to the floor (or just graze it), but close enough that you don’t lose your balance reaching back with the stabilizing foot.

Once you do that, getting a lot of reps isn’t easy. Obviously they’re harder to perform with weights but that’s how you get the most benefit.

The specific muscles targeted by this exercise are the glutes, quads and calves while the hamstrings are used as stabilisers, keeping us from falling sideways.

A few pointers;

· The front leg is going to be the working leg and the back leg is more used for balance.
· You can have the rear foot flat or on its toes.
· Start with a lighter weight
· Dip your knee down a little at first and when you become more confident, dip it down further.

Ready? Let’s go.

STEP 1. Hold a barbell or set of dumbells so that it/they is/are resting on your upper back (be careful not to rest it on your neck) and then stand about three feet in front of a bench. Then, lace your left foot on the bench behind you so that only your instep is on it.

STEP 2. Slowly lower your body so that your right knee becomes bent 90 degrees and your left knee comes close to touching the floor. Your torso should remain upright while your right lower leg is perpendicular to the floor.

STEP 3. Push yourself back to the original starting position as quickly as you are capable. Repeat until you feel you are done, then switch feet so that your right foot is now resting on the bench while your left leg does the workout.

A good starting point is to perform 3 sets of 8 reps on each leg with one minute recovery between sets. This lower limb exercise should be performed at least twice a week for an eight-week period before you’ll see noticeable gains.

VIDEO: Check out these Limerick lads’ trek across the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trail>

Katie Taylor opens defence of World title with convincing win in South Korea>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Brian Canty

Read next: