Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat 101: A How-To Guide

January 21, 2012

The Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat (commonly referred to as Bulgarian Split-Squat) is an advanced Squat variation you can use to build strength and power in your legs and hips, particularly the quads. One of its advantages over a traditional Squat is that it works the legs individually to build balanced lower-body strength, while also increasing lower body and core stability. Through this guide, you’ll learn how to perform the Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat and adapt it to meet your particular training needs.

Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat How-To

  • Stand in lunge or stride position with back foot on bench or box and bar on back
  • Bend front knee to lower into lunge until thigh is parallel to ground; keep front knee behind toes
  • Extend hip and knee to drive up to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Rear-Foot-Elevated Split-Squat Exercise

Getting Started
Beginners should focus on perfecting form and technique before adding resistance. Perform the exercise with bodyweight and also do Single-Leg Squats. Add weight incrementally by holding a med ball, wearing a weight vest and performing with dumbbells.

Advanced Dumbbell Rear-Foot-Elevated Split-Squats
Advanced athletes can increase the challenge by placing their front foot on an airex pad. You can also explosively drive up out of the lunge to increase power, or hold the lunge for three to five seconds to increase strength.

Common Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat Mistakes and Solutions

  1. Front Knee Travels Beyond Toes: Increase foot separation in the starting stance so your front knee is directly over your ankle and your thigh is parallel to the ground in the lunge position.
  2. Rear Knee Touches Ground: Increase foot separation in the starting stance so your rear knee is one to two inches above ground in the lunge position.
  3. Torso Tilts Forward: Reduce the weight on the bar for subsequent sets. This could be the result of tight hip flexors and quads. Perform a proper dynamic warm-up and consistently stretch these muscles post-workout.
  4. Bar Tilts During Lunge: Reduce the weight on the bar for subsequent sets. Focus your eyes on a single point on the wall to help maintain balance. Also, performing exercises that target the core will help you control the bar.

Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat Technique Variations
Before performing the Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat, it’s important to master the traditional Squat. Learn how to Squat and find a full list of Squat variations in Squat 101: A How-To Guide.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 181,250
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,271,129
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,757
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,781
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,195,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,292
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,437
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,995

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Strength Isn’t Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Strength Isn't Just How Much You Can Lift on a Barbell

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

Build Elite Strength With This Training System

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

9 Ways to Improve Your Squat Technique

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

The 10-Minute Grip Strengthening Workout

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Fix 7 Common Problem Areas with Exercises From Todd Durkin

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

Building Functional Balance for Figure Skaters

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

10-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up for Any Workout

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

2015 Summer Training Guide: Soccer

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

How to Build Strong Neck Muscles

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

Mix Up Your Workout With Unique Partner Exercises

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

What Sport Coaches Need to Know About Strength and Conditioning

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

A Modern Twist to the Original Burpee

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Perfect Planks: How to Make this Classic Exercise More Effective

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

Why You Should Add Depth Jumps to Your Workouts

10 Biceps Exercises Better Than Traditional Curls

10 Biceps Exercises Better Than Traditional Curls

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Basketball

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Build Lower-Body Power with This Squat Workout

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Why Reverse Lunges Are Better Than Forward Lunges

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Full-Body Training: 4 Dumbbell Ring Training Exercises

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

Use Single-Leg Strength to Enhance Soccer Performance

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Football

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

2015 Summer Training Guide: Track

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

Heavy Rope Workout for Big Gains

Building Brakes for More Speed

Building Brakes for More Speed

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

Go Against Traditional Workout Order for Bigger Gains

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

3 Simple Tips to Gain Muscle Mass

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Baseball

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Bulletproof Shoulders: A Shoulder Training Guide

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Marcus Mariota's Speed and Strength Workout

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

Build Powerful Muscles With Velocity-Based Training

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

5 Things to Remember When You Wing Your Workout

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Why Single-Arm and Single-Leg Training is Better for Athletes

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

Troubleshooting the Lunge: How to Fix Your Form

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

2015 Summer Training Guide: Lacrosse

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

Are You Using the Right Weight for Every Exercise?

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

There Might Be a Good Reason Tim Tebow Looks This Ridiculous

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

2015 Summer Training Guide: Softball

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

The Squat Variation That Torches Your Core

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

2015 Summer Training Guide: Wrestling

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

3 Bear Crawl Variations for Better Core Strength

YardBarker