Bulgarian Split Squats

A do-anywhere, glute sculpting exercise

Summer is fast approaching, and ladies everywhere are working hard to get ready for shorter skirts, shorts and bikini weather. One of the best ways to ramp up your results is through strength training—we all know that.

Strength training helps to boost your metabolism, burn fat while you are not training, develop lean muscle that looks awesome and strong and helps you look great in anything you want to wear.

Strength training your lower body is key to getting results. Not only are you creating an amazing lower body shape, you are also burning a lot more calories, as your legs and glutes are the powerhouse muscles.

One of my favorite lower body glute sculpting exercises that you can do anywhere is the Bulgarian Split Squat (often called the Rear Elevated Lunge). This is my absolute go-to single leg movement. You can really scale this exercise up or down depending on your fitness level. And, you can do it anywhere, because most people will have access to at least a bench and a dumbbell.

Bulgarian Split Squats - A do-anywhere, glute sculpting exercise

How it Works: Place one foot on the top of the bench with that toe pointing back to relax your ankle. Set up in a lunge stance with tall shoulders and tight abs. Hold one dumbbell in a goblet position (or start with body weight if you have not done this one before). Relax your back leg and drop down so your knee hovers just above the floor without crashing down. Drive up through that front heel using your glutes, hamstrings and abs.

Repeat for 8-12 reps per side and switch legs.

How to Scale it: If you are a beginner, use just your body weight and let your knee touch the floor lightly, focusing on driving up through that front heel. This will help improve your balance. If you are more advanced, you can increase the weight of the dumbbell and also slow down the tempo. For my advanced clients, I will have them lower down at a 4 second pace, hold for 2 seconds at the bottom and then drive up.

What it Works:
Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Core

Here is a quick video of me demonstrating some Bulgarian Split Squats during my training session. I am using an actual split squat bench but you can easily do this on a regular flat bench.

Be sure to leave a comment if you love the Bulgarian Split Squat or let me know what your other favorite lower body exercises are.

Callie Durbrow

Callie Durbrow is the owner of Durbrow Performance Training and the author of Strong and Sexy in 25 Minutes.

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