BSS’s hurt the foot that rests on the bench. I love the exercise personally but whenever I do them the pain distracts me from the lift and it subsequently suffers. Anybody else experience this and how have you gotten around this?
It can be related to flexibility or a previous injury. You might want to give this a shot in the mean time - try modifying the back foot position so that your toe is pointing downwards and supporting almost like a finished lunge position.
BSS are kind of an annoying exercise simply because of all the extra setup you need to do vs. simple 1 leg or bilateral squatting variations.
Bulgarian Split Squats are a personal favorite because of the awesome stretch on the rear leg, and the activation of all the muscles for strength and balance in the leg.
That said, I am well familiar with the pain you are talking about. On DeFranco’s athletes, I noticed they place the back foot with a toe-first stance. Personally, I use the nook of my foot which is basically the front of my ankle. My weightlifting shoe (adidas weightlifting trainer, they call it the crossfit shoe, but it meets my lower body needs quite well) has a velcro strap on the top of the shoelace which provides a ton of buffering so that I can focus entirely on the exercise and not on the foot pain.
Other option is to grab a foam pad, which most gyms will have, and use that as a buffer. A strength coach might just tell you to get over the discomfort and that it goes away with practice. Good luck.
Agreed, you may also want to spend some time on flexibility/mobility of the ankle as well as foam rolling around the calves.
OR you can skip the circus show and use both legs