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Bulgarian Split Squats

I’m having some problems doing the Bulgarian Split Squat. I can’t stay balanced when doing them. I dont know if its my form or if its just something I have to get used to. When I use the DB its especially hard, used the BB for the first time today and it was much easier but still when Im doing my right leg I can’t balance. Left leg I do it much easier. Any tips? Is it probubly my form or is it something I just have to get used to?

Use less weight until your balance improves.

[quote]myrk wrote:
Use less weight until your balance improves.[/quote]

Already using very little, 80lbs. I could do them body weight I guess or with jut the bar. I’d like to be in the 6-10 rep range on a day like today and the 12-15 on my DE day.

80lbs in each hand or total? I presently do 70 in each hand but started out with 30 or probably less.

[quote]myrk wrote:
80lbs in each hand or total? I presently do 70 in each hand but started out with 30 or probably less.[/quote]

40 in each hand and actually with the Barbell I was doing 85 lbs. Its very light weight for me but still I do not balance well.

It’s most likely just a proprioception problem or the stabilizing muscles aren’t used to it because it’s a unilateral exercise. If you have squats down, then form shouldn’t be a problem.

How much single leg work do you do in general? Most people have a dominant leg and balance/strength is always deficient on the opposite leg. Try to work in more lunges, especially reverse, single leg squat, etc. That will definitely help. I don’t think there’s any miracle solution. About the bulgarian squat itself, try to put more of your foot on the bench, i.e. deeper, up to your ankle instead of just the toes for example.

Yes Myrk and Highvoltage your probubly right. I have neglected doing single leg work for a very long time. I squated twice a week and deadlifted once for the longest time and didnt want to add any single leg work in.

Wierd thing is my right side of my body is usually dominent however I balance better on my left leg.

Trying taking off the shoe of the working leg/foot (keeping the other one on helps with pressure on the toes if you’re holding a heavy weight, but you can take that one off too). Balancing in your socks or barefeet will be much easier than in sneakers. No, don’t argue; just try it. Good luck.

[quote]Redbones27 wrote:
No, don’t argue; just try it. Good luck.[/quote]

Lol love it. I’ll definetly give it a shot got nothing to lose. Thanks.

80 lbs is still a lot if you can’t balance yourself. Decrease the weight even more.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
80 lbs is still a lot if you can’t balance yourself. Decrease the weight even more.[/quote]

Not alot relative to my back squat but I’ll try it.

So here’s my question. Should my back leg/knee(the one resting on the bench) touch the ground? Or just skim it?

I guess the question is how low should I go?

[quote]Just_Jamie wrote:
So here’s my question. Should my back leg/knee(the one resting on the bench) touch the ground? Or just skim it?

I guess the question is how low should I go?[/quote]

I think its a preference thing. Basically as long as your leg is not on the floor for long it doesnt really matter. I let my back leg touch the floor briefly, then I immediately explode back up.

As for the OP, I don’t know if this was brought up or not, but are the Bulgarian split squats (BSS) your first exercise? If your doing more than one leg exercise, and the BSS is the second or third one, being fatigued may be to blame.

But if thats not the problem, then this is an exercise that I wouldn’t have as your main exercise. What I’d do is find another exercise that doesn’t require much balance and focus on that. At the end of your workout, just do a few sets so you can “learn” the movement.

In fact, do a few sets every day (with your bad side only) to promote that learning. Once your comfortable, then you can start to use BSS as your main exercise if you’d like.

[quote]ss847859 wrote:
Wierd thing is my right side of my body is usually dominent however I balance better on my left leg.[/quote]

That’s normal. If your right handed your left leg is usually stronger.

And I would just keep doing them until you get the balance down. Its probably just muscles that are waking up. The reason I say that is because a few months ago I introduced my friend to DB bench press, which he had never done before. He really, really struggled to keep his balance on the bench while lifting a decent amount of weight for about 2 weeks, then he was fine. There were just different, additional muscles being used to stabalise, as well as lift.

[quote]Just_Jamie wrote:
So here’s my question. Should my back leg/knee(the one resting on the bench) touch the ground? Or just skim it?

I guess the question is how low should I go?[/quote]

That will depend a little on the length of your legs. Generally your knee will at least approach skimming the ground. It also depends a little on how far out you are from whatever your trailing leg is resting on. I’d generally say come down as far as you can, until the top of your front thigh is parallel to the ground, or until you’re not able to keep your torso mostly upright. That will depend a lot on your hip flexibility of course. The BSS will test both glute and ham flexibility and hip flexor flexibility.

make sure your back leg is not “behind” your front one, ah la a “tightrope.” make sure the back leg is parallel to the front but with some width between the knees.

Id do it body weight only for a couple days [in a row] and then rock the weight up gradually.

Getting the balance down will only take 3-5 sessions [at super most] but is better done sans weight.

going barefoot or with weightlifting shoes is optimal for balance. chucks work good too.

Maybe try using one DB held in front of your chest in the “goblet” style to help balance.

Also having an unmoving focus point far in front of you to stare at will improve your balance. do some quick balancing on one leg before the BSS to keen your feet into balancing mode.

-chris

I’ve found when training my clients who cannot balance doing these that if they dig there foot into the bench/box like you would if you were pushing it backwards helps them balance I guess due to the fact it keeps them tighter.

Also make sure your base isn’t too narrow. Slide the back foot further away and it will also help you balance.

Just skimmed this so not sure if it was mentioned or not but with unilateral work, make sure you work your weakest side first.

I have a love/hate thing with BSS. I really hate doing them, but keep pushing away at them (not sure where the love part comes in)