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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Why we love the Bulgarian Split Squat for runners

Also, know as a rear leg elevated split squat, this exercise is a beauty for runners. Why?

  • Great bang for your buck: it works multiple areas including glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves & adductors to similar degrees as a traditional backsquat

  • Allows to work on left-right strength asymmetry

  • Ideal for working out at home due to less weight required

  • ⬆️Hip flexor strength: whilst approx 85% of the work is being done by the front leg, the rear leg is still contributing, with the hip flexors helping out (McCurdy 2010)

  • ⬆️Hip extensor mobility: Having the rear leg elevated can provide a good stretch

  • Low back pain? This exercise involves less load on the upper body & back than a traditional double leg weighted squat

  • Stiff ankles? This variation allows a deeper squat due to less requirement on ankle mobility

  • Injured leg? if you are just too sore to weight heavy, you can still train the opposite, uninjured side

  • Knee pain? Want to target the posterior chain & decrease knee load? Move the front foot further forwards &/or slightly lean further forwards to feel more in the hamstring & hips.

  • Want to increase the challenge on the knee & quads? Move the front foot closer to your body &/or maintain a more upright posture. You can also press the weight overhead.

👋If you need help with your running injuries, don't hesitate to contact us at


  • DeForest, B. A., et al. (2014). "Muscle Activity in Single- vs. Double-Leg Squats." International journal of exercise science 7(4): 302-310.

  • McCurdy, K., et al. (2010). "Comparison of lower extremity EMG between the 2-leg squat and modified single-leg squat in female athletes." J Sport Rehabil 19(1): 57-70.

  • Schütz P, List R, Zemp R, Schellenberg F, Taylor WR, Lorenzetti S. Joint angles of the ankle, knee, and hip and loading conditions during split squats. J Appl Biomech. 2014 Jun;30(3):373-80.

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