The Bulgarian split squat is an excellent exercise. No denying that. It activates your quadriceps and builds single-leg stability. And as you lower, the movement causes tiny tears in your glutes. Over the next couple days, your body repairs these microtears, making your muscles fibers stronger and bigger than before.
Plus, unlike the regular split squat where your back leg pushes about 50 percent of the load, the Bulgarian version uses the rear foot only for balance. That means your front leg is doing the majority of the work.
However, I believe that there’s a better way to perform them than on a bench. The standard way never felt right for me, so I figured out a more comfortable way that works with my anatomy.
The crux of my foot and ankle interacts with the bar as I rise up and down during the movement. It’s smooth and comfortable. (If you'd rather have a permanent setup, many fitness equipment companies sell single-leg squat stands.)
I've used this method for 6-plus years, and I find it works best for me. I can perform more reps and I don't have to worry about the position of my rear foot. Give it a try and see if you prefer it over the standard version.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health US.