Somerville Training Tip: Lower Body Training with the Bulgarian Split Squat

When training for fat loss and overall strength it’s important to structure your training as efficiently as possible to meet those goals.

Your week should simply be 3 days of full body strength work and 2 days of interval style conditioning. Mix a day of yoga for recovery and mobility and you’re good to go.

On your strength days the training should include all the basic movements:

  • Lower Body
  • Upper Body Push
  • Upper Body Pull
  • Core (anti-rotation or plank variation)
  • Explosive or Power
  • Conditioning

Here’s an example of a training session that meets all those categories:

  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Push Ups
  • TRX Rows
  • Valslide Body Saw
  • Squat Jumps
  • Battling Ropes

Set this up in a circuit fashion so you are doing 30 seconds of work at each station followed by 30 seconds of rest. Rest for 1:30 and then complete 4-5 total sets.

I love the Bulgarian Split Squat because it’s an amazing lower body movement that builds up your single leg strength and really develops great hip movement. This is important because a lot of people simple do squats or dead lifts off two legs and never really move in a single leg variation or in different directions.

You can also really scale this exercise up or down depending on your fitness level.

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.

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.

You can use this exercise in a circuit or as a stand-alone movement for reps. If you’re hitting this for reps you’ll want to go anywhere in the 6-10 rep per leg range.

Check out a video of me demonstrating this kick-ass lower body training exercise….