Get Down with Split Squats

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Training

Split Squats are a great unilateral exercise for adding muscle and functional strength to the lower body and can also make a demanding addition to a metabolic/conditioning workout, but most people either do them horribly wrong, or don’t realize what they’re targeting. Some people call it a glute exercise, some people call it a quad exercise, and some dipshits do it standing on a bosu ball and call it a stability exercise. The first two are kind of right, it’s both. But with some small tweaks you can change the emphasis and get more of what you want.

I often divide my lower body workouts into Quad Dominant days and Hip Dominant days (hamstrings & glutes), so I like being able to emphasize the muscle groups warranted for that particular day without excessively fatiguing the rest of the lower body for the upcoming alternate leg workout. So here’s how you can change the Split Squat to suit your needs.

You can either hold dumbbells at your sides or a barbell on your back to increase difficulty, I prefer dumbbells in most cases.

Remember that in the Quad Dominant Split Squat, you’ll still be working your hamstrings and glutes, just not as much due to the minor biomechanical changes, and vice versa for the Hip Dominant Split Squat.

Quad Dominant Split Squat

Start with lead foot very close to the bench, knees should be right next to each other.

Lower the body with the torso upright, butt should hit heel at the bottom position. Be sure to keep lead foot flat.

Hip Dominant Split Squat

Take a very large step forward with the lead leg to start.

Lean forward as you squat down, keeping the shoulder over the lead knee. Focus on driving hips back as you descend, and driving the hips forward as you return to the start.

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Comments
  1. […] my Body of Evidence blog, I just covered proper split squat form with pics here. As for the elevated full lunge, its basically a way to ease into doing full lunges on the floor, […]

  2. […] my Body of Evidence blog, I just covered proper split squat form with pics here. As for the elevated full lunge, its basically a way to ease into doing full lunges on the floor, […]

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