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Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: split squats.

Most people that work out have some variation of a squat in their fitness routine – and for good reason. They’re an incredibly versatile exercise, that can be easily modified to suit your strength, flexibility and exercise goals.

But next time you’re wondering whether to try out barbell, sumo, goblet or front variations, why not consider split squats?

What is a split squat?

Split squats are a lower body exercise, and variation of the traditional squat. They’re great because…

They are versatile: and a great option if a conventional squat puts too much pressure on your lower back

They can be modified into a Bulgarian split squat: which involves elevating the rearfoot on a box or bench. This reduces the support to the front foot from the rearfoot and increases the amount of stability and strength needed to perform the movement. 

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What muscles do split squats work?

Along with increasing your stability and lower body strength, split squats specifically target:

  • Glutes
  • Quads

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How to do a split squat

  1. Holding a dumbell in each hand, from a standing position, take a long step forwards as if performing a lunge. 
  2. Raise the heel of your back foot.
  3. Keeping your torso straight and knees in line with your toes, lower slowly until your back knee almost touches the floor, then push back up.
  4. Complete all your reps on one leg, then switch to the other. 

Want to find more variations of your favourite exercises? Check out our How To library to see exactly how the experts do over 100 of the most common strength training exercises.

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