To get bigger and stronger legs, many believe you have to squat and, in a sense, squat heavy. If it be a front squat or a back squat, there must be some weight on your back to get big wheels. Many people over the years who have squatted and squatted heavy have experienced some sense of discomfort or injury, most likely in the lower back.
The rear foot elevated split squat (RFESS), or better known as the Bulgarian Split-Squat, brings a whole new approach and safety element to getting big and strong legs.
Many people are somewhat limited when it comes to squatting with weight on their back or shoulders. When it comes to the back squat, that limit is found in the lower back and its ability to bear the weight. When it comes to the front squat, that limit is found in the upper back and even shoulders. The split squat keeps everything in the legs when it comes to weight bearing and allows you to unilaterally train those legs into tree trunks.
Standing in front of a bench, simply put the top of one of your feet on the bench behind you. This will cause your leg to bend because the foot is elevated. The leg that is not elevated will be the weight bearing leg but will also receive assistance from that back leg as well. This will take tension off of the back and even the knee of the weight bearing leg. You can perform the reps with added weight from dumbbells or even just body weight.
Believe it or not, you can actually load the legs with more weight and tension with a split squat than you can with a conventional back squat or front squat. This is because of the unilateral variable and the specific tension and resistance put on the leg. The biggest hindrance for most people when it comes to the split squat over the conventional squat is the “machismo” factor. No, the split squat does not look as awesome and macho as a conventional back or front squat, and you will not be using as much weight, but if you are about getting the legs to grow and are tired of dealing with nagging back issues and other injuries, the ego must be checked at the door.
This is not an anti-squatting article. The fact is though, if you squat and squat heavy, you will deal with some injuries and pain. The Bulgarian Split-Squat is an awesome alternative and go-to for people looking to build bigger and stronger legs.