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The Bulgarian Split Squat

by Taylor Tollison

As players and coaches we frequently need to overcome the lack of time and equipment as it relates to our fitness training. Players need to be strong and fit and this does not just happen. Creating optimal strength does not just happen.

Yes, I believe that through just playing soccer your legs do get stronger. But, I also believe there is a limit to the strength you can create by not specifically working to get stronger.

Knowing that strength is a goal, what do we do when faced with a lack of time and equipment? We use our bodyweight to achieve strength increases. But I also believe there is a limit to that as well. And I also think that for many bodyweight is sufficient right now.

A good exercise is the Bulgarian lunge or squat. If you have not been exercising you should not start with the Bulgarian lunge, instead start with the split squat or if you are really out of shape use the just a regular two legged squat without weights and work your way into the split squat and then up from here.

The Bulgarian squat is done by placing your back leg on an elevated object behind the person doing the exercise. The elevated is typically about 1.5 to 2 feet tall but it should be modified by the height of your players. Start in the up position with the foot getting the work placed out front the body as if you had just taken a step forward in a lunge. The back foot as mentioned behind the body on a object(Lay the top of your foot on the object). Lower yourself down like you are doing a lunge to the point where the rear knee is slightly above the ground and return to the start position. Repeat this up and down process. A Key point to remember is you do not take a step forward like a lunge after each repetition (Only on the first repetition). Once you get your foot out front leave it there and move up and down.

I found this video on Youtube that shows the Bulgarian Split Squat.  The only thing I would change is to put the front foot out a little further so the knee is not coming over the foot as much.