How to Master the Bulgarian Split Squat to Grow Your Leg Muscles - Men's Health Magazine Australia

How to Master the Bulgarian Split Squat to Grow Your Leg Muscles

Add power to your engine.

They might not be your mirror muscles, but the glutes are your body’s athletic driving force. The Pass-Through Bulgarian Split Squat will upgrade yours – and the benefits are maximus.

Though their functional benefits might not be immediately obvious, a peachy pair of glutes has application in
all sorts of areas of life. They are what propel you forwards on every stride of your morning run, and they protect your back when you bend down to lift a heavy object, be it a sandbag, a kettlebell or a wriggling four-year-old tantrum thrower.

Your rear is also responsible for improving posture and balance by keeping your hips stable. What’s more, too much time sat at our desks can make our glutes lazy, meaning they struggle to fire up when required, increasing our risk of injury.

The best way to wake them up? This hybrid of the pass-through lunge and Bulgarian split squat, prescribed by fitness guru Ebenezer Samuel.

“Though your glutes bear the brunt of the challenge, your quads, hamstrings and abs must also work overtime to prevent your torso from shifting,” says Samuel. Survive three sets and it’ll put the bounce back in your step… well, once the DOMS has cleared. Grab a kettlebell and go.


1. Get a Leg Up

Hold a kettlebell to your chest. Get in a half-kneeling stance, right instep behind you on a bench. Your left shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Tighten your abs and stand up. 


2. Take a Knee

Bend at both knees, lowering your torso until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Your right knee should be about 2-3cm off the floor, and you may feel a stretch in your right hip flexor and quad.


3. Pass It On

Tighten your abs and shoulder blades, then lower the kettlebell, relaxing your right hand. Pass the bell under your left thigh to your left hand. Keep your hips and shoulders square to the front as you do. 


4. Clean up well

Push your butt back slightly, then contract your glutes and thrust your hips forwards, powering the bell to your left shoulder. Pause, then straighten your left leg. Repeat, but pass the bell from left to right. That’s 1 rep; do 4-6. Do 3 sets per leg. 

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