Make Bulgarian Split Squats EVEN MORE BETTER with this One Trick

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Everyone knows that Bulgarian Split Squats are one of the best single leg exercises for being jacked, flexible, and healthy, and one of the overall best exercises period for leg development and power.

But who gives a shit about how your legs look when your biceps aren’t filling out your t-shirt? As an exercise scientist and general sadist, I started adding in this tweak to Bulgarian split squats in order to hit the biceps and abs while my legs get smoked by one of the most medieval exercises to come out of the Eastern Bloc.

Next time you’re doing dumbbell Split Squats, curl the dumbbells up to a 90-degree position while you finish the reps.

If the elbows are locked at your side, it will greatly increase the amount of tension on your core due to the new forward dumbbell position.

Also, if you do this for both sides, you’ll get quite a lot more time under tension (TUT) for your biceps, which can be a limiting factor in growth.

Getting it in in Colombia.
Working out at “Universal Body Building” Cali, Colombia

One of the best aspects about this from a mental perspective is that if you’re squeezing the biceps hard while holding the dumbbells at mid-range, focusing on the arms will help you forget how much the actual exercise sucks for your legs.

The one downside is that if you’re already hella jacked, you might be holding more weight than you can curl. No worries there either, daddy’s got you covered.

At the end of your regular sets, do a burnout set with lighter weight (15-30lb DB’s should do the trick). Squeeze the bis hard, and knock out as many reps as you can on your strong leg first. Rest 90 seconds and hit the other leg.

If you’re a real freak and just love the pain, do this with a barbell, and see how many reps you can do before you cry.

You can thank me later.


  1. Cool, they’re an awesome exercise, and I think amazing for women who want to have great legs.
    On these exercises, I would say don’t worry about bumping the weight up until you can do 15 per side with a controlled 3 second decent, and a 1 second pause at the bottom. As you come up, make sure to squeeze the glute hard.
    If you can knock that out easily, start adding 2.5kg, per side, or 7.5 kg if you’re using a bar. BSS’s get spicy fast, and I know you’re in it for the DOMS, but you don’t need a ton of weight to get a good training result. Cool blog Lexi, thanks for reading.


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