One Leg Dumbbell Squat (AKA Bulgarian squat) Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Intermediate
  • Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
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Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the one leg dumbbell squat by choosing a pair of dumbbells and standing about 2 to 3 feet in front of a flat bench or some other elevated platform.
  2. You should be facing away from the bench with the dumbbells down at your sides. 
  3. Now carefully extend your right leg behind you and place the top of your foot securely on the bench.
  4. Keeping your eyes facing forwards slowly lower your body down by bending at the left knee.  
  5. Don't lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
  6. Squat down until your left thigh is parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heel.
  7. Do not lock the knee out when you stand up.
  8. Repeat for desired reps and then repeat using your right leg.

​Exercise Tips:

  1. This exercise requires a good deal of balance so start off by using a very light weight.
  2. The higher you raise the platform, the more challenging the exercise becomes.
  3. It's crucially important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping your eyes facing forward, chest out, shoulder blades back, and back arched. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  4. Always push up through your heels. Curling up your toes can help you get the technique right.
  5. Don't allow your torso to lean forward. This happens when your hips move up faster than your shoulders. To prevent this keep the rep timing slow and controlled and stick your buttocks out as you go down.
  6. When you squat down, your hips should be dropping straight down, not coming forward. Using a light weight, perfect your form standing side on to a mirror. Your knees should never track out and over your toes.
  7. Keep your head up and look forward. As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.

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3 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 01/04/2015 - 13:01
MB

I really dislike any form of these squats. My gams can't tolerate more than a few before they conk out on me.

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Posted Sat, 10/06/2012 - 01:29
Donna

I have bad knees is there a different exercise that I can perform to replace the split squat?

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Posted Tue, 02/25/2014 - 21:59
Wilson Sanchez

you can do box squats