- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredBodyweight
- Force TypePush (Unilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
Split Squat Overview
The split squat is a variation of the lunge and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the leg.
Some people may refer to the split squat as the static lunge as it looks very similar to the lunge, but you keep the rear foot back and engaged during your entire set of repetitions.
The split squat is an excellent exercise for those looking to build single leg strength, and as a lunge variation can be a foundational exercise to include within your workout program.
Split Squat Instructions
- Set up in a split stance position with your hands by your side looking straight ahead.
- Descend by flexing both knees simultaneously and continue until the back knee touches the ground directly beneath the hip.
- Drive through the front foot and extend the knee as you return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Split Squat Tips
- If you want to emphasize the quads during the split squat, focus on taking a slightly smaller split stance and drive up through the ball of the foot.
- If you want to emphasize the glutes and hamstrings during the split squat, focus on taking a slightly larger split stance and drive up through the heel of the foot.
- If you’re an overextended athlete then you may find it more beneficial to allow for slightly more torso lean throughout the drill as this will help to keep your spine neutral and load the front leg more effectively.
- If the front leg keeps diving in excessively as you reverse from the eccentric to concentric, attach a band to a rack, loop one end around your knee, and allow it to pull you into a valgus position (not excessively, just slightly). From here, push out against the band to engage the glute and keep yourself in a more neutral position.
- You don’t need to feel like you have to be completely upright as you complete the movement. On the contrary, you should have a slight forward lean and focus on keeping your lumbar spine neutral.