Barbell Side Split Squat: Easy Exercise Tutorial With Must Do Tips

Are you struggling to get the most out of your barbell side split squats? Do you find that despite your best efforts, you’re not seeing the results you desire? You’re not alone. Many fitness enthusiasts make the mistake of overlooking the importance of proper form when performing the barbell side split squat, which can hinder their progress. But don’t worry, improving your form is a common struggle, and it’s easily achievable with the right guidance. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with the strategies and tips you need to perfect your barbell side split squat, and finally achieve the progress and results you’ve been working so hard for.

Barbell Side Split Squat Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Barbell Side Split Squat Instructions

  • The side split squat is similar to the lateral lunge, except you do not step. You will keep your feet planted the entire exercise.
  • Setup by placing a bar on your shoulders as you would for normal squats.
  • You can perform this inside a rack or anywhere you have enough room.
  • Once the weight is on your back and your back is straight get into a wide stance with your legs straight.
  • Do a side split squat my squatting with one leg while keeping the other leg straight.
  • Then press your leg back straight standing back up.
  • You can switch legs for every rep or do a set on one side then switch to the other side.

Video Tutorial

How to Do Barbell Side Split Squats

Barbell Side Split Squat Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the barbell side split squat exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Barbell Side Split Squat

The Barbell Side Split Squat is an excellent exercise for strengthening the quadriceps muscles. This exercise focuses on unilateral training, which helps to increase strength and stability in the legs. Additionally, it increases core stability and balance, while also helping to improve hip mobility. Because the barbell is held in the hands, this exercise also works the upper body muscles as well as the lower body muscles. The Barbell Side Split Squat is an effective exercise for developing strength in the quadriceps, as it targets the quads more than a traditional squat does. Furthermore, by performing this exercise with a barbell, you can increase the intensity of the exercise and challenge your quadriceps even further.

Tips for Performing Barbell Side Split Squat

Using the barbell side split squat is a great way to target multiple muscle groups, such as your quads, glutes, and core. This exercise can help you become stronger and leaner while improving your overall balance and stability. To get the most out of this move, follow these tips:

  • Picking Your Rest Time Period To Be Brief, Yet You Are Able To Still Complete A Solid Whole Set. Any time your break period is too quick you might be unable to finish the whole set, when it is way too extended you are just being inefficient.
  • Without Exception Use Complete Range Of Flexion. By using a full range of motion you will certainly guarantee that you exercise your total muscle and that you keep your flexibility.
  • Have A Plan When You Get To The Gym. You need to plan your training session in advance when you have an end goal. In case your objective is only to burn calories, you should continue to have a plan when you get to the gym.
  • Focus On Inhaling And Exhaling. With this and most workouts, respiration is vital. You need to be exhaling out during your target muscle flexing and breathing in when your target muscles are expanding.

Benefits and Tips Video

How to do Barbell Side Split Squats

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When doing the Barbell Side Split Squat, it is important to keep in mind a few key points to ensure you are doing the exercise correctly and safely. Keep reading to find out the common mistakes people make when doing this exercise and how to avoid them.

  • You’ll Do Better To Not Trai Alone. A workout partner are generally an incredible driving force. A companion can even be important spotter.
  • Stop Trying To Cut A Warm-Up. Properly prepaing your Muslces is the Best way to avoid injuries.
  • You Must Not Omit Your Cooldown. You can have much longer recovery time and longer soreness whenever you ignore your cooldown.

Find More Barbell Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

For those looking to add variety to their workout routine, there are several variations, complementary, and alternative exercises to the Barbell Side Split Squat. These exercises will target similar muscles and can be used to mix up your workouts. Below are a few examples of these alternatives.

Barbell One Leg Squat

Graphic image of Barbell One Leg Squat.

Barbell One Leg Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. This exercise helps to target the quads and glutes, while also working on balance and stability. It involves standing on one leg and then performing a squat movement, with the other leg extended out to the side. This helps to challenge your core stability, as well as strengthening the muscles in the legs. The Barbell One Leg Squat is an excellent way to improve your overall lower body strength and power, while still providing an effective workout for the quads and glutes.

Split Squat

Graphic image of Split Squat.

The Split Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. It is a unilateral lower body exercise that focuses on the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It also provides an additional challenge to the core muscles as you must stabilize your body throughout the movement. The Split Squat can be performed with dumbbells, barbells, or even just bodyweight, making it an effective exercise for all levels. It is important to maintain good form throughout the entire movement and keep the torso upright in order to maximize results.

Smith Machine Split Squat

Graphic image of Smith Machine Split Squat.

The Smith Machine Split Squat is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. It requires much less balance, as the body is supported by the Smith Machine, allowing for a greater focus on the muscles involved. The weight can be adjusted easily, making it ideal for any fitness level. Additionally, the Smith Machine Split Squat can also be used to target other muscles groups such as the core, glutes and hamstrings. This exercise can be incorporated into any lower body routine to help increase strength and size in the targeted muscles.

Check Out These Top Barbell Exercises

Dumbbell Split Squat

Graphic image of Dumbbell Split Squat.

Dumbbell Split Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. It helps to further strengthen the quads, glutes, and hamstrings while also engaging the core. It works on balance and stabilization as well as single leg strength, which is essential for athletes who play sports that require them to be agile on one foot. The dumbbell split squat also requires less equipment than the barbell side split squat, making it an ideal exercise for anyone with limited gym resources.

Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat

Graphic image of Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat.

The Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. This exercise works the lower body, core and stabilizing muscles of the hips, glutes and hamstrings. It is performed by placing one foot on a bench behind you and then performing a squat with the other leg. This exercise allows for more range of motion and activation of muscles than the Barbell Side Split Squat as it is performed in a single-leg stance. Additionally, it helps develop balance, coordination and stability.

Sled One Leg Press

Graphic image of Sled One Leg Press.

The Sled One Leg Press is a great complementary exercise to the Barbell Side Split Squat. This exercise can be done with one or two legs and it targets the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It is an excellent alternative to the Barbell Side Split Squat as it does not require any additional equipment. The Sled One Leg Press can also be done with a variety of weights and can be adjusted for any fitness level. It is an effective exercise for strengthening the lower body and improving balance and coordination.

Find More Legs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To further complement the Barbell Side Split Squat, it is important to include exercises that target opposing muscle groups. This will help to create balance in your body and provide a more comprehensive workout. Here are some exercises to get you started:

Dumbbell Rear Lunge

Graphic image of Dumbbell Rear Lunge.

The Dumbbell Rear Lunge is an effective exercise that complements the Barbell Side Split Squat. It works the opposing muscle group of the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, providing a balanced workout for the lower body. By performing both exercises, you can ensure that all the muscles of the lower body are getting the attention they need to reach their full potential. The Dumbbell Rear Lunge helps to strengthen and tone the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, while the Barbell Side Split Squat targets the hip abductors and adductors. Together, these two exercises create a comprehensive lower-body workout that is sure to help you reach your fitness goals.

Dumbbell Walking Lunges

Graphic image of Dumbbell Walking Lunges.

Dumbbell Walking Lunges are a great complement to the Barbell Side Split Squat as they work the opposing muscle group. This movement targets the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, while the Barbell Side Split Squat is better for working the inner and outer thighs. To perform Dumbbell Walking Lunges, start by standing with feet shoulder width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your back knee almost touches the ground. Push off from your front foot to return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. This exercise should be done for a set number of repetitions or for a set amount of time.


Graphic image of Lunge.

The lunge is a great exercise to pair with the Barbell Side Split Squat as it targets the opposing muscle groups. The lunge works the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, while the Barbell Side Split Squat focuses on the inner and outer thighs. By performing both exercises together, the entire lower body will be challenged and strengthened. Additionally, the lunge can help improve balance and coordination as it requires a single leg stance. This combination of exercises is a great way to build strength and sculpt the lower body.

Unlock Stronger Legs with Barbell Side Split Squats

If you’re looking to strengthen your legs, incorporating barbell side split squats into your workout routine can be a game changer. Not only do they target multiple muscle groups in the legs, but they also require balance and stability, making them a great functional exercise. By adding weight with a barbell, you can increase resistance and challenge your muscles even more. Just be sure to use proper form and start with a lighter weight until you feel comfortable with the movement. With consistency, you’ll notice improvements in your leg strength and overall fitness level.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Legs Barbell Exercises

Pin image for barbell side split squat post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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