Split Squat: Sure Fire Body Weight Exercise To Build Your Legs

Are you struggling to perfect your split squat? You’re not alone. Many people find this exercise to be challenging, even though it’s an effective way to strengthen your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It’s no wonder why so many people have trouble with this exercise, since proper form can be difficult to master. Luckily, you don’t have to give up on this powerful exercise just yet. In this post, we’ll go over some common mistakes people make while performing split squats and how you can finally master this move with ease.

Split Squat Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Quadriceps
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductor Magnus, Gluteus Maximus, and Soleus
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Basic or Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Split Squat Instructions

  • Stand with your hands on hips.
  • Step out with one foot at the length of your normal walking step.
  • Squat down by flexing your knee and hip of your front leg.
  • Allow the heel of your rear foot to rise up as the knee of your rear leg bends go as low as you feel comfortable without your knee contacting with.
  • Return to the standing position by extending hip and knee of forward leg.
  • Repeat your Split Squat for a full set.

Video Tutorial

Proper split squat set up and Form!!!

Split Squat Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers


Antagonist Stabilizers

Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the split squat exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Split Squat

Split Squats are an excellent exercise for strengthening the Quadriceps muscles. Split Squats involve standing with one leg forward and the other back, then squatting down and pushing back up with both legs. This exercise helps to target the Quadriceps by engaging them in the movement, as well as providing a greater range of motion. Performing Split Squats regularly will help to increase strength and muscular endurance in the Quadriceps, as well as aiding in injury prevention. Additionally, this exercise can be easily modified for different levels of intensity, making it accessible for anyone, regardless of their current fitness level.

Tips for Performing Split Squat

Your at the right place if you’re trying to advance your split squat execution. These tips will help you get the most from of this effective workout, and help you reap all the benefits it has to offer. In addition to building your quadriceps muscles, improving movability, and even a lower possibility of injury can all be achieved with this exercise. Let’s begin and explore how these suggestions will benefit you.

  • Proper Form is Key – Make sure your form is perfect when doing Split Squats to ensure you’re getting the most out of the exercise. This includes keeping your back straight and your chest up, as well as keeping your weight evenly distributed on both feet. The benefit is that you’ll be able to maximize the muscle building potential and get the best results possible.
  • Keep it Slow – When doing Split Squats, don’t rush through the movement. Focus on each rep and really feel the muscles working. Taking it slow will help you get a better workout and avoid any potential injuries.
  • Vary Your Sets – Don’t just stick to one set of Split Squats. Mix it up and do different variations of the exercise to keep things interesting and target different muscle groups. The benefit is that you’ll be able to challenge yourself and maximize your results.

Benefits and Tips Video

Beginner's Guide: Split Squat

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting split squat, avoiding common errors can be the difference between a productive workout and a debilitating injury. Additionally, achieving optimal results from this exercise requires proper form, and avoiding perform common errors can allow you to perform the exercise correctly and achieve your desired results. But don’t worry, it’s not at all difficult as it might appear. You can execute the exercise safely and effectively by avoiding the mistakes to prevent and by executing the correct steps. So it is time for you to optimize the impact of this exercise and enjoy the advantages of a productive workout.

  • Not keeping their back straight: Not keeping the back straight during a split squat can result in an incorrect posture, which can lead to injury and make the exercise less effective.
  • Not going low enough: Not going deep enough during a split squat means that the exercise is not being maximized and it’s not working the muscles as intended.
  • Not controlling the movement: If a person is not controlling their movements when performing a split squat, they may be more likely to lose balance or suffer an injury due to improper form.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

The Split Squat is a great exercise to target your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, but if you are looking for a change of pace or variation in your workout routine, there are several alternatives you can use to get a similar effect. Here are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that work similar muscles as the Split Squat.

Smith Machine Split Squat

Graphic image of Smith Machine Split Squat.

The Smith Machine Split Squat is a variation of the traditional Split Squat exercise. It is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the traditional Split Squat. This variation requires you to stand with one foot on the platform of the Smith Machine and the other foot slightly behind you. You then descend until your back knee almost touches the floor and press back up to the starting position. This exercise can target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles as you support yourself in an upright position while keeping your balance. The Smith Machine Split Squat is also beneficial because it allows you to adjust the weight to your own preference and perform the exercise with greater stability than the traditional Split Squat.

Dumbbell Split Squat

Graphic image of Dumbbell Split Squat.

The Dumbbell Split Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Split Squat. This exercise requires you to stand with one foot elevated on a bench, box or step, while you hold a dumbbell in each hand. You then lower your body until the thigh of your front leg is parallel to the ground, pause, and then press up to the starting position. This exercise is great for targeting the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings while also building balance and stability. It can be used as an alternative to the traditional Split Squat as it allows for greater range of motion and will give you an extra challenge.

Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat

Graphic image of Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat.

The Dumbbell Romanian Split Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Split Squat. It targets the same muscle groups, with the added benefit of improved balance and stability due to the single-leg stance. To perform this exercise, stand with your back leg resting on a bench or elevated surface. Place your hands on your hips and lower your body until your back knee is almost touching the ground. Drive through your front heel to stand up and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. This exercise can be performed with heavier weights than the traditional Split Squat, allowing you to build strength and size in your legs.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Barbell Side Split Squat

Graphic image of Barbell Side Split Squat.

The Barbell Side Split Squat is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Split Squat. This exercise requires you to stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell across your back. You then lower yourself down until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and then return to the starting position. This exercise works the same muscles as the Split Squat, but allows for a greater range of motion in the hips, making it an ideal option for those looking for an increased challenge. Additionally, this exercise helps to improve balance and stability, making it a great choice for any fitness enthusiast.

Barbell One Leg Squat

Graphic image of Barbell One Leg Squat.

The Barbell One Leg Squat is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Split Squat. This exercise is performed with a barbell on the back and requires the lifter to stand on one leg while they squat down and up. This exercise focuses on balance, stability, and core strength, which are all important components of the Split Squat. The Barbell One Leg Squat also helps to target different muscle groups than the Split Squat, making it a great way to switch up your routine. With practice and proper form, this exercise can be a great addition to your regular workout program.

Barbell Front Sumo Squat

Graphic image of Barbell Front Sumo Squat.

The Barbell Front Sumo Squat is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Split Squat. This exercise works the same muscles as the Split Squat, but with a slightly different angle. The Barbell Front Sumo Squat requires you to take a wide stance and hold a barbell in front of your chest. You then lower yourself down into a squatting position while keeping your chest up and your back straight. This exercise helps to strengthen the hips, glutes, quads, and hamstrings as well as building stability and balance. It is a great way to add variety to your training program and help to work your legs from different angles.

Find More Legs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To complement the exercise Split Squat, it is important to work the opposing muscle groups to create balanced strength. These exercises will target the muscles that are not used in the Split Squat, helping to build overall strength and stability. Here is a list of exercises that can be used to work the opposing muscle groups:

Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Graphic image of Barbell Romanian Deadlift.

The Barbell Romanian Deadlift is a great exercise to complement the Split Squat. This exercise works the opposing muscle group of the Split Squat, mainly the hamstrings and glutes. It also works the lower back and core muscles to provide stability and balance. The Barbell Romanian Deadlift strengthens the posterior chain and improves mobility and flexibility, which is essential for performing the Split Squat correctly and safely. This exercise also teaches proper hip hinge form, which will help with the development of a strong and stable core. Overall, the Barbell Romanian Deadlift is an excellent exercise to pair with the Split Squat to ensure full body development.

Barbell Snatch Deadlift

Graphic image of Barbell Snatch Deadlift.

The Barbell Snatch Deadlift is a great complementary exercise to Split Squats. It works the opposite muscle groups to ensure that all muscle groups are engaged and strengthened. The Barbell Snatch Deadlift targets the posterior chain, which includes the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. This helps to create a balanced strength in the lower body and ensures that the quads and hip flexors used in Split Squats are not overworked or neglected. The Barbell Snatch Deadlift also helps to improve overall power and explosiveness by engaging fast-twitch muscles. All of these benefits combine to make the Barbell Snatch Deadlift a great complementary exercise to the Split Squat.

Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift

Graphic image of Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift.

The Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift is a great exercise to pair with the Split Squat, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise targets the hamstrings and glutes, which are the opposite of the quads that are primarily used in the Split Squat. The Barbell Straight Leg Deadlift also helps strengthen the lower back, which is important for maintaining good posture during exercises like the Split Squat. By working both the quads and hamstrings, you can ensure that your body is balanced and prepared for any kind of workout.

Power Up Your Legs with Split Squats!

If you’re looking for a way to add some serious power to your lower body, split squats are the perfect exercise for you. This move not only strengthens your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, but it also improves your balance and stability. By targeting each leg individually, you’ll even out any imbalances and reduce your risk of injury. With proper form and consistency, split squats can help you take your fitness game to the next level.

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov | Comprehensive List of Legs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for 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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