Split Squats are basically lunges performed in place. The ‘split’ refers to a split stance, which means one foot in front of the other. Single leg strength is an incredibly useful quality to train and improve. Balance, walking, hiking, running, climbing stairs, and nearly every sport have a heavy single leg emphasis. If I could choose one lower body exercise to never lose the ability to do, it’d be a split squat.
Probably the most common question or concern with this activity – where should I feel it? That’s easy, you should feel it in the leg that is forward. If you’re doing a really good job, you’ll feel it on your thighs and your butt.
One way to know you’re in the wrong position is that you can feel tightness in the back, hip, or pain in back of the knee. When this is the case, you’re likely in too long of a stance (watch me in this “how to” Split Squat video). By shortening the stance, we can take tension off the back leg, and drive more compression through the working front leg.
Another common mistake is lack of heel contact. When the heel of the lead leg comes off the ground, you’ll find yourself on your toes, and it’s nearly impossible for the hamstrings and glutes to contribute effectively. Your center of gravity will pitch forward, and the exercise will be felt through the knee.
Mastering fundamental body weight activities with a PRI certified personal trainer will improve your health and fitness and help keep you injury free. Improve your ability to move and manage your body in every day movement challenges, for life!