I’ll be honest: For several years, I was not a huge fan of rear foot elevated split-squats (RFESS)/Bulgarian split-squats/whatever the cool kids are calling them these days.
My biggest issue with the exercise was the execution: If you you do a Google search for the exercise, you’ll see pictures of athletes crushing their lumbar spines, or blowing out the ligaments on the front of their hip.
This past winter, I decided to give them a shot again with our off-season soccer players and make sure our coaching was on point.
Not only did the guys enjoy them, but I feel like we were getting a ton out of the exercise as well. Here’s how we coach the lift at IFAST.
A few take home points:
- Once set-up, exhale to feel the abs and lengthen the hip flexors on the back leg.
- Feel the whole foot throughout the lift – both on the way down and use it to “push” back up.
- Allow the torso to lean, if necessary. The ideal goal would be to have the torso and the thigh of the back leg in-line. If the hip flexors are stiff that may not be possible, but definitely do not substitute with excessive lumbar or hip extension.
While these things may be subtle, I guarantee it makes all the difference in the world.
Give our technique a shot and let me know what you think!
All the best