RTS Coaching: What Torso Position is Best on Split-Squats?


Split-squats are one of my all-time favorite exercises.

When you think about it, they can do numerous things for you:

  • Build single-leg strength,
  • Improve flexibility in the trailing leg,
  • Improve stability and control through the hip, knee and ankle, etc.

Yet, when it comes to the split-squat, a common question comes up time and again:

“Where should my torso or chest position be?”

Some coaches will tell you to stay bolt upright throughout.

On the flip side, others will tell you a bent or angled torso is best.

So who’s right? Let’s discuss!

Now that you’ve watched the video, here are a few key points:

  • When trying to shut off a hip flexor, I like to stay more upright. Focus on a 90-90(ish) position, bang out a solid exhale, and cue lower abs. Make sure to keep the abs on throughout, and especially as you lower into the bottom position!
  • If you’re trying to build strength, I like the angled torso position. This variation is superior for an athlete who is moving well, and with whom I want to start building performance. When someone is in an angled torso position, they’re going to develop the quads and glutes to a high degree. These muscles are critical for acceleration, so by all means, do whatever you can to build them in the gym!

As with most things in life, “Which torso position is best” on a split-squat isn’t a black-and-white answer.

Determine what the needs of your athlete are, and then prescribe the correct variation from there.

All the best


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  1. Hey Mike, sounds reasonable.

    I have had a look at the split squat with some of my athletes and I agree, once loads are heavier you probably see more of a similar posture as in the Back Squats

    I have done a few videos on that with my athletes



    Let me know what you think.

  2. Definitely one of my current areas of focus. Thanks ya’ll show the concepts,movements and explain perfectly clear the reasons. I’m like a damn preschooler trying to emulate the big boys

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