Close
Browse
FILTER BY CATEGORY
More Categories Less Categories
FILTER BY TYPE
SEARCH KEYWORD

BLOG

Sharpen Your Split Squat Skills

splitsquats-wrong-ways-450x239The split squat (often called a lunge or stationary lunge) is an exercise that is revered and feared by many. There are very few exercises that have the ability to humble you or leave you as sore as a split squat. There are many variations of the split squat, but they have one thing in common: most people butcher them like crazy! This photo shows just two examples of split squats performed incorrectly.

Here is a checklist of things to think about before you perform a split squat:

1.  Railroad track steps.

Begin with your feet about hip-bone width apart. As you get in position, imagine a straight line going forward (or backward if you step backward) from your feet, as if you were walking along railroad tracks. Your feet and knees should stay in line with your imaginary tracks.

If you have hip stability issues, you will find that your legs will want to drift inward or outward from the “tracks” to compensate for the weakness and instability. Even if it means dropping the weight, keep your form. This will force the stabilizers of the hip to strengthen, allowing for bigger squat numbers, among other things!

2. Square your hips.

If you had headlights coming out of your hip bones, they should be facing straight ahead. This will get your pelvis square and in the proper position for a split squat, and also ensure that you are getting proper hip extension and a good hip flexor stretch.

3. Ribs down, then get tall.

That means ribs down, chest up, and spine neutral.  It’s very hard to get your ribs down once you get your chest out, so make sure you think “ribs down” first.  This will ensure good posture during the split squat and engage your abdominals more effectively. Some people tend to arch back or lean forward to get tall, instead of up. To prevent this, make sure that there is a straight line from the hips to the shoulders.

4. Squeeze the glute of the back leg, and pull your hips under using your abs.

This ensures you are getting extension from your hip and not your lower back and keeps your pelvis stable and in the correct position throughout the split squat.

5. Drop straight down.

Most people have a tendency to lunge forward because they are quad dominant. Your shin should be vertical and perpendicular to the floor.  This will force you to engage your glutes and hamstrings more, and it will give you a better hip flexor stretch and take some of the shearing force off of your front knee.

6. Avoid knee cave.

You should picture keeping the front knee towards your pinky toe. Forcing the knee out will engage the medial glute during the movement, providing stability and strength during the split squat.

 

 

If you didn’t hate split squats before, you might, for a little while, now that you’re attempting these correctly.  splitsquats-molly-correct-450x329However, going through this checklist in your mind before you perform split squats or lunges will help you get stronger, and it will put some meat on even the flattest derriere! You’re welcome.

Holding a kettlebell in the “rack position” (as shown here) is one way to load the movement. Once you sharpen your split squat skills, feel free to add a load!

Do you feel like you could use some guidance with your exercise program? We can help!

Save $200! Early bird price for the Women’s Strength & Empowerment Weekend ends soon!

The Women’s Strength and Empowerment Weekend, powered by Girls Gone Strong, was designed to create a space for women to rise, teach, lead, learn, and connect with one another. Throughout the weekend you’ll hear from some of the most well-respected women in the world from every facet of the health and wellness industry, from PhDs to Registered Dietitians to top CrossFit athletes, and pre and postnatal fitness and body autonomy experts.

We have brought these women together at this event to create a united voice to educate and inspire the Girls Gone Strong community, both fitness professionals and enthusiasts alike. Yes, women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, races, and ability levels are invited.

You’ll be surrounded by a group of like-minded, strong women who are there to lift each other up, and help each other become the best version of themselves in a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment.

You will leave the weekend feeling heard, loved, supported, and empowered and most importantly knowing that you have finally found your tribe.

Last year we sold out in just 26 hours, so if you're interested in attending, click the button below.

Learn more here!

 

 

About The Author: Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith, CSCS is co-founder and owner of Girls Gone Strong as well as a member of the Advisory Board and the author of The Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training. Molly is committed to helping women look and feel their best, and works tirelessly to combat persistent misconceptions that often deter women from exploring their physical strength. Learn more about Molly on her website and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Want more articles like this?Join Our Free Newsletter
Follow us via

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU

How to Perform A Barbell Clean

This is the second installment in my Olympic lifting series for Girls Gone Strong and builds on some of the…

7 Best Core Exercises For Runners

Runners, like most athletes, are a particularly dedicated bunch who prioritize getting stronger and staying injury-free. Sure, sometimes they look…

SHARE
Close

Spend the Weekend with Girls Gone Strong

The Women’s Strength and Empowerment Weekend was designed to create a space for women to rise, teach, lead, learn, and connect with one another.

Learn More