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How To Do Split Squats With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Elisa Silva" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_SPLIT_SQUAT.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do Split Squats With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do Split Squats With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Beginner_SPLIT_SQUAT.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>When it comes to strengthening all aspects of the lower body, you won’t find an exercise much better than squats. These compound exercises work the quads, glutes, and hamstrings in one singular move, helping you get the most out of your workout time. One especially effective variation of the squat, which we’ll discuss here, is the split squat.</p> <p>For the split Ssquat, start by placing one foot in front of you and one behind. From this stance, dip your back knee towards the ground. Split squats work not only the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but they also help you learn single-leg stability. If performed correctly, split squats are useful for fixing any minor aches and pains you may have in your knees. Plus, they’re a great exercise for teaching your body to move properly during walking, running, lunging, and squatting.</p> <p>If the split squat is a little too challenging for you at first, try placing a cushion under your knee to briefly rest on each time you drop into the squat. Once you’ve built up strength and stability, you can ditch the pillow and test out the regular split squat.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you’re ready for an intermediate exercise, the couch split squat is a great next step. Do everything exactly the same you did for the split squat, but this time place your back leg up on your couch rather than on the floor. This move builds on the benefits of the split squat while also helping you to improve your balance and stability.</p> <p>When you’ve reached an advanced level, we recommend the jumping couch split squat as the next move in your progression. For this move, perform the couch split squat, but rather than simply pressing yourself back up to the starting position, push off the ground into an explosive jump then land softly on the ground before entering directly into the next repetition. That extra leap will fire your glutes hard, allowing you to develop strength and muscle tone in your booty. </p> <p>Now that we know the basics of the split squat, let’s learn how to do it properly!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>From a standing position, take a small step forward with your left leg. </li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="split-squats-1"> </picture> <li>Come up on to the ball of your back foot by pushing your toes into the ground and activating your calf muscle.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="split-squats-2"> </picture> <li>Lower your back knee until it grazes the ground, then push back up to return to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/split-squats-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="split-squats-3"> </picture> <li>Continue until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions, then switch and perform the movement with the opposite leg.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Set your pelvis nice and flat. It’s helpful to think about your pelvis as a bowl of water that you don’t want to spill—so make sure it’s not angling towards either side.</li> <li>Make sure that your front knee is tracking forward and backward over your toe. Your knees shouldn’t be angling in or out during the exercise, but should maintain this straight line.</li> <li>Distribute your weight so that 30 percent of it is on the balls of your feet and 70 percent is on your heels.</li> <li>Don’t bend your torso forward or round your spine. Keep your torso as upright as possible by placing your hands on your hips, pulling the elbows back, and keeping the shoulders down.</li> <li>Inhale on the way down, and exhale as you push back up. Taking nice, deep breaths will help you to cleanse your lungs while focusing on the movement pattern.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The split squat has some amazing benefits, from strengthening the quads, calves, and glutes, to helping you keep perfect form during everyday exercises including walking, running, and lunging. Knowing the proper techniques that we’ve mentioned here will guarantee you get the most out of your split squats.</p> <p>Again, if this exercise proves a little too difficult for you at first, focus on getting the form right over a smaller number of reps. Try placing a pillow or cushion under your back knee to reduce the range of motion and offer a little resting point at the bottom of the movement.</p> <p>You can follow up the split squat with the couch split squat. Elevating your back foot will force you to use your accessory muscles to maintain balance while building up single-leg strength and stability. When you’re comfortable with the couch split squat, move up to the jumping couch split squat by adding an explosive jump each time you raise yourself up from the squat. That one simple jump will fire your quads, glutes, and hamstrings hard, allowing you to develop strength and tone in these muscle groups.</p> <p>Now that you’ve got all the cues you need to perform the split squat, it’s time to try it out for yourself! Perform a few sets during your next workout, or try doing some repetitions next time you have a spare minute around the house.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-couch-split-squat/">Couch Split Squats</a>. </p> </section> </article>

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