Bulgarian squats are perhaps the best leg strength training

Bulgarian squats are perhaps the best leg strength training

When it comes to training the leg muscles, squats are usually at the top of the to-do list. But there is another exercise that will help you prepare your thighs and buttocks optimally. Bulgarian squats are even more popular with some trainers than squats. A comparative study has examined both exercises.

The comparison between the squats

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning compared the Bulgarian knee bend and the conventional knee bend. The study involved 18 rugby players with training experience. One group performed exclusively Bulgarian squats twice a week for five weeks. The other group did the conventional squats. Here is the result:

  • Both groups showed average improvements in the performance of 10 percent.
  • Standard squats and Bulgarian squats are therefore equally effective in terms of leg strength.

The advantage of the Bulgarian squats

The Bulgarian squat is a so-called unilateral exercise. The center of force is on one leg. To perform the exercise correctly, you have to be able to keep your balance. Therefore, you train the core muscles, which are also so crucial for back health, at the same time. Here a video with the correct technique.

Bulgarian squats vs. squats
You can use more weights when doing standard squats (ⓒadpic)

The disadvantage of the Bulgarian squats

If you do the Bulgarian squats with additional weights, there are limits to what you can do. Especially when training with the barbell. Because with higher weights, it is not so easy to keep your balance. Also, the core musculature sets limits at some point. This does not happen so quickly with a regular squat. You can avoid this by working with other weights. These can be dumbbells or the increasingly popular heavy chains.

How to decide

Which exercise you choose depends entirely on your preferences. Since variety is particularly useful in training, you should integrate both activities into your routine. However, you will need some experience with the Bulgarian squats. Mostly if you work with weights.

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