Josh Beaumont's picture

To Prevent Injury Try The Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian Split Squat is one of my favorite exercises for a soccer player for many reasons. First, it puts the body in a position of the end range of a stride. Your muscles are strongest at the midrange of a contraction and weakest at the end ranges. By putting the body in this end range position, your strength gains will increase by focusing on the weakest area in the range of motion. This will increase your ability to explode, increasing your vertical jump and speed. Other benefits include greater strength gains, proprioception (balance) improvement, and injury prevention. Notice the position of the athlete. This is very similar to a position of a soccer player as he is about to swing to strike a ball and will increase velocity and power of the leg swing and the speed at which the ball travels.

Some variations include:

1. Using just your body weight.

2. Putting a foam pad such as an airex pad under the lead leg, which will increase your proprioception.

3.Using a physioball under the trail leg such as the one in this video.

4. Using dumbells, which I prefer over an Olympic bar becuase it places less stress on the spine. 

5. Jumping off the lead leg, which an advanced version but very effective in developing explosion.

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