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The Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat works on the quads and glutes, and is the last of four exercises in a sequence called “The Gauntlet.” It opens up the hips while streamlining the thighs and butt, and incorporates extra stability from the chair and extra mobility from your arm motions as you perform the exercise.

To begin, place the back of the chair against the wall. Turn your back to the chair. Extend your left leg behind you so that your the top of your foot is resting on the chair seat from ankle to toes. Take a hop or two away from the chair, and put your body into a running pose, with the right leg forward and bent at the knee. Your arms should be in a running position as well; right arm bent and pulled back facing down, and left arm bent and extended forward with your fist raised to chin height.

In the next step, you’re going to let your body sink down so that your right knee bends, keeping the knee in line with the toes and at about a 90° angle from the floor. As the knee bends, it should not extend forward past the toes; instead you want to keep your back straight and just sink down; let your knee bend naturally as you lower your body until you feel the muscles in your butt tighten. When you do, rise back to your original position.

As you perform this squat, pump your arms forward and back as if you’re running. You want to repeat this squat action five times.

If you need extra stability, turn your body and the chair with one side parallel the wall. Use the arm nearest the wall to brace yourself as you bend up and down.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV