Barbell Side Split Squat

Barbell Side Split Squat

The Barbell Side Split Squat is a fantastic lower body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. It is an advanced variation of the traditional squat exercise, adding an element of instability and challenge to your workout routine. With this exercise, you'll need a barbell placed across your upper back, just like in a normal back squat. However, the unique aspect of the Barbell Side Split Squat is the placement of one foot on an elevated surface, such as a step or bench, while the other foot remains planted firmly on the ground. By elevating one foot, you not only engage your lower body muscles but also your core and stabilizer muscles effectively. This added instability forces your body to work harder to maintain balance and control throughout the movement, resulting in improved overall strength and stability. Including the Barbell Side Split Squat in your workout routine can help develop better balance, coordination, and functional leg strength. It is particularly beneficial for athletes who want to enhance their performance in sports that require lateral movement and agility, such as basketball, soccer, or tennis. Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you get more comfortable with the movement. And always prioritize proper form and technique over the amount of weight lifted. If you're unsure or new to this exercise, consider seeking guidance from a fitness professional to ensure you're performing it correctly and safely.


  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell across your upper back.
  • Take a large step sideways with one foot, keeping your toes pointed slightly outward.
  • Shift your body weight onto the foot you stepped out with, bending your knee and lowering your body into a squat position.
  • Keep your chest up, back straight, and core engaged throughout the movement.
  • Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground, ensuring your knee does not extend past your toes.
  • Push through your heel to extend your leg and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side, alternating between legs for desired reps or time.
  • Remember to maintain proper form and to breathe continuously throughout the exercise.

Tips & Tricks

  • Focus on maintaining balance and stability throughout the movement.
  • Engage your core to support your back and prevent lower back strain.
  • Keep your chest lifted and shoulders relaxed for proper form.
  • Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you build strength and control.
  • Ensure your front knee is in line with your ankle to avoid strain or injury.
  • Perform the exercise in a controlled manner, emphasizing the contraction of your glutes.
  • Incorporate both sides to maintain balanced lower body strength.
  • Consider using a mirror or having a spotter to check and correct your form.
  • Don't rush the exercise - focus on proper technique and range of motion.
  • Listen to your body and rest if you experience any pain or discomfort.


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