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Barbell Split Squat (VERSION 2)

Barbell Split Squat (VERSION 2)

The Barbell Split Squat (Version 2) is a versatile exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it a great addition to any leg day routine. This exercise primarily focuses on the quadriceps (frontal thigh muscles) and glutes (buttocks muscles), while also engaging the hamstrings and core for stability. By placing the back foot on an elevated surface such as a bench or step, you create an unstable environment for the working leg, which intensifies the engagement of your muscles. This version of the split squat also adds an extra challenge by incorporating a barbell. Holding the barbell across your upper back and shoulders, you'll increase the resistance and overall difficulty of the exercise. The Barbell Split Squat (Version 2) not only builds lower body strength and increases muscle definition but also enhances balance and stability. As a unilateral movement, it helps to address any muscle imbalances between your right and left leg, improving functional fitness and reducing the risk of injuries. To make the most out of this exercise, focus on maintaining proper form throughout the movement. Keep your upper body upright, shoulders back, and core engaged. Ensure that your front knee stays aligned with your foot, not allowing it to cave inward. Drive through your front heel to activate the quadriceps and glutes effectively. Incorporate the Barbell Split Squat (Version 2) into your leg workouts to elevate your lower body strength and enhance your overall fitness level. Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the load as you gain confidence and strength. Enjoy the burn and the benefits this exercise brings to your fitness journey!


  • Start by grabbing a barbell and positioning it on your upper back, just like you would for a back squat.
  • Take a big step forward with one leg, keeping your torso upright and your core engaged.
  • Lower your body by flexing your knee and hip of the front leg. The back leg should bend at the knee as well but focus on keeping the back foot elevated on a bench or platform.
  • Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, while keeping the back knee just above the ground.
  • Push through your heel of the front foot and extend your knee and hip to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps, then switch legs and perform the exercise with the opposite leg forward.

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to warm up before starting the exercise to prevent injury and increase blood flow to the muscles.
  • Maintain proper form throughout the exercise to target the intended muscles and avoid straining other areas.
  • Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. This will provide stability and support during the movement.
  • Keep your chest up and shoulders back to maintain a neutral spine and prevent rounding of the back.
  • Focus on driving through the heel of the front foot to activate the quadriceps and glutes effectively.
  • Use a weight that challenges you, but allows you to maintain proper form. Gradually increase the weight as you get stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.
  • Experiment with variations such as elevated front foot or adding dumbbells for an extra challenge and to target different muscle groups.
  • Breathe deeply throughout the exercise. Inhale during the eccentric (lowering) phase and exhale during the concentric (rising) phase of the movement.
  • Include the barbell split squat in a well-rounded leg workout routine, combining it with other exercises to target all muscle groups for overall leg development.
  • Allow yourself adequate rest and recovery between training sessions to prevent overtraining and maximize muscle growth.

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