The split squat is a classic lower body exercise that is an oldie but a goodie. I can guarantee you will feel this one in your glutes, making it well worthy to be featured in our series of Best Butt Exercises! Read on to learn how to do this move correctly and you’ll be on your way to a sexier butt.
Exercise: Split Squat
Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, and balance muscles (core)
Jolie Recommends: Try 3 sets of 12 reps per side. Add weight once you get the hang of this to amp up your results.
Difficulty rating: 3
Effectiveness rating: 6
The split squat most closely resembles a lunge rather than a squat, but the main difference is that your feet stay planted in the split stance position as you complete the move.
Personally, I find these work the glutes better than regular lunges, perhaps because the fixed stance makes it easier to maintain balance and you’re less likely to use momentum to inadvertently ‘cheat’ during the exercise.
In any case, it’s fast becoming one of my favorite moves. Since it’s low-impact because your feet stay planted, I find it to be much easier on the knees than both conventional squats and regular lunges.
Best Butt Exercise #12: Split Squats
The video below demonstrates how to perform this exercise in version which just uses bodyweight, but you can also use weights to make it more challenging.
If you haven’t done this move before, as always, please start with the bodyweight version until you can perform this exercise with perfect form before you add any form of additional resistance. This will help protect you from injury.
How to Do the Move
This describes how to do a bodyweight split squat. Once you have the correct positioning and movement down pat, you can move on to a weighted split squat if you choose.
- Start with feet positioned shoulder width apart, and maintaining this width, step one leg backwards into a split stance.
- You can place your hands on your hips, or clasp them together in front of you with elbows bent – whatever is comfortable.
- Position your feet the correct distance apart so that when you drop down into a lunge, your front knee is at 90 degrees, and your back knee a bit more than 90 degrees. Your front knee should not extend over your toes on your forward foot. Adjust your stance width if necessary.
- Keeping your torso upright and over the hips, drop down into a lunge position. At the bottom of the split squat your back knee should be just hovering above the ground, and your front lower leg should be directly over your ankle.
- Pushing through the heel of the front foot and contracting the glutes push up and straighten both knees to return to the starting split stance. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side, once you have completed a number of reps on the starting side.