This month kicks off our exercise education series! The first exercise we will be reviewing is the front foot elevated split squat. Many people get this exercise confused with a lunge, but execution is quite different when done correctly.
The split squat is best used in the general preparation phase of a workout program. It is typically a staple movement during the first 8 weeks of a personalized program. When properly executed the benefits of this exercise are tremendous. It’s one the few movements that increases mobility and strength, while also addressing muscle imbalances. Additionally, with all the possible variations that come along with this exercise, it can be done safely regardless of age, limitations and capabilities.
Unlike the lunge, a split squat is done in a controlled manner where the eccentric movement of the exercise is done using a 3-5s contraction. This controlled eccentric movement challenges your strength deficits, which directly improves balance, as optimal balance is a function of strength. Finally, the eccentric part of the exercise has also been shown to offset age related sarcopenia (loss of muscle cells), which is beneficial to everyone.
I provided a short video below on proper execution of a split squat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.