Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know several different methods of how to load a bulgarian split squat:

  • use dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides
  • use a dumbbell or a kettlebell in goblet position
  • use a barbell in front squat position
  • use a barbell in back squat position
  • use a barbell between your legs

How does those loading techniques compare with respect to:

  • which muscles are involved more or less
  • functional training effects
  • safety
  • which joints are stressed more or less

Are there any good reasons to prefer one of them?

Are there any points in technique which changes significantly with the loading technique?

share|improve this question

My thoughts:

If you're already doing things like squats (back/front), deadlifts, and other barbell movements, then go ahead and reduce the stress for BSS. Thus, go with dumbbells/kettelbells for them. Dumbbells/kettlebells will tax your central nervous system less because of their nature. They will also be safter than placing a loaded barbell on your back (or wherever) as getting into position for BSS is already difficult.

As for DB/kettelbell placement, try both and see how you like it. I've always found that putting them by my sides challenges me to stay upright more, requiring me to balance as I go through the movement.

Final thought (something many mentors have taught me in the iron game), remember not to major in the minor.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.