Split squats are not a new movement. Even though some fitness gurus would want you to believe they have discovered “The Best New…Whatever”, the truth is there is no such thing as a new exercise. Every exercise starts with a fundamental human movement that is then progressed in order to illicit physical adaptation.
The split squat has grown in popularity lately, but there really is nothing new about it. What is new is the approach that has been taken to progression. At Sparta, we use the split squat and the rear foot elevated split squat as maximal strength movements. This means that we use a barbell in order to handle heavy loads and progress reps from eight on each leg all the way down to heavy single reps with rest between each leg. This is an extremely effective way to increase GRF and improve individual movement signaturesTM.
Some coaching cues to allow you to go HEAVY on split squats:
Bar Position – front squat grips reinforces an upright torso and increases the safety of the lift by allowing athletes to dump the bar
Foot Position is – set up with about 60% of the weight on the front leg
Center of Pressure -keeping the center of pressure in the middle (not toe, not heel) of the front foot keeps to hip, knee, and ankle coordinated and in proper alignment.
If you have never tried HEAVY split squats, they will be an amazing “New” training stimulus for increased strength and size that will carry over to other lifts as well as your sport.