Compound lifts are pivotal to sparking new muscle growth. Targeting more than one major muscle group in a given exercise not only provides your fibres with the stimulus to increase in size, but also sets off processes that boost your recovery and results.

It’s hard to argue with anyone who says the best compound leg lift is the barbell squat, which works your quads, glutes and hamstrings in one fell swoop. But that’s not to say there are no highly effective alternatives, and one of those is the barbell split squat. This move provides ample stimulation for the same leg muscles, but its single-leg foundation places a significant amount of tension on the abdominal muscles with the additional benefit of boosting your overall functional strength. Here’s how to do it.

How To Do A Barbell Split Squat

Engage your upper traps as you would with a barbell squat, resting the bar across this area. Step back out of the rack and then take a long step forwards, raising the heel of your back foot until it’s on its toes. Retract your shoulders and keep your chest and chin elevated. Lower slowly, flexing at the knee on the front leg, until your back knee is almost brushing the floor. Rise to the start position, keeping the core engaged.

Barbell Split Squat Form Tips

  • Keep your knees in line with your toes.
  • Initiate the movement with the back leg rather than front. This reduces the risk of injury on your front knee.