Split Squat Tips

The split squat is one of the most basic single let exercises you can do and sets the stage for a strong pedal stroke on the bike. However, it is easy to overlook a few key points and miss out on a lot that this exercise has to offer you as a mountain biker. Here is a video I shot at a team meeting where I was going over these things with my coaches.

-James Wilson-

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  1. HundredDollar says:

    Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. “Knee under hip” is key. That’s why I’ve been doing Bulgarian Split Squats to ensure the front leg takes the brunt.

    It helps to focus on staying tight and flexed in the lead leg and concentrate on that to help the rear leg relax.

    A lot of people call these stationary lunges rather than split squats.

    Reply • November 1 at 10:36 am
  2. James says:

    Is there away to ensure that you are bending at the hip for BS squats or does it just occur naturally?

    Reply • November 1 at 1:08 pm
    • bikejames says:

      Actively pulling yourself down is the key. Think about pulling your thigh up towards your bottom rib as you come down. Don’t pull the rib to the thigh or you’ll lean over – stay tall and pull your thigh “up”.

      Reply • November 2 at 4:15 pm
  3. Nate Turner says:

    I’ve always coached (and performed) this movement with an emphasis on distributing the load to both legs. When I see the front knee creeping out over the shoelaces or toe, the athlete either has limited hip extension on the trail leg, or simply isn’t focused on using both legs to perform the movement.

    My favorite cue is to think of your hips riding an elevator to the ground, not an escalator.

    I like your focus on front leg though. Seems like a legit variation. Headed to the gym to experiment.

    Thanks for continuing to turn out great content for our sport and our profession James.

    Reply • November 3 at 6:42 am
  4. Janet says:

    Thanks for doing this topic, James. Any similar suggestions re: rear elevated squats?

    Reply • November 3 at 5:20 pm
    • bikejames says:

      Same tips apply to it as well. Your RFESS is only as good as your Split Squat so if you have trouble with it then make sure you’ve built some strength with these tips on the split squat and try it again.

      Reply • November 4 at 11:23 am

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