The Bulgarian split squat is often referred to simply as a “split squat,” but to be accurate a split squat has the rear leg on the ground. The Bulgarian squat moves your back foot onto a bench, encouraging core strength and overall balance while moving the lower body through a large range of motion. It also increases hip flexor flexibility, which translates positively into gains in the squats and elsewhere.
Lest we forget, it’s also a grade-A glute thrasher. Unfortunately, people often go too light with this movement to discover this benefit. That’s a shame, because the Bulgarian split squat is highly effective with a heavy load, even if that load is still a fraction of what you could lift with bilateral squat variations. Dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, barbells, and chains all work well to add weight and intensity in unilateral squats, but be warned that each also comes with unique balance challenges.