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Feature: Position of the Week

Thursday 14 February 2013

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As is oft the case over here in the Spindle Towers, we’ve been discussing some of our favourite positions. Except this time, we got in a professional to lend her expert opinion and give us some insight into what exactly we should be doing (get it wrong and you could potentially cause some serious harm, after all).

With the help of her careful instructions, some handy diagrams and after the requisite amount of profuse sweating, grunting an occasional squawking, by Jove! We think we’ve got it. So now, dear readers, we’re turning the joy over to you with our new series, which will be broken down into our ‘position of the week’. You do know I’m talking about exercise here, right? So, without further ado I’ll turn you over to the capable hands of Charli Cohen, who promises to whip you into shape. Enjoy, mes amis. Close your eyes and think of the endorphins.

The Bulgarian Split Squat
Targeting your thighs, glutes, balance and flexibility all in one fell-swoop, the Bulgarian Split Squat is a tough but worthy exercise. It can done with or without added resistance and performed pretty much anywhere.

1. Set yourself up with a bench or chair at approximately knee-height.
2. Take a large stride away from the bench and stand facing away from it.
3. Extend one leg back and rest the top of your foot on the bench.
4. Squat down by flexing the knee and hip of your front leg until the knee of your rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Your front knee shouldn’t extend past your toes – if this is the case, you need to start further away from the bench.
5. Return to the original standing position by extending the hip and knee of your front leg and repeat.
6. Complete 3 sets of 8-12 reps on each leg, resting for 30-40 seconds between each set.

Start by using just your body weight – you can make this harder by placing your hands behind your head. Once it feels easy enough that you can comfortably manage more than 12 reps per set, add resistance by holding dumbbells – or if you don’t have access to gym equipment, any weighted object. If you find the exercise too difficult initially, start by using a lower platform, such as a step and work your way up.

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Illustration: Holly Monger