Woman performing split squats at home using her couch

Split squats are a great way to build power in your quads and strengthen the muscles supporting the knee. Here’s everything you need to know about the exercise, including its benefits, variants, and how to do it right. 


Benefits of the split squat

You might think the split squat looks a lot like a lunge. In fact, the exercises are pretty similar, but they do have their differences. 

The split squat focuses on one leg at a time rather than working both. If you have a muscular imbalance in the legs, you can more easily target and address it. 

The split squat also has several variants that let you target slightly different muscle groups and increase your range of motion. 

The exercise will build strength and mobility in the muscles supporting the hip and knee (glutes, quads, core, and hamstrings), making it a good rehab exercise following a knee injury or surgery.

How to do the split squat

You will need a step, bench, or similar elevated surface to perform this exercise.

  1. Stand with your feet spread hip-width apart. 
  2. Reach back with the foot of the leg not being exercised and place it on the step. From this position, the lead leg will bear most of your weight.
  3. From the described position, squat down with your front leg until the knee is bent at 90 degrees. Pause briefly at the bottom of the motion before slowly returning to the starting position. Perform both the upward and downward movements in a controlled fashion.
  4. Relax and repeat as your ability allows. 


Variants to try

Suspension split squat, where you place your back foot into a TRX strap or gymnastics ring to work your stabilisers better and improve your balance. 

Weighted split squat, where you hold 2 dumbbells by your sides or a barbell to your chest to increase the pressure on your muscles. 

Support your split squats with a knee brace

When introduced early and worn consistently, Bauerfeind’s GenuTrain Knee Brace provides beneficial compression and support that help to control pain and manage the stresses that can aggravate an injury.

  • Compression reduces the rate of muscle fatigue 
  • It improves your awareness of how your body moves throughout the squat
  • And it helps protect the knee joint from harm 


If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 098015660 or contact us via live chat.

Do you have private health? Most private health extras will cover Bauerfeind Products. Check to see if yours is included. Bauerfeind Private Health Insurance Inquiry.  


This information is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied on as a substitute for medical advice, evaluation or care from a qualified and licensed healthcare provider. The information contained here should not be considered a plan of care or physical therapy.

Back to blog