The Bulgarian Deadlift is a variation of the conventional deadlift, with the distinction that it is performed with one leg at a time.
Because it is a single-leg exercise, it can work to resolve weaknesses and muscular imbalances.
This compound exercise is based on triple extension movement which includes the hip, knee and ankle.
Additionally, combines one of the most difficult lifts with a slightly uncomfortable body position because it requires you to balance on a single leg. But mastering this lift will help you gain more muscle mass and strengthen your lower body.
HOW TO DO THE BULGARIAN DEADLIFT PROPERLY
The basic Bulgarian deadlift exercise is quite easy to perform. Here’s how to go about it.
- Stand in front of a bench that is knee-high and place your barbell on the ground in front of your toes.
- Position one of your feet on the bench behind you.
- Bend the knee of your other foot and lower your body to grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip. It is also okay to do an overhand or mixed grip if you are able to.
- Lift the bar and make sure that your lower back arches naturally by straightening your knee until you are in a standing position.
- Further lower your body until your knee is bent and you can place the bar on the ground again.
- Repeat this process with the other leg. Proceed for the desired number of reps.
WHAT DOES MUSCLES DOES BULGARIAN DEADLIFT WORK?
The glutes or gluteal muscles can become tight after too much sitting, overuse, or overexertion in athletic performance. Tight glutes can lead to a number of other injuries.
This exercise will stretch and strengthen these muscles.
One of the main jobs of the hamstrings is bending your knee. This routine will help strengthen them to avoid weakness as weak hamstrings can lead to a condition known as runner’s knee.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BULGARIAN DEADLIFTS?
CORRECT ANY MUSCLE IMBALANCES
Doing this exercise will help you fight and overcome any muscle imbalances you might have in your back and legs.
Fixing your muscle imbalances will be beneficial both to your posture and to your other lifts. It can also help you overcome any strength plateau that might be related to it.
WORKS THE CORE AND STABILIZER MUSCLES
This routine will work your core and stabilize your muscles because in a little unnatural position and on a single leg, your body and especially your core and stabilizing muscles will have to work overtime to help you maintain your balance.
That makes this lift an excellent core exercise.
INCREASES YOUR STRENGTH
This exercise will increase especially your functional strength. The Bulgarian deadlift variation will increase your overall strength as it is a full-body movement that targets your legs, core, stabilizers, lower back, upper back, and even your forearms.
Also, thanks to the high core involvement, it will indirectly have a positive effect on all your other lifts. Additionally, it is an excellent lift for progressive overload training.
INCREASE STABILITY AND BALANCE
The Bulgarian deadlift is an amazing balance and stabilization exercise. It will directly improve your balance and strengthen your stabilizer muscles.
AWESOME LOWER BACK EXERCISE
Just like the conventional deadlift this variation is a good lower back exercise. It will help you strengthen your lower back and all the small muscles in your posterior chain.
BULGARIAN DEADLIFT ALTERNATIVES
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
The Bulgarian split squat is sure to deliver big benefits to your lower body.
With one leg behind you and elevated off of the ground, this exercise targets many of the same muscles as a traditional squat, but with an emphasis on the quads.
Romanian deadlift is one of the best exercises for training the posterior chain which are the muscles that make up the back of your body.
For the same reason it is excellent for building your grip strength which can be an important indicator of your overall health.
The benefits of this exercise do not end there. Incorporating the Romanian deadlift into your training plan will give your big lifts a serious boost, and if you are a runner, you will see extra power in your stride.
The hip thrust is an exercise that has gained popularity over the past few years.
The move is a variation of a glute bridge, but it is performed using a barbell and with the body lifted off the floor. It targets the gluteal muscles better than many other lower-body movements.
The hip thrust is effective in improving hip extension by engaging the hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
Your hips extend when they move from a flexed position, this is where they are lower than or behind the shoulders and knees to a fully extended position where the hips, shoulders, and knees are in line.
COMMON BULGARIAN DEADLIFT MISTAKES TO AVOID
The Bulgarian deadlift can feel so challenging because of the stability it demands from your muscles and joints.
After all, balancing on one leg while bending down and straightening back up is not any easy.
That is why swaying side to side is a common mistake with Bulgarian deadlift. It is also a pretty clear sign that you may be lacking the mobility or strength needed for the weight you are lifting.
Additionally, when doing the Bulgarian deadlift, you are working one leg at a time hence your back leg should only supply a little extra balance.
If you put too much weight on your back leg, your front leg will not get the intended benefit of the exercise.
Your grounded leg should initiate all the motion of the movement with most of your weight loaded there.
Most exercises related to the Bulgarian deadlift focus on mostly on the lower body. However, the Bulgarian deadlift will not only pay attention to your lower body but also some parts of your upper body.