barbell lined with weights on the floor

The Bulgarian Deadlift

The Bulgarian Deadlift combines one of the hardest lifts there is and awkward body position (you have to balance on a single leg). By mastering this lift, you will be amazed at the amount of muscle mass it can add to your lower body.

It is also great to help to improve any muscular imbalances that you may have in your legs.

The Bulgarian Deadlift is a compound lift (requires multiple joint movements to perform the lift) and is great in any program but is best in training types that utilize Progressive Overload

barbell lined with weights on the floor

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  • How To Do The Bulgarian Deadlift

  • Begin by stand a few feet in front of a bench that is around knee-high then place your barbell on the floor in front of your toes.
  • Place your right foot on the bench behind you and have the top of your foot facing the bench.
  • Now start by bending your left knee, keep lowering your body until you can grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip.
  • Use can use an overhand or mixed grip to grab the bar (whatever feels more comfortable), but you should try using an overhand grip for as long as possible before switching to a mixed grip.
  • You are now in the starting position to perform a Bulgarian deadlift.
  • Begin the lift by using only your left leg and make sure to keep your lower backs arch in its natural position start by straightening your knee and return to the standing position (as you would doing a standard deadlift).
  • Now lower your body and the bar back to the floor.
  • Congratulations you have just completed your first rep.
  • You will begin your second rep from the position you are currently in.
  • Complete your desired number of reps and repeat but switch your stance and have your left foot on the bench and you right leg on the floor.
  • The number of sets and reps you do depends on what you are trying to achieve strength, endurance, conditioning.
  • A general rep and set scheme that works well for increasing size and strength with this exercise is four sets in a range of 6 to 10 reps with 90 seconds rest between each set.

Tips & Safety

On your very last set and last rep hold the weight for five to ten seconds. By carrying the weight for that duration, it will help to increase your body's time under tension. This is one of the most efficient ways to help increase your grip strength which is a limiting factor for the amount of weight that can be moved by many people.

How To Do Bulgarian Deadlift Video Demenstration

Bulgarian Deadlift Muscles Worked

Well, the Bulgarian Deadlift is a full body movement the primary muscles used are.

  • Back Muscles

  • Erector Spinae
  • Iliocostalis
  • Longissimus
  • Spinalis
  • Glute Muscles

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Leg Muscles

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings

Benefits From Performing The Bulgarian Deadlift

Since you have to balance on a single leg when performing this variation of the deadlift, you will recruit a higher amount of your stabilizing muscles to help your body control this exercise movement.

This is why the Bulgarian deadlift is an astonishing exercise for increasing your overall strength and stability. You will significantly increase your core and grip strength by performing this training.

Just like the standard deadlift, the Bulgarian deadlift will help you to develop real world functional strength.

By strengthening your back, you will also contribute to reducing the risk of back injury, since strengthening your back has been shown to help correct bad posture.

The deadlift targets almost every muscle that is responsible for posture and your back will naturally stay straighter for everyday activities

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