5 RM Bulgarian Split Squat Assessment

The 5 Rep Max (RM) Bulgarian Split Squat is a reliable tool developed and used to evaluate both core and unilateral leg muscle strength. Please watch the video to get a visual demonstration of how to perform the test. Below you will find a description of how to do so.   Your front leg is the working leg and you want to place it at an appropriate distance away from the bench. This distance is individualized to you, but choose the position you feel the most stable and powerful in! Pick up the Dumbells, hold them at your side, and then reach back the other foot to place it on a gym bench. If a gym bench is not available use a box or chair that is between 17-20 inches tall. Once the rear foot is on the bench, begin to squat down using the front leg. Maintain an upright torso and attempt to get your front thigh parallel to the ground on the descent and then rise back up into the standing position. Complete 5 repetitions and then attempt on the other leg. Keep progressing weight on each leg until only 5 repetitions can be completed.   Suggested protocol: Estimate what you think your 1 repetition max would be. Take 40 percent of that weight and complete 10 reps as a warm-up. Add 10-20 percent to that weight and attempt 5 reps. After that keep adding 10-20 percent until you find a weight that you are successful with for only 5 reps. Attempt to find you 5 RM in less than 5 attempts to limit fatigue confounding your true results. Rest then repeat on the other side. Some rules to remember with this assessment. The test ends if and when (1) you can no longer complete 5 reps at the attempted weight (2) your torso begins to flex/bend forward vs staying upright. Make sure to check out the video showing some common compensations that occur during this assessment! Be sure to record your scores! Take the assessment, write down your score, and track your progress throughout the program. Prehab Goals & Normative Values: Less than 10-12 percent difference side to side (L vs R) Prehab Goal: less than 5-7 percent difference side to side (L vs R) References:Lockie RG, Risso FG, Lazar A, et al. Between-Leg Mechanical Differences as Measured by the Bulgarian Split-Squat: Exploring Asymmetries and Relationships with Sprint Acceleration. Sports (Basel). 2017;5(3) Helme M, Bishop C, Emmonds S, Low C. Validity and Reliability of the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 5 Repetition Maximum to Determine Unilateral Leg Strength Symmetry. J Strength Cond Res. 2019;33(12):3269-3275. Take the assessment, write down your score, and track your progress throughout the program.
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