Bulgarian Lunge

Another great single-leg strengthening exercise that can be done anywhere, including on the pitch – all you need is a bench. The Bulgarian lunge helps to stabilize the hip and knee, while at the same time strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, one leg at a time. To perform the Bulgarian lunge, stand on one leg, a few feet in front of a bench or step. Place the other leg behind the standing leg, with the toes contacting the bench. Make sure to stand far enough forward that the foot and knee of the standing leg are in front of the hip, keeping both toes pointing forwards. Maintaining an upright posture and flat back, slowly lower the body towards the floor by bending the front hip and knee, keeping the knee in line with, or slightly behind, the toes. Lower the body until the knee is bent to a 90-degree angle, then push through the heel of the foot to straighten the hip and knee and return to the starting position.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions with each leg for optimal results.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – drop me a line here to get the conversation started.

3 thoughts on “Bulgarian Lunge

  1. Thomas S.E

    Hey Richard,

    You said in your previous article soccer players should not focus on doing squats because of the imbalances between the planting foot and the active “swinging” foot. If you were to correct this issue, would you implement squats into the routine again? Also what are your thoughts on cleans ? It’s does incorporate the motion of a deadlift in addition to its over complexity movement pattern.


      Hi Thomas,
      thanks for your question. The first thing to keep in mind, is that the strength imbalance may come back, even if it has been corrected with single leg exercises, because of the repetitive kicking done in training and games. So overall, I think there should be much more time spent doing single leg rather than double leg exercises. That being said, if the imbalance is not too great and the athlete can squat on two feet with good mechanics, it is fine to keep squats and other 2 leg exercises like dead lifts in the routine. I would do only 1-2 months of double leg exercises per year (spend the rest of the time on single leg exercises).

      Regarding cleans – this is a great explosive power exercise. After 1-2 months of 2 leg strength training, incorporating cleans into the routine on power days, while at the same time switching to 1 leg strength exercises, is a good idea. Soccer players should go for 3-4 sets of 4-6 repetitions for cleans, rather than trying to go for maximal lifts. Rest 2-3 minutes after each set to allow for optimal recovery.

      Hope this helps clarify things!

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