Today's Edge: I'm all for the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat as long as you do it right. Failure to pay attention to details on this great lower body strength exercise can have bad results. 
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The Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat is a big time exercise for developing lower body strength and power. Strong legs translate to better balance, speed, agility, and jump performance. So much of what we do during any physical activity or sport specifically requires great single leg performance. This exercise trains single leg competence like few others can. 


It's important to pick the right box height. Start low (8-12") and move up to ~18" if that is doable and tolerable. The rear foot can go in either a toe down or laces down position. This depends on comfort and box height. Keep your core short by engaging your abs and making sure the distance between your belly button and ribs doesn't get too wide. Avoid a hyperextension or arch position of your low back as you lower into the movement. Be sure to finish the press at the top. You should finish each rep with a fully extended knee on the front leg. 


This exercise is a great centerpiece to any lower body or total body lifting day. When using kettlebells or dumbbells your grip can be challenged so pair it with a grip-free exercise like a single leg plyometric or a plank variation. Shoot for 2-4 sets of 5-12 repetitions

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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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