Functional Movement Basics: Split Squat

At RD, our first recommendation for meeting any fitness goal is resistance training. This style of exercise combines appropriate “weight lifting” movements to engage as many joints and muscles as possible. Using this approach burns more calories than any treadmill, in less time, and encouraging the person to build a stronger body. 

Imagine, you're young child drops their toy on the floor. How do you pick it up? You kneel down, right? That's where the split squat comes in. This exercise mimics this situation. Holding a kettlebell, not a child, perform the exercise below. 

Split Squat:

1… Start in half kneel, one knee up, one knee down. At the bottom, your shoulder, hip and knee should be stacked. Front foot is straight ahead.

2… Deep breath in.

3… Shift some weight towards your front leg and push through the floor with both feet.

4… Locking the front leg out. You’re nice and tall at the top.

5… Breathe in as you bend the back knee first and lower yourself down. Match the stacked position you started in.

Split squat is a movement that’s accessible to a lot of people, as long as there’s no pain. The most important part is finding that “stacked” position in the beginning and end. If you can’t, use pads or yoga blocks to bring the floor up to you. Then, as you get better, start to peel back the layers.


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