Video – Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat

We all know, a person can only do so many squats to train legs, so lets switch it up a bit. Man, this one excites me. There are so many good leg exercises, and this is one that you can separate the body and do each leg on its own.

The Rear Leg Elevated Split Squat (RLESS) is a fantastic compound leg exercise, predominantly a quad focused exercise but will still target the BIG 3 Muscle Groups: Quads, Hams, and Glutes. Like any other exercise, we are going to look at some Do’s and Don’ts to safely completing this exercise.


  • Make sure the back foot is comfortable – in most gyms, you will not have a rounded platform that will allow the back foot to sit in a neutral position. If you have tight shins (tibialis anterior and other deep anterior lower leg muscles) you will want toes on the bench; however, if you can I would suggest placing the laces of the back shoe on the bench to increase Range of Motion (ROM) 
  • Keep the shoulders retracted – if the shoulders fall forward, you are more susceptible to injuring your lower back
  • Maintain stability in the front knee – you do not want the knee wobbling or caving inward at all


  • Worry about adjusting the working foot – it will take a few tries to find the sweet spot where the range of motion feels best, do not worry if you need to adjust at all
  • Point the toes outward – try to keep the foot pointing directly forward in front of you
  • Worry about the placement of the knee in comparison to the foot – this gets a lot of people, it is FINE if the knee shoots forward beyond the toes, do NOT worry if this happens
  • Load one side of the body – when completing this exercise, make sure you load dumbbells in each hand. We don’t want to focus on the controlling lateral flexion, we are looking at leg strength here!

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