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Split Squats with Mike Boyle | Ep. 96 | Movement Fix Monday
My stop in at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning
This past week I was in Boston teaching and had a chance to stop by Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning to meet the man himself, Mike Boyle.
One of the topics coach Boyle and I wanted to talk about was split squats, their place in training, and how they are an extremely powerful leg training tool while decrease spinal stress and load.
What is the limiting factor in a squat?
Is it your back or your legs? For just about every human being, the low back is the limiting factor to squatting more. It is the failure point. It's also the most common place people have pain and injury.
Let's say you could back squat 250lbs for a set or 10. If you divide that by two, you get 125lbs, which is essentially the load each leg is doing for the set of 10.
Now if the limitation was the legs, you could assume that in a split squat, you'd be arguably close to being able to do 10 reps as a max with 65lbs in each hand. Boyle has tested this over and over again and found that in the split squat, each leg outperforms what it 'should' be achieving based on the performance in the back squat.
So what's the conclusion from that?
The limitation to the back squat is your spine's ability to maintain integrity. There are of course counter arguments that have some good points: 'You aren't getting down as far' or 'you're pushing from the back leg', etc. Boyle addresses those in the video above.
Point being, you should definitely be training split squats. They need a bigger place in most people's training, especially if you already do a ton of squatting. Split squats also give the hip socket a break and can be an effective training tool if there is any hip irritation at depth in the conventional squat.
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Thanks for reading and thank you Coach Boyle for your hospitality while I was in Boston.