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Use The Contralateral Split Squat
To Strengthen Your Core & Grow Your Legs

Contralateral Split Squat

3 Great Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squat Variations

Exercise Profile:

Exercise Name: Contralateral Split Squat

Aka: Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squat

Target Muscles: Quads, Hamstrings, and Glutes

Secondary Muscle Groups: Core and Calves

Items Needed: One Dumbbell

Table of Contents:

1: Introduction

2: What Is Contralateral Loading?

3: Split Squat Form Guide

4: Variation 2

5: Variation 3

6: Adding This Exercise To Your Lower Body Workouts

7: Different Split Squat Variations

8: Contralateral Split Squat vs Contralateral Bulgarian Split Squat


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A Lower Body Dumbbell Workout To Grow The Legs

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Contralateral Split Squat Introduction 

Introduction:

Are your dumbbell quad workouts becoming stagnant? Is your dumbbell hamstring workout lacking results? If so, time to throw in an exercise wildcard to get your quad and hamstring growth and strength back on track. Welcome to the Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squat, a member of the Split Squat family and a direct descendant of the Barbell Squat.

From the outset, this dumbbell quad exercise doesn't look anything special, but on closer inspection, and only after experiencing a few sets will you realize how much of a beast of an exercise movement this is.

In this article, I’m going to open the lid on this extraordinary lower body exercise and break down the movement with helpful cues and tips to get you started. After you get your head around this dumbbell Split Squat variation, I’m going to up the ante with two progressions to take your lower body development and core strength to the next level.

Who Am I?

Psymon H

 I’m Psymon H., the 50 something-year-old war-horse, making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment.

First, before we get carried away with the ins and outs of this exercise, let’s tackle the question, what is contralateral loading?

What Is Contralateral Loading?

What Is Contralateral Loading?

Contralateral Training has been around for many years and was first used in sports injury and rehab work. It’s the notion that training one side of the body increases strength on the opposite side.

In leg training terms, contralateral loading is when the weight is held on the opposite side to the forward leg. This is the opposite of ipsilateral training, where the weight is held on the same side as the forward leg.

What makes this style of training very challenging is the fact that your core has to work harder at keeping you upright during the exercise. Each side of the body will counter translator and rotational forces created by the movement which makes it a little easier to maintain proper form.

The Contralateral Split Squat Form Guide:

Cue 1: Start by setting yourself up in a split squat stance and place the dumbbell in the opposite hand to the forward leg. Keep your chest high, maintain a tall posture and tense your core throughout the movement. Stay on the toes of your back leg.

Cue 2: Keep a flat back, flex both knees simultaneously and descend slowly and under control until your back knee lightly touches the ground and the top of your front knee ends at a right angle to your front ankle.

Cue 3: Hold briefly before driving through your front foot and extending your knee to return to the start of the movement. Make sure to repeat for the desired amount of repetitions on the opposite leg.


Quad Workouts With Dumbbells

Split Squat Tips

A common mistake while doing this exercise is to let the front knee fold inwards as you lower down. This puts excess strain on the knees and reduces glute activation.

Your ankle, hip, and thigh should remain in a straight line throughout both ends of the movement.

The Incline Contralateral Split Squat:

If you're intent on firing more shots into your Quads, Hams, and Glute muscles, you can do so by taking this exercise to an advanced level; welcome to the Incline Contralateral Split Squat.

Items Needed: a couple of bumper plates or a low platform and one dumbbell.

Cue 1: Place your bumper plates or low platform one stride in front of you. Place your front heel on the platform and drive your toes into the ground. Step back with the other leg at about hip-width apart with toes pointing forward.

Cue 2: Rest the dumbbell on the same side as your back leg. Keep your chest high, maintain a tall posture and tense your core throughout the movement.

Cue 3: Keep a flat back, flex both knees simultaneously and descend slowly and under control until your back knee lightly touches the ground. Stay on the toes of your back foot at all times throughout the movement.

Cue 4: Hold briefly before driving through the toes of your front foot and extending your knee to return to the start of the movement. Make sure to repeat for the desired amount of repetitions on the opposite leg.


At Home Quad Exercises

Platform db Contralateral Split Squat:

Here’s another upgrade to the traditional Contralateral Split Squat, and a version that will surely test everything about you including core balance and strength. Start light and get your form right before increasing the size of your dumbbell.

Items Needed:  a low platform or a small stack of plates and one dumbbell. To prevent the platform from tipping over, lay a heavyweight on the top edge.

Cue 1: Place your bumper plates or low platform one stride in front of you. Place your front foot on the center of the platform, and step back with the other leg.

Cue 2: Rest the dumbbell on the same side as your back foot. Keep your chest high, maintain a tall posture and tense your core throughout the movement.

Cue 3: Keeping a flat back, slowly lower until your back knee is just below the level of the platform.

Cue 4: Hold briefly before driving through the toes of your front foot and extending your knee to return to the start of the movement. Make sure to repeat for the desired amount of repetitions on the opposite leg.

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Quad Exercises With Dumbbells

Do I Add The Contralateral Split Squat to My Dumbbell Hamstring Workout or My Quad Workout with Dumbbells?

You can add this exercise to either your dumbbell workouts for quads or your Hamstring dumbbell workouts. If you want to focus on the quad muscles during this split squat, start by taking a slightly smaller stance, and at the bottom of the movement, drive up through the ball of the foot.

When you want to use the split squat on your dumbbell hamstring workout you would use a longer split stance and at the bottom of the movement, you would push through the heel of your front foot.

Dumbbell Quad Workout:

Here’s a dumbbell quad workout you could use to include the Contralateral Split Squat. (I have left links for all of the other dumbbell quad exercises)

For each exercise, we’re shooting for 10 repetitions on every set, aiming to leave no more than 2 reps in reserve. How this works is if after the first set you have 3 or more repetitions in reserve, meaning that you could have performed more than 2 reps after reaching 10 repetitions you add weight to set number two and continue accessing every set in this manner.

If after set one you have less than two repetitions in reserve, meaning that after completing 10 reps, you feel as if you could have only one or fewer reps, you will take weight away for set number two and continue accessing every set.

After the completion of set one you felt that you have 2 reps in reserve, meaning that you felt as if you could have only completed 2 more repetitions to failure, you keep the same weight for the next set and continue to monitor your sets in this manner.

Workout:

Exercise 1: Contralateral Split Squat x 3 sets x 10 reps (using a smaller stance and driving through the ball of your front foot.)

Exercise 2: Dumbbell Toe Squats x 3 sets x 10 repetitions

Exercise 3: Spring-Loaded Lunges x 3 sets x 10 repetitions

Dumbbell Hamstring Workout:

Exercise 1: Contralateral Split Squat x 3 sets x 15 repetitions (using a wider split stance and driving through the heel of your front foot.)

Exercise 2: Lying Dumbbell Hamstring Curl x 3 sets x 15 repetitions.

Exercise 3: Toes Up Dumbbell RDLs x 3 sets x 15 repetitions.

Contralateral Split Squat vs Contralateral Bulgarian Split Squat

While they are both members of the dumbbell squat family and are single-leg movements, there are major differences between the two exercises. Think of Contralateral Split Squats similar to driving a front-wheel-drive car, because your stabilizing leg is in front of you when you perform the movement. Think of the Contralateral Bulgarian Split Squat similar to a rear-wheel-drive car, because when executing this exercise, your stabilizing leg is behind you.

Contralateral Split Squat – aka…

1: Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squat

2: Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squats

3: db Contralateral Split Squat

4: db Contralateral Split Squats

5: Split Squats

6: Split Squat

7: Dumbbell Split Squat

8: db Split Squat

9: Dumbbell Split Squats

10: db Split Squats

11: Single Dumbbell Split Squats

12: Single Dumbbell Split Squat

13: Single db Split Squat

14: Single db Split Squats

15: Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squat

16: Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squats

17: Contralateral db Split Squat

18: Contralateral db Split Squats

19: Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squat

20: Contralateral Dumbbell Split Squats

21: Contralateral Single dumbbell Split Squat

22: Contralateral Single dumbbell Split Squats

23: Contralateral Single db Split Squat

24: Contralateral Single db Split Squats

25: Incline Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squat

26: Incline Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squats

27: Incline db Contralateral Split Squat

28: Incline db Contralateral Split Squats

29: Incline Split Squat

30: Incline Split Squats

31: Incline Dumbbell Split Squat

32: Incline Dumbbell Split Squats

33: Incline db Split Squat

34: Incline Single Dumbbell Split Squats

35: Incline Single Dumbbell Split Squat

36: Incline Single db Split Squats

37: Incline Single db Split Squat

38: Incline Contralateral Split Squat

39: Incline Contralateral Split Squats

40: Platform Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squat

41: Platform Dumbbell Contralateral Split Squats

42: Platform db Contralateral Split Squat

43: Platform db Contralateral Split Squats

44: Platform Split Squat

45: Platform Split Squats

46: Platform Dumbbell Split Squat

47: Platform Dumbbell Split Squats

48: Platform db Split Squat

49: Platform Single Dumbbell Split Squats

50: Platform Single Dumbbell Split Squat

51: Platform Single db Split Squats

52: Platform Single db Split Squat

53: Platform Contralateral Split Squat

54: Platform Contralateral Split Squats

55contralateral bulgarian split squat


Quads With Dumbbells

Now You've Strengthened Your Core & Built Better Legs With The  With The db Contralateral Split Squats, It's Time To Build The Rest of Your Physique With These Jacked Articles!

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