FEEL THE BURN: Bulgarian Lunge

FEEL THE BURN: Bulgarian Lunge

What is this exercise?

The Bulgarian Lunge is a great exercise for primarily working your Gluteus Maximus ( GMax ) which is the muscle at the back of your gluteals (see arabesque, clams and bridge articles ). It will also assist with your Gluteus Medius ( GMed ) strength and activation which is the muscle at the side of your gluteals. However, the burn should be felt at the back of the gluteals. It also activates your quadriceps.

To perform the exercise, stand on one foot with your back foot resting on a bench, chair, low stool or other surface that feels comfortable.

Now that you are in position, slowly squat down on whatever foot you are starting with and hold the position. Keep your weight back onto you heel of the stance foot. Try not to put too much weight onto the back foot. Keep your pelvis square. Keep your foot pointing straight forward and your knee in line with your 2nd/3rd toes.

Once you start to feel the burn in your GMax hold for 20-30 seconds to get a great isometric activation, then perform this exercise for 20+ reps.

Repetition goal: 20+ or to fatigue

Common errors

I feel burn in the side of my glutes/hip > then your pelvis is probably not square and you will need to hitch the hip/pelvis up on the side with the leg on the stool/chair.

I feel a burn in my hamstring > bend your knee more so your squat is lower.

I feel burn in my quadriceps > shift your weight back onto your heel.

I feel burn on my back leg quadriceps > shift your weight slightly forward so the weight is focused on the heel of the front leg and not the foot of the back leg. If this does not help, then try the arabesque (link).

What muscle groups does this exercise use?


Primary activation/BURN

  • Gluteus Maximus

Associated Stabilisers

  • Gluteus Medius
  • Deep external rotators of the hip

Secondary Activation

  • Quadriceps
    • Vastus Medialis
    • Vastus Lateralis
    • Rectus Femoris


  • Gluteal muscle activation and strength
  • Quadriceps strength
  • Pelvis stability and control
  • No equipment needed
  • Core stability