People often use very heavy weights when performing leg presses, which places a lot of force on the knees and hips and can result in injuries, says Pearla Phillips, certified personal trainer and owner of Fit Body Transformations in Epping, NH.
"[Bulgarian split squats] not only will give your legs strength and definition, they also engage your core and work your balance at the same time. This is working smarter, not harder, while reaping better results," Phillips says.
To do the Bulgarian split squat (pictured), stand with your back to a box or bench that's about three feet away, holding onto the end of a dumbbell (up to 25 pounds, depending on level) with both hands. Place left foot lightly on top of the box or bench behind you. Bend elbows and bring dumbbell to the outside of right ear. Keeping torso steady, slowly lower into a squat. Press back up to standing.