INBA Athlete Ire Wardlaw Answers: Are Front Squats or Bulgarian Split Squats Better for Bodybuilding?

Ire Wardlaw Front Squats Vs. Bulgarian Split Squats
Image via Instagram @ire_lifestylefitness

INBA athlete Ire Wardlaw explains if it’s better to do front squats or Bulgarian split squats. 

Front squats and Bulgarian splits squats are excellent lower body exercises to have in your plan. The question is, which is more effective for building muscle in your lower body? Well, International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) athlete Ire Wardlaw gave some insight on social media, explaining which is better. 

Ire Wardlaw competed in her first amateur bodybuilding show recently at the 2022 INBA Iron Gladiator. She won the Women’s Physique Novice category and the Most Symmetrical and Iron Gladiator Shield award. 

On Instagram (IG), she uploaded a post covering whether Bulgarian split squats or front squats are better. According to Wardlaw, it depends. Wardlaw stated:

“Front squats predominately targets the quads. ( but you need mobility to keep your elbows parallel to the ground as you go into the front squat). Bulgarian split squats activates the quads and glutes simultaneously. So it depends on your goals for your legs, your body’s limitations or no limitations, mobility and experience in weight training.”

You can see her full IG post and picture of her doing front squats and split squats here

Front Squats Vs. Bulgarian Split Squats

As Wardlaw addressed, front squats are superior to Bulgarian split squats for targeting your quads. Since the front squats rest on your upper chest/collar bone, they target your anterior chain (front side) more than back squats, which work the muscles in your posterior chain more (glutes, hamstring). Moreover, front squats allow you to lift heavier weights since you use both legs to complete a rep. 

Bulgarian split squats are more effective for engaging your glutes. Also, Bulgarian split squats will engage your core more since you need good stability to perform the movement. That’s because Bulgarian split squats are a unilateral (single-limb) exercise


The upcoming INBA PNBA Show is the Pro/Am International Battle Against Cancer on May 28, 2022. Some of the top INBA PNBA natural bodybuilders have been through a cancer battle and have prevailed and built extraordinary physiques.

For example, the 2021 Pro Women’s Physique Open Natural Olympia champion, Melanie Pfeifer, is ecstatic about training this natural bodybuilding season after a successful breast cancer surgery. And INBA PNBA Australian natural bodybuilder Kris Beretov won a bronze medal in the Men’s Physique Masters Division at Natural Olympia despite battling leukemia. Also, legend natural bodybuilder Kiyoshi Moody disclosed his battle with cancer and how it led him to drop over 60 pounds. 

The INBA PNBA is filled with many inspiring and dedicated natural athletes that put fair competition and their health the cornerstone of competition. Here you can find the complete 2022 INBA PNBA schedule


Performing front squats or Bulgarian split squats depends on your goal. We recommend front squats if you want to focus on building strength or developing stronger quads. However, Bulgarian split squats are the clear winner if your goal is improving your balance and having a stronger core and glutes

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.