Gym Rats: Bulgarian Split Squats with Dr. Karen Sutton


This article appears in the November edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

Dr. Karen Sutton, the physician for the U.S. women’s team who works alongside renowned Team USA strength and conditioning coach Jay Dyer, practices what she preaches.

Sutton, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery and part of the first Women’s Sports Medicine Center in the country, worked out six days a week, including two with BlueStreak Sports Training, as she prepared for her Olympic triathlon in September and the New York marathon in November. She wants to complete a half Ironman next year.

“Strong is the new pretty,” said Sutton, who played on the inaugural Duke women’s lacrosse team and was a three-year captain for the Blue Devils. “A lot of the athletes I played with at Duke completely shunned away from the weight room. They did not want to be Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Sutton was named the first-ever chief medical officer for the Federation of International Lacrosse in June. She is a member of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee and works out independently with BlueStreak trainers Desmond Hinds and Alex Joseph.

Naturally, we turned to Sutton to set the tone for our 10th-annual Gym Rats edition featuring the workouts and healthy habits of some of the sport’s most renowned fitness buffs.

Bulgarian Split Squats
Click the info icon for step-by-step instructions


Helps With: Core, glute and hamstring activitation and strength.

I Do: Kettle bell weight for 4 sets of 6-8 reps on each leg. Start with a reasonable weight that doesn’t break form.

Step 1: Find a bench or box that is the same height or greater than 12 inches. 

Step 2: Put one foot on the box or bench while balancing on the opposite leg in a lunge position. The foot on the ground will bear all the weight. 

Step 3: Descend into an elevated lunge, focusing on core engagement as well as glute and hamstring activation. If you’re not using weights, cross your arms so your hands touch your shoulders. If you have a weight in one hand, hold your opposite arm out to maintain balance.  

Step 4: Depending on your comfort level, increase weight to improve strength. 



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