In a recent interview with Four Four Two, Alex Iwobi revealed that he absolutely hates Bulgarian squats and Romanian deadlifts.

The youngster told the magazine in their latest issue, “I will probably train in the gym twice a week.

“When our games are coming thick and fast, we don’t do anything too intense in the gym. When we do go in, it’s predominantly to maintain the strength in our legs, because that is the part of the body we mainly use in football.

“I work on my hamstrings and quads. My hamstrings can get very stiff sometimes, so I’ll often do some Romanian deadlifts to work on them. I really hate that exercise!

“I’m not a huge fan of the Bulgarian squats either, but I just grit my teeth and get on with them.

“A couple of davs after the session vou feel much stronger, and then you know that all of the hard work you have been doing in the gym has been worthwhile.”

The exotic names ‘Romanian Deadlifts’ and ‘Bulgarian Squats’ piqued our interest to what these actually entailed, so I spoke to our resident fitness freak, Mark Fine, to find out just what the hell these things were. Here’s what he had to say:

Romanian Deadlifts

Exercise Routine: Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift, courtesy

This is a simple weightlifting technique that works the hamstrings, gluteus, spine, lats and traps.

You accomplish this by first grabbing a barbell with a shoulder-wide, overhand grip.

Then, lift the bar, closely following the front of the legs. Do this whilst bending your knees only just enough to provide some tension on the hamstrings.

The upward motion finishes with you standing perfectly erect with a barbell dangling at your arms and around hip-height.

You finish the rep using using the opposite motion to then lower the bar to the floor.

What is unusual is that we’ve all heard that you lift with your legs. This is completely counter to that.

The trick is to do each rep slowly and with a consistent motion. Anything other than that could wreak havoc on your back.

Bulgarian Squats

Exercise Routine: Bulgarian Squats
Bulgarian Squats, courtesy

This exercise is performed by first lifting one foot onto a bench behind you, whist holding a dumbbell in each hand and your opposite leg should be in-line with the rest of your body.

Then, lower your torso, until the knee of your rear leg nearly touches the ground. Your other knee should form a right angle, with your thigh nearly parallel with the floor.

You finish the rep by then lifting yourself in the opposite motion.

This is essentially the same thing as a one-legged forward lunge, putting all the weight on one leg. It works all of the upper leg and gluteus muscles.

If you’ve ever done alternating jump squats (and hated them with a passion) or weighted squats, one can clearly understand Alex giving these some similar ‘love’.