Goblet Squat Exercise

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Goblet Squat Exercise Guide

The beginner squatting exercises are easy to understand and easy to use. They include the goblet squat, the bodyweight squat, and the sumo squat. These squats are the most user-friendly variations; all intend to produce a big caloric burn while improving your squatting pattern.

Be patient with the squat, and don’t get discouraged if you can’t squat very low at first. The depth will come — especially when you practice the movements for some time.  And don’t ever push into a range of motion where you feel uncomfortable or are unable to maintain proper form.

This is so named because someone thought the ketttebell looked like a big goblet when held upside down in both hands. Therefore, this squat is also known as kettlebell squat. However, you can also perform goblet squat by holding a dumbbell against your chest.

Barbell squats (front, back) should be at the forefront of your training, however goblet squats are a great way to prep for squat sessions, teach and perfect squat technique, and even add some additional training volume to really maximize muscle growth.

Goblet squat exercise instruction

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to perform this squat safely and effectively to achieve maximum results from this great quadriceps exercise.

STARTING POSITION (SETUP):

  • Hold the bell with both hands by its “horns” at sternum level. The bell will be close to your body but not touching, and your elbows should be down. You can also hold a dumbbell against your chest, resting the dumbbell on your palms.
  • Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and flare your feet out 30 to 45 degrees.

kettlebell goblet squat exercise

MOVEMENT (ACTION):

  • Keeping your torso upright, squeeze your abs and pull yourself down with your hip flexors.
  • In other words, take in a deep breath and drop your hips straight down in a controlled manner while pushing your knees out and staying as upright as possible. Your elbows should stay between your knees at all times.
  • Try to get your hips below your knees if possible, but don’t compromise your structure by tipping over, letting your knees collapse or otherwise losing form. If you have the flexibility in your hips and lower back, try to get your butt to your calves.
  • Reverse the motion by pushing through your heels and breathe out during the ascent. Squeeze the glutes to lockout.

dumbbell goblet squatAdditional tips (performance pointers)

  • Some people like to use a wide stance with this exercise, which is fine, but we recommend a medium stance with the knees flared out.
  • Keep your chest up throughout the entire range of motion.
  • Actively push your knees out, especially as you come up out of the bottom of the squat.
  • Point your elbows down, not out.

Muscles engaged

  • Primary muscles: quadriceps, gluteals, erector spinae
  • Secondary muscles: hamstrings, adductors

Exercise Variations

  • Variation 1: Knee-Banded Dumbbell Goblet Squat. Perform the dumbbell goblet squat with a mini-band wrapped just below the knees.
  • Variation 2: Dumbbell Goblet Squat. Perform the dumbbell goblet squat with the dumbbell held up against your chest.
  • Variation3: Knee-Banded Kettlebell Goblet Squat. Perform the traditional kettlebell goblet squat with a mini-band wrapped at or just below the knees.

Closing thoughts 

A goblet squat is a type of front squat with a goblet grip on the kettlebell. If you don’t have a goblet grip on the kettlebell then it’s more than likely it’s another type of front squat.

It’s the ideal squat variation to teach young athletes and beginners proper squat technique; however it can be used to build strength for everyone.

While this type of squat may be heavy for many beginners and can be a great way to vary training and/or progress under the barbell, the barbell squat is a foundational strength movement that can never be substituted if pure strength & muscle hypertrophy is the goal.

Therefore the barbell squat (and it’s variations) likely reigns supreme in this category. You need to barbell squat as soon as possible.

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