Goblet Squat (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)


Goblet Squats are a great exercise that can be used either in circuits or as a teaching tool for younger athletes or beginners to start learning proper squatting mechanics.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Goblet Squats including important Coaching Points to focus on and a few alternatives as well.


How To Do Goblet Squats


Equipment Needed

  • Kettlebell (Dumbbell can be used as well)

Muscles Worked

  • Quads (Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedius)
  • Glutes (Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius)
  • Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris)
  • Abdominals
  • Spinal Erectors
  • Secondarily: Shoulders, Biceps

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Grab a kettlebell and hold it at chest level, cradling the bottom of the bell in both hands*.
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest out, lats engaged, eyes straight ahead.
  • Before descending into the squat, fill the abdomen full of air and brace the core.
  • Start the start by pushing the hips back first.
  • Bend the hips and knees, keeping the chest up and knees pushed out until the thighs become parallel to the floor.
  • Now push the feet through the floor and drive yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the designated number of reps.

Coaching Points

*It’s also acceptable to hold the kettlebell on each side of the handle (as shown in the image above).

As with any squat, the most important aspect of the movement is to keep the core braced to protect the spine and to maintain proper posture – chest out and lats engaged.

Make sure to use full range of motion, even when doing Goblet Squats during high-tempo circuits.

Benefits of Goblet Squats

Goblet Squats have several benefits, including:

Improved Core and Upper Body Strength

Holding a weight in front of the chest during a goblet squat requires the use of the core muscles to maintain proper posture and balance. Holding a weight in front of the chest also engages and works the upper back, shoulders and arms.

Improved Squat Technique

The goblet squat is a simpler squatting movement that allows people (especially younger lifters and/or beginners) to focus on proper form and technique, which can lead to better form and technique when performing more advanced squatting exercises.

Versatility

Goblet Squats can be performed with a variety of equipment, including dumbbells, kettlebells, and even sandbags, making them a versatile exercise that can be done at home or in the gym.

Beginner-Friendly

Goblet squats are a relatively easy exercise to learn and execute, which makes them a great option for beginners and young athletes with limited experience with weightlifting.


Goblet Squat Alternatives


Need an alternative for Goblet Squats? Here are a couple of exercises that you may be able to use as a replacement.

Need more options? Here are my 7 favorite alternatives for Goblet Squats.

Back Squat

Man Back Squatting 315 Pounds

Goblet Squats are great as a teaching progression or as part of a circuit, but if you’re able to, Back Squats should be an integral part of your training program.

Use Goblet Squats to help learn proper form and then, when ready, progress on to either Back Squats (or Front Squats) if possible.

Dumbbell Squats

Very much like Goblet Squats, Dumbbell Squats are a great movement to use in both circuits or as a teaching exercise.

Instead of holding a single kettlebell, hold a dumbbell in each hand with elbows high and dumbbells resting on top of the shoulders.


More Links and Info


If you’d like to see more exercises to strengthen the legs, make sure to check out the Lower Body Strength section of the Exercise Library.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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