The Dumbbell Goblet Squat – Technique and Benefits

In an earlier article we discussed the kettlebell goblet squat and its unique benefits to promote enhanced squat mechanics, strength, and more. While similar in exercise execution, the dumbbell goblet squat does offer some various benefits that coaches and athletes should be aware of.

Therefore, in this article we will discuss the dumbbell goblet squat, how to perform them, and why they can be a valuable asset to your training routine.

Muscles Worked

The dumbbell goblet squat offers all level lifters a way to increase strength and muscular development of the following areas:

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteals
  • Upper Back
  • Core Muscles
  • Arms
  • Shoulders

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Demo

Below is a video demonstration on how to perform the dumbbell goblet squat. Note, the lifter can hold the load either vertical (as shown in video) or horizontally, each are acceptable.

Benefits of the Goblet Squat

Below are a few reasons why the dumbbell goblet squat should be included into your training routine, warm ups, or squat movement teaching regressions/progressions.

Individualizing the Squat

The squatting movement is a necessary yet often challenging movement for many athletes and fitness goers alike. Individual differences in mobility, joint structure, and previous injuries often result in coaches needing to manipulate squat exercises and patterning to regress and progress an athlete/lifter properly. Goblet squats allow beginners, injured, and healthy athletes alike to find better balance in the squat (counterbalancing with weight), maintain rigidity in the core, and patterning proper upright torso positioning (due to the front loaded pattern).

Available in Every Gym

Dumbbells are one of the most widely seen and used free weights around the globe. Through my travels to Scotland, Thailand, Ireland, Spain, Canada, and the USA, I have been in my fair share of training facilities and hotel “gyms”. I find that dumbbells (and increasing denominations of weight) are in even the most basic of gyms, often those that lack a barbell, squat rack, and kettlebells. The widely accessible dumbbell allows for squat training to take place regardless of your location or means.

Easier to Handle Maximal Loads

While kettlebells are a very good option for goblet squatting, dumbbells can be another great variation when trying to use some serious loading. Kettlebells often can lead to some issues with holding heavy, smooth bells in the goblet (which also is why it is beneficial), especially with athlete with smaller hands, weaker arms, etc. Many of my older clients also have issues getting heavy kettlebells into position, versus taking dumbbells of equal or even greater loads and easily securing them into the proper position.

Metabolic Conditioning

Much like kettlebells can be used for metabolic conditioning circuits, the dumbbell is a viable option that offers versatility to train. In the event you want to combine many different dumbbell movements (snatch, press, etc, the dumbbell goblet squat can be great way to increase leg hypertrophy and endurance in higher intensity circuits.

Build a Better Squat!

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Featured Image: @smashedfitness on Instagram

Mike Dewar

Mike Dewar

Mike holds a Master's in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Mike has been with BarBend since 2016, where he covers Olympic weightlifting, sports performance training, and functional fitness. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at New York University, in which he works primarily with baseball, softball, track and field, cross country. Mike is also the Founder of J2FIT, a strength and conditioning brand in New York City that offers personal training, online programs for sports performance, and has an established USAW Olympic Weightlifting club.

In his first two years writing with BarBend, Mike has published over 500+ articles related to strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, and fitness. Mike’s passion for fitness, strength training, and athletics was inspired by his athletic career in both football and baseball, in which he developed a deep respect for the barbell, speed training, and the acquisition on muscle.

Mike has extensive education and real-world experience in the realms of strength development, advanced sports conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, and human movement. He has a deep passion for Olympic weightlifting as well as functional fitness, old-school bodybuilding, and strength sports.

Outside of the gym, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and traveller, who takes annual hunting and fishing trips to Canada and other parts of the Midwest, and has made it a personal goal of his to travel to one new country, every year (he has made it to 10 in the past 3 years). Lastly, Mike runs Rugged Self, which is dedicated to enjoying the finer things in life; like a nice glass of whiskey (and a medium to full-bodied cigar) after a hard day of squatting with great conversations with his close friends and family.

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