3 Goblet Squat Variations to Make Leg Day Fun Again

Learn new movements and how to superset them in this fast guide to better goblet squats.

The goblet squat has revolutionized the way the squat is being performed and taught throughout the world. Especially for folks who struggle with maintaining correct form during barbell squats, the goblet squat is an excellent alternative: it’s hard to mess up, it’s a fantastic squat patterning movement, and it’s dynamite for postural and core strength.

As great as goblet squats are, there comes a time when either you get bored with doing them or they stop working for you. But rather than throwing them away, try one of the 3 variations below to challenge your legs, core and lungs in a unique way.

[Learn more in our guide to the perfect goblet squat.]

1. Goblet Squat With Lowering

It is called “goblet squat with lowering” but “goblet squat with bicep curl” is more illustrative and has a nicer ring to it, don’t you think?

The pause at the bottom of the squat with the ‘curl’ helps you ‘own’ the bottom of the squat position and creates extra tension in the anterior core and the posterior chain. Adding a pause to any lift is a fantastic way to add intensity without adding weight.

Pairing this with a suitcase carry will give a greater challenge for your lungs and grip strength. Try this little finisher that I ‘borrowed’ from Dan John.

  1. 8 Goblet squats with lowering
  2. Suitcase carry left hand 40 steps
  3. 7 Goblet squats with lowering
  4. Suitcase carry right hand 40 steps

Repeat until you’re down to one goblet squat with lowering, then you do a suitcase carry. Then you collapse.

2. Goblet Squat With Resistance Band

Some gyms don’t have big enough kettlebells or dumbbells to challenge advanced lifters and adding a band helps.

This exercise is best done as an assistance exercise after your big strength movement of the day. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, pairing this with a little exercise called the goblet lateral walk will challenge your anterior core, hips and grip.

For example:

1A. Goblet squat with band 8-12 reps
1B. Goblet lateral walk 8-12 steps each side

3. 1 ¼ Goblet Squat 

Adding a half a repetition may make you hate life but the increase tension in your legs, anterior core and the posterior chain will give you a lower body of steel. Furthermore, it’s great exercise if hypertrophy is your goal too — you can learn more in our guide to the 1 1/4 squat. (Sometimes it’s called the 1 1/2 squat, but it’s the same thing.)

This exercise can be used as a finisher at the end of your leg training.

For example, you can do them as a Tabata protocol (that’s 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 6 to 8 rounds).

Or it can be supersetted with a core exercise as part of your assistance work.

For example,

1A. 1 1/4 Goblet squat
1B. Push up position plank

Wrapping Up

The goblet squat makes it possible for most people to squat with good form and to reestablish the squat pattern for those who have ‘lost’ it. And by adding some spice, it makes the exercise more challenging for the advanced lifter also.

Make it a part of your routine pronto.

Editor’s note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the author’s and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured image via Tony Gentilcore on YouTube.


1. John, D. (2016) Before we go: an Ongoing Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning.