Goblet Squat – Exercise Guide and Benefits

Goblet squats are a great way to enhance your squat strength, movement and control, and overall performance. For many lifters, the squat is a constant journey, with many successes and setbacks and along the way. The goblet squat, often done with either the kettlebell or the dumbbell, could be your missing link to improve your overall squat performance.

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Therefore, in this article we will discuss the goblet squat and what you as an athlete and/or coach should master it.

Muscles Worked

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

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

Goblet Squat Demo

Below is a video demonstration on how to perform the goblet squat (kettlebell). This movement can be done with a variety of objects, however the most common is the kettlebell and the dumbbell.

Benefits of the Goblet Squat

Below are a few reasons why the goblet squat should be included into your movement arsenal as a coach and/or athlete.

Learning the Squat Progression

The goblet squat is one of the most basic and effective squat patterning movement for beginners of all ages to learn how to squat. By having the weight in the goblet position, you allow for (1) the lifter to use the load as a counterbalance to assist in squatting with an upright torso (2) you force the lifter to maintain a rigid upper back and core or else the load will pull them forward out of balance (3) both reasons above often result in the ability to squat deeper with integrity.

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Postural Strength in Squat

Upper back strength and control is key to back, front, and overhead squats . By loading in the goblet position, the lifter must remain in squatted with an extended thoracic spine to keep the torso upright and balanced over the midfoot.

Enhanced Core Strength

Squats are a great way to increase core strength, and front loaded variations are even better. The goblet squat, like the front squat, is a challenging variation to teach liters (beginners especially) how to brace, not over extended through the spine in the descent, and stay balanced and controlled throughout the squatting movement.

Can Literally Do Them Anywhere

Unlike barbell squats, the goblet variation can literally be done in any place you can imagine. While traveling or building a basic home gym it can be tough to find the space (or budget) to do barbell squats. Whether you have kettlebells, dumbbells, or heavy rocks at your disposal, goblet squats can be your go-to squatting movement. That said, goblet squats don’t replace back squats unless injury or other circumstances are present (see below), so be sure to get under that heavy barbell to build serious strength and muscle!

Train Around and/or Prevent Injury

Front loading squatting does not allow for excessive torso forward lean, in turn decreasing the amount of stress placed upon the lower back. Lifters who may be nursing or recovering from a lower back issue, or are wanting to limit the amount of loading to their back while still increasing training volume can use the goblet squat to do such things.

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