Kettlebell Goblet Squat – Exercise Guide and Benefits

Kettlebells are one of the most versatile, movement-based, and all-encompassing pieces of equipment one can have on hand to increase strength, power, fitness, muscle mass, and movement integrity. Goblet squats are a foundational squat movement for all level lifters and athletes, which is why we have chosen to discuss the kettlebell goblet squat and all it has to offer. 

How to Do Kettlebell Goblet Squats

Kettlebell goblet squats are a similar movement to dumbbell variations, with a slight difference in the placement and grip demands due to the odd weight displacement and shape of the bell. Below is a video demonstration on how to properly perform kettlebell goblet squats.

Muscles Worked – Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The kettlebell goblet squat offers all level lifters a way to increase strength, muscular hypertrophy, endurance, and even add complexity to metabolic workouts. Below is a list of the most common muscles used when performing kettlebell goblet squats:

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

Benefits of the Goblet Squat

Below are three unique benefits of the kettlebell goblet squat that can have a positive impact of movement, strength, and overall athletic ability for nearly every athlete.

Foundational Kettlebell Movement

Kettlebells are an amazing tool for nearly every athlete. They allow for the development of sound movement patterning, hypertrophy, strength, and power. When learning how to first work with kettlebells, the goblet squat can be used to pattern a smooth, stable squat. Over time, this movement can be transitioned to kettlebell front rack squats and/or added into kettlebell complexes with other movements such as swings (Russian and American), presses, and windmills, and more!

Upper Back Strength in the Squat

Back strength can often be overlooked when determining why an athlete fails during sticking points in a squat (front or back) and/or allows their hips to shoot up and back sending their torsos forward in a heavy squat. The kettlebell goblet squat can work to (1) increase leg strength, specifically the quadriceps and glutes, while also establishing (2) vertical torso positioning, (3) increased lower back and thoracic extension abilities, and (4) work the proper movement mechanics of a high bar back squat. Many athletes and lifters of all levels can improve squat strength and performance by adding these movements into hypertrophy/assistance blocks and/or warm-up series.

Educating the Proper Squatting Mechanics and Tension Development

With many beginner trainees, educating the squatting movement can be a challenging process, especially if they have been desk ridden for some time. While other squatting movements may also work, I have found kettlebell goblet squats (as opposed to dumbbell or med ball goblet squats) to have a great impact on overall development of upper back strength, core utilization, and awareness during a squat. Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells do not not allow for a lifter to grip the edges of a dumbbell (as the bell is often round, smooth, and even sweaty). This forces a lifter, especially as the bell gets heavier, the brace, and stay as vertical as possible. It is important to note that while kettlebell goblet squats can be done with the handle held upwards, I often find it best to turn the bell so that handle is down and have my athletes hold the actually bell to increase upper body strength and loading.

More Goblet Squats and Kettlebells!

Take a look at some of our goblet squat articles, as well as these great kettlebell training secrets!

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