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Dumbbell Goblet Squats: Muscles, Form, and Benefits!

Dumbbell Goblet squats are a great exercise for both beginner and advanced trainees. Not only can it be used as a strength exercise but it has multiple other benefits when added to a well-made training program.


Exercise benefits include:


  • Lower body muscle and strength development


  • Improved squat mechanics


  • Improved range of motion through hips


  • Potential to reduce lower back pain


  • Thoracic extension strength


Goblet Squats Muscles Worked


The goblet squat exercise trains the all same muscle groups as the more traditional barbell back squat. However, It places slightly more emphasis on the quads because you are holding the weight to the front of the body. The Goblet Squat promotes a more upright squatting pattern allowing you to travel deeper into the bottom squat position. Often referred to as “the hole”.


A full range of motion goblet squat will train multiple muscle groups, including:


  • Quads (Primary Working Muscle)


  • Glutes (Primary Working Muscle)


  • Back (Secondary Support)


  • Abs (Secondary Support)


  • Calves (Secondary Support)


  • Hips (Secondary Support)


Everything you need to know!

Dumbbell Goblet Squats are one of my all-time favorite exercises for warm-ups, mobility drills, and of course, developing strength and size in the lower body.

It is a fantastic coaching tool for beginners too, allowing them to learn the correct squat movement without the added risk of having weight loaded on their back.

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Everything you learn in developing great dumbbell goblet squats will easily transfer over to every other lower body exercise in the future.

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Goblet Squats Form in 5 Simple Steps



Before you begin, make sure to have a platform or rack close by so you can safely pick up, and return, the dumbbells after a set. You need to be able to pick up the weight without forcing yourself into an awkward position.


If at any time you doubt your ability during a rep you should end the rep. When in doubt, get out.



There are a few different hand positions for the dumbbell in this exercise. Firmly gripping one end of the dumbbell seems to offer the most confidence and support throughout the rep.



The dumbbell will rest in your hands, with your elbows tucked to your sides slightly to the front. The bottom half of the dumbbell will be in between your arms pointing to the floor.


Do not move the dumbbell away from your chest. This will ensure better balance and control throughout each rep while reducing strain on the lower back.



Step back and position your feet so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders, with toes slightly pointed out. 


This is to give you space at the bottom for a full range of motion.



Brace your core, engage your glutes, and take a breath. Break at your knees and hips, sit onto your heels.


Another way to think about this is sitting your hips down between your legs



As you reach your bottom position, maintain the tightness of your core and glutes.


To return to the start position you can think about pushing the floor away from you. Squeeze your glutes as you return to a full-standing position.


Once you have completed your set, return the dumbbell to the rack or platform. Thankfully you took the time to set this up in the beginning.

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Most Common Mistake: knee position!


The most common mistake you will experience in the squat is allowing your knees to cave in throughout the movement. Particularly on the concentric part of the movement. That is, pressing from the bottom back up to the top.


This is referred to as the valgus fault and can happen for a few different reasons. The most common cause is a relative weakness between your glutes and quads.


Your glutes are responsible for pulling your knees out in a squat. When they are too fatigued, or too weak they will not be able to hold their knees out in a safe position.

Our body is as intelligent as it is will still find a way to move the weight (Dumbbell) from point A to Point B. (Bottom of the squat to the top of the squat).


To do this, it will allow your knees to cave inward and emphasize the strength of your quads.


Your body knows how the get the job done…even if it means risking your knee health.

The solution to the problem is in choosing the right weight and stopping at the right time.


Solution 1. Don’t choose a weight that you cannot complete at least 5 good reps with your knees out in correct alignment.


Solution 2. If you manage to get over 5 reps make sure to stop the set as soon as you notice your knees starting to cave in.


This is typically more of a problem with complete beginners are there is a larger difference between the strength of their quads and glutes.

Over time, from training the squat correctly this difference will even out and most muscles will fatigue at the same time.


Dumbbell Clean And Press Benefits: Muscle Mass, Strength, And Full Body Conditioning

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The dumbbell clean and the press is a total body movement that increases explosiveness, strength, and muscle mass while conditioning the body, all at the same time. It’s a powerhouse of a movement and if you’re not doing them (Or something similar) you’re missing out!


The unilateral nature of the dumbbell clean and press is a big benefit over using barbells which only allows for bilateral movement. This allows for a more full range of motion and more stabilizer muscle engagement during the lift.


We’re going to go in-depth on the movement and explain how anyone can implement it for improved performance.

So let’s first discuss the muscles worked during the dumbbell clean and press…


Which Muscles Are Worked?

The short answer… everything except for chest!


The dumbbell clean and press works nearly all muscles which makes it such a great choice for metabolic conditioning. Each muscle group is targeted during either the clean, the press, or both.


Here are the muscles worked during the movement:


  • Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves) – During the Clean
  • Back (Spinal Erectors, lats, and traps) – During the Clean
  • Shoulders – During the press
  • Arms (Triceps and biceps) – During both the Clean and Press
  • Core – During both the Clean and Press
  • Now that you know which muscles are worked during the dumbbell clean and press, we’ll move on to how you can benefit from the movement!

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Metabolic Conditioning

Being a full-body movement and all… the dumbbell clean and the press is a total metabolic beast. Every muscle in your body has a job to do to get the weight up off the ground and into the air above your head (Clean and press). Metabolic conditioning happens when energy is required by the body to perform essentially any type of activity. 

Simply resting less in between sets, picking up the intensity, or adding additional resistance will create an increased metabolic challenge, which is the goal.



Muscular Hypertrophy and Strength Gains

Who doesn’t want bigger muscles and increased strength? The dumbbell clean and press is not just any movement. A lifter who performs such a movement is usually looking to move up in weight and progress in performance. Otherwise, it’d be pointless to even do the dumbbell clean and press.

This is a full-body movement that will undoubtedly improve your fitness levels, muscle size, and strength.


Great Alternative to Barbells for Range of Motion and Stabilization

Dumbbells are an amazing alternative to barbells (Yes “alternative” is right) because you can move more naturally through your range of movement and you also develop your stabilizer muscles. Unfortunately, there’s a wide belief that barbells are just overall better for essentially everything.


However, this is false!


Dumbbell exercises, in general, require a mix of balance and stability to position the weights and contract the muscles during a repetition. The use of dumbbells is also great for improving your barbell movements because of these factors (Improved balance and stability). Also, The unilateral movement of the dumbbell clean and the press is fantastic for developing core strength (Especially when doing one arm at a time).


Performing the Dumbbell Clean and Press

You can perform the dumbbell clean and press with either one or both arms but before performing the movement, you need to make sure you have proper form. Being a full-body movement, the potential for injury increases, so never attempt any form of lifting without proper knowledge beforehand.


Dumbbell Bench Press Guide: Benefits, Performance, and Variations 

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If you’ve ever had a chat with a fellow gym-goer about your workouts, invariably, the discussion will turn to the bench press. Why? Because it’s probably the most popular upper body exercise on the planet. Even non-lifters want to know how much you can bench press!


Most of the time, people are talking about the barbell bench press. After all, it’s a classic chest exercise, and it’s also the second lift contested in the sport of powerlifting.

However, despite its popularity, the barbell bench press is not without disadvantages. Lifting a bar with both hands means it’s all too easy to press more with one arm than the other, and a failed rep could leave you badly injured.


Also, bench pressing with a bar means you are limited to how far you can lower the weights. If you have short arms, you won’t get much of a stretch in your chest, and that can limit muscle growth.

None of this means the barbell bench press is a bad exercise, but doing bench press with dumbbells gets around all of these drawbacks. In addition, adding dumbbell bench presses to your workouts will increase exercise variety. Studies tell us that variety is just as important as, sets, reps, and weight for building muscle and strength

Muscles worked in the dumbbell bench press

The dumbbell bench press is a horizontal pressing exercise. That means the arms are pressed outward and perpendicular to your body. The main muscles used in this exercise are:


Pectoralis major: This muscle group is the reason that most people do this exercise; it gives your pecs a great workout. Your pecs are the muscles on the front of your chest. Their primary function is horizontal flexion and medial rotation of the shoulder joint. 


Anterior deltoids: Working alongside your pecs, the anterior deltoids or front shoulder muscles are also involved in horizontal flexion and medial rotation of the shoulder joint. It’s virtually impossible to work your pecs without your anterior delts.


Triceps brachii: Located on the back of your upper arm, the triceps are responsible for extending your elbow. The closer your hands are, the more work your triceps have to do. The triceps are especially active at the end of the movement as you lock out your elbows.


Rotator cuff: This group of small muscles, consisting of the supraspinatus muscle, the infraspinatus muscle, teres minor muscle, and the subscapularis muscle, is responsible for stabilizing your shoulder. They are especially active during dumbbell bench presses as the weight can move in a variety of directions.


How to do the dumbbell bench press

To get the most from this (or any other) exercise, you must do it properly. Doing the dumbbell bench press with incorrect form will make it less effective and could increase your risk of injury. Always do this exercise properly for the best results.


  • Sit on the end of an exercise bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Rest the weights on their ends on your thighs.


  • Lie back and use your legs to help you lift the weights. Position yourself, so your back is flat on the bench, your arms are bent, and the dumbbells are in front of your shoulders. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Brace your abs and arch your lower back slightly. Think about lifting your chest toward the ceiling.


  • Press the weights up to arm’s length above your chest. The dumbbells should come together at the top of each rep. Straighten your arms, but don’t lock your elbows. Locking your arms means your joints are supporting the weight rather than your muscles.


  • Bend your arms and lower the weights back down. Lower them as far as your flexibility allows. A good stretch at the bottom of each rep makes this exercise harder and more productive. However, do not bounce out of the bottom of each rep. That’s a recipe for injury.


  • At the of your set, either lower the weights to the floor or, with your arms bent, just sit back up and return to your starting position. Alternatively, if you have spotters nearby, allow them to take the weights from you.

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Final Thoughts

The dumbbell clean and press is a fantastic movement that builds mass and strength effectively while conditioning the entire body. The benefits are very much worth incorporating them into your workout routine and the great thing is… you can skip the barbells.


Whether you are bored of barbell bench presses, or just want to add some variation to your upper body workouts, the dumbbell bench press is a good choice.

Then, once you have mastered it, make sure you try the five variations outlined in this article. With all these exercises available, you have everything you need to build your best chest ever!


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