Goblet Squat Exercise

The goblet squat is a technique that serves a functional purpose while also providing aesthetic rewards!

Few people would dispute the assertion that the squat is the most effective exercise for the lower body. However, it is a full-body action that works a number of different muscles, and when you consistently train with progressive stress, the strength gains you see from doing it are ridiculous.

Now, usually, there are many different varieties of squats that you can do in order to get the most out of your leg development; one of the most common of them is the goblet squat.

The goblet squat, on the other hand, is very dissimilar to the traditional barbell back squat; yet, it does have a place in a routine that involves working the legs. The goblet squat excels in both the functional and safety realms, so if your regular squat technique leaves something to be desired in terms of protection, you should consider switching to this variation.


What Is A Goblet Squat?

The goblet squat is a lower body exercise that is very identical to the barbell back squat; however, instead of a barbell or dumbbell for resistance, you use one kettlebell. During the squat, the weight is kept in front of the body, and the movement itself is particularly beneficial for studying and developing body mechanics.

Well, you were probably curious about the origin of the name, weren’t you? Because of this, we believe it is only right to explain the history of the goblet squat to you.

This particular variation of the squat was developed by a coach of strength and conditioning by the name of Dan John. John came up with the idea after realizing that there was a lack of exercises that taught correct body mechanics when performing the squat. The movement, however, gives the impression that you are holding a goblet.


Muscles Worked

The goblet squat is an exercise that primarily targets the lower body, but it also engages other muscles.



During goblet squats, each of the leg muscles—from the quadriceps to the hamstrings, glutes, and calves—is worked to their maximum potential. Squatting through the heels activates the muscles in the posterior chain (backside of the body), which includes the hamstrings and glutes. Ankle and knee flexion as well as hip extension are required for complete training of the quadriceps.



The goblet squat is an effective exercise for working the back muscles, and more specifically the spinal erectors. However, the activity should not be used in place of straight-back exercise or even a deadlift if the goal is to get maximum stimulation.



Throughout a goblet squat, the front deltoid muscles are the primary muscles used to keep the weight at chest level; nevertheless, the entire shoulder complex is being worked.



In order to keep an upright stance while performing goblet squats, core stabilization is required. In addition, exercises that engage the entire body are an efficient approach to indirectly strengthen the abdominal muscles and the obliques.


Squat Form

One of the most significant advantages of the goblet squat is the manner in which it enables you to enhance your squatting form. It is astonishing so often that people make errors in their squat form that could cause injuries, especially in the low back or knees. Although the general squat form is known by almost everyone, people nonetheless make these mistakes all the time.

Squatting in general can present a number of challenges, but the goblet squat is designed to help you pinpoint and address some of the most prevalent issues.

As you go through the motions of the squat, the fact that you are holding the load directly in front of your body brings to your attention how important it is to keep your torso tall and to keep your abdominal muscles engaged. When most people first get into a squat position, they have a tendency to round their backs, tip forward from the hips, and lean their chests toward the floor. This throws off the neutral position of their backs and makes it more difficult to achieve the desired depth.

Holding the resistance in front of your body while performing goblet squats helps build the crucial awareness that you need to flip your shoulders back, participate your core, and maintain your torso upright as you squat down in order to avoid the weight of the kettlebell from pulling you forward or throwing you off balance. Boxing Bayside is the place to go for additional information on this subject.


Because the objective of the training is to get your elbows to contact the insides of your knees when you are in the bottom position of the goblet squat, this variation of the squat helps to develop correct knee alignment with your toes.

Knee valgus” is the medical term for the common condition that occurs when a person’s knees turn inwards ever-so-slightly when they crouch down. At the bottom of the squat, when you shift from the downward (eccentric) part of the activity to the upward (concentric) portion, this misalignment typically gets even more pronounced.

As a result of your knees being aligned incorrectly, the interior of your knees will be subjected to a greater amount of stress as they go through their full motion range. This can make it more likely that you will have knee pain or even sustain an injury.

Even if your knees are still angled mildly inward when you are at the bottom of the exercise, the placement of your elbows affords you the chance to examine your form and make sure that your knees are tracking in the correct direction before you shift to the upward portion of the workout and come back to a standing position.

During this transition, the risk of your knees “collapsing” inward is reduced thanks to this technique, which ultimately protects you against the possibility of experiencing pain or injury.

Step-by-Step Instructions


You only need a dumbbell or kettlebell and enough area to stand and move around easily with your feet approximately hip- to shoulder-distance apart in order to begin with the goblet squat. This exercise is quite simple and straightforward.

Maintain a standing position in which your feet are a little further apart than hip distance and your toes are angled slightly outward.

You should be holding a kettlebell in both arms at your chest, with one hand on either side of the handles, as though you were cupping a goblet. You should flex your elbows and arrange the goblet so that it is directly in the middle of your chest.

As a means of warming up, begin by performing the movement with a kettlebell that is either lighter or absent entirely. After that, move up to a weight that is more difficult for your whole set.

Throughout the entirety of the squat, you want to ensure that your back is neutrally aligned and that your eyes are looking straight ahead. Engage your core and do not turn your head.

To complete a squat, you should press your hips back and start bending your knees. As you move through this downward phase, be sure to inhale.

Maintain close proximity to your body while moving the kettlebell around.

As you continue to drive your hips back and lower down, your primary focus should be on keeping your chest lifted. Your goal should be to lower your hips till they are parallel to your knees.

When you are squatting, you should not allow yourself to come up on your toes; instead, make sure that your weight is evenly distributed across both of your feet, or slightly more weighted toward your heels.

Make sure that your elbows are resting on the inside of each knee while you are at the lowest level of the squat. This will ensure that you are getting the most out of the exercise. As you move into a deep squat position, this will help to ensure that your knees and toes remain in proper alignment with one another.

To get back to the beginning posture, press through your heels and then reverse the motion you just did. Exhale as you come up out of the squat, and make sure to squeeze your glutes by pressing your hips forward as you reach the peak position of the exercise.

After completing the set, rack the kettlebell in a controlled manner. Always take precautions to prevent weights from falling from a height. Repeat the set for the number of times that you want. Boxing Bayside is the place to go for additional information on this subject.


Goblet Squat Benefits

The goblet squat provides its practitioners with a number of important advantages, including…


Muscle growth

Simple as it may sound, resistance training causes muscular growth. But the amount of muscle that you gain is determined by a number of different elements, like the weight that you use, your genetics, growth factors, reps, intensity, diet, hydration, and sleep, among other things. However, in the context of weight training alone, in order to cause a muscle to grow, it is necessary to steadily increase the weight being lifted and/or the number of reps being performed, at least to some extent. (1, 2, 3)


Increased strength

You should undertake at least 1 day of exercise per week when you are working relatively intensively to push your muscles, and strength training is the best way to gain strength. If you can manage it, increasing the weight by five pounds every week is an excellent technique. If you feel like you should be doing slightly more or less, you can adjust the amount.

However, we will present a workout in which you can make very rapid advancements in terms of strength increases; however, you need not be frightened when you reach a plateau because this is typical. But in that case, you can switch up your routine, and finally, you’ll run out of weight with the kettlebell and the dumbbells. At that point, you can either increase the number of reps you do, or you can concentrate more on the heavy back squat.

However, there is also another variation called the landmine goblet squat, which we will demonstrate to you and in which you can employ a greater amount of resistance.

Weight loss

Squats and other exercises that work the entire body will be helpful in the process of losing weight, but the degree to which they are beneficial will be determined by the intensity of the workout and the number of times it is repeated. The more you walk about, the more kcal you will burn, and it took nearly 3,500 calories burned off before one pound of weight is lost.

A fantastic way to burn calories and get in shape is to work your way down and up the dumbbell weight rack.


Improved aerobic capacity

More power and air are required for exercises that involve the whole body. As a consequence of this, you will enhance your aerobic capacity, which will enable you to work out for longer periods of time and at a higher intensity level as your endurance increases. You will be able to boost your aerobic fitness even further if you work at a faster pace.


How To Do The Goblet Squat

girls squat


Before beginning your working sets, it is strongly recommended that you complete a few warm-up sets first. Therefore, you should begin with a weight that is 30–40% of your one-rep maximum and gradually increase it to the working sets  (2 sets are normally sufficient).


Squatting correctly should enable you to complete the activity in close proximity to your central mass, which will not only protect your spine but also enable you to raise the weight in the correct manner.


Exercise instructions:

Kettlebell goblet squat

Utilize your legs to lift the kettlebell while maintaining a straight-back position.

You can either grip the kettlebell with both palms or by the handles if you turn it so that it is upside down. You should keep it at the height of your upper chest, just below your chin, and close to your torso while keeping your elbows pointing straight down.

Your feet should be somewhat wider apart than the space between your hips, and you should point your toes slightly outward.

Squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the ground while maintaining a straight head and back.  Maintain a straight line from your toes all the way up to your knees.

Next, stand up from the squat position you were just in. Boxing Bayside is the place to go for additional information on this subject.


Dumbbell goblet squat

Raise the dumbbell to the level of your upper chest so that one end rests in each hand, analogous to the variation performed with the kettlebell.

Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor while maintaining a straight and erect back position. Keep your feet hip-width apart.

After you have finished squatting, stand back up.


Goblet Squat Tips

Due to the fact that this varies from person to person, it is essential to determine your own range of motion in order to safeguard your joints and knees.

During the squat, you should never bring your knees in near each other at any point. If you notice that they are going inward, either your form is incorrect or there is a structural problem that has to be explored. Either way, you need to correct it.

Always try to keep your back as straight and upright as possible. It’s natural for people to lean forward just so much, but doing so significantly is not.

Squatting through the heels is an essential component of any form of squat exercise. When you push through the balls of your feet, you eventually put pressure on your knees, which can lead to knee troubles.

When you have reached the bottom of the squat, make sure that your elbows are still tucked in so that they are on the inside of your thighs.


Goblet Squat Variations

Here are some alternative approaches you can take to further enhance both your efficiency and the outcomes you achieve.


Goblet squat and overhead press

Carry out the goblet squat in the same manner as you would normally, but when you stand back up, press the dumbbell or kettlebell overhead. However, you should take great care to have a firm grasp on the weight, and you should even try to keep it slightly in front of your head.


The band goblet squat

Put some stress on a band that you have wrapped around both of your legs right above the knees. The goblet squat should then be performed as per usual. The use of a band will maintain stress on your glutes, which is beneficial for the development of muscles as well as gains in posterior chain strength.


Landmine goblet squat

During a squat, the landmine variations are an outstanding choice for loading the anterior chain and enhancing the mechanics of the posterior chain. Because you have to actively struggle to maintain the weight’s stability while the barbell is touching the floor, your coordination and balance will improve as a result.

However, a handy feature of the landmine variation is that whenever you complete the negative, the weight drives your hips back, which is great for developing your squat form. This is a benefit of the landmine variation.

Make sure that one end is anchored to the ground, and then set the end that is weighted on a bench. Take hold of the barbell’s end with both hands, ensuring that your elbows are pointing downward, and bring your chest as close to the bar as possible. Squat down while keeping everything tight and focusing on contracting your glutes to lift the weight.


Goblet Squat Benefits


The goblet squat offers a wide variety of advantages. In the post that you’re about to read, we’ll examine three of the most significant benefits in greater detail to assist you in determining whether or not goblet squats belong in your routine.


Goblet Squat as Teaching Tool

The goblet squat’s usefulness as a learning tool is one of the exercise’s most significant advantages. To put it more simply, it’s one of the greatest, if not the best, squatting variations for a novice to master and grow comfortable with when they’re just starting out with squatting.


Squatting with a goblet is, believe it or not, simpler in many respects than squatting with just your body weight. When performing a bodyweight squat for the first time, novices frequently experience a loss of balance and topple backward.


The weight that you use for the goblet squat acts as a great counterweight, and it also helps keep you firmly planted on your feet and grounded. Yes, there is a greater burden, but even a senior who has never worked out before can usually perform a few repetitions with a dumbbell weighing 10 or 20 pounds without too much difficulty.


Keep in mind that squatting your body weight does not equate to squatting zero pounds. Your body weight is being supported by your legs. For most people, the addition of a dumbbell that weighs 10 or 20 pounds is a rather modest increase in percentage.


Because new lifters can usually handle the poundage in the goblet squat quite well and also advantage of the grounding influence of the extra weight and counterweight, the goblet squat is the ideal way for a novice to get started with squats.


Building Strength with the Goblet Squat

After you have established the rhythm for the movement and have gained some confidence in it, increasing the weight becomes a relatively simple task. A good number of my customers have, during the course of my career, progressed from using a dumbbell weighing 10 pounds to one weighing 50 or 60 pounds in a matter of weeks.

Before considering moving on to the barbell squat, I want to see how far I can go with the goblet squat first. Squats with a barbell are an excellent exercise, but they need advanced technique and also place additional strain on the vertebrae and the body as a whole.

This is not a problem in and of itself, but it is something that needs to be brought to our attention and managed.

It really depends on the individual as to how far you should press things when doing the goblet squat. Before moving on to barbell squats, I like to aim for a set of 10 repetitions with a 100-pound dumbbell first, if there is no particular need to do so.

On the other hand, there are a lot of reasons why it is probably not the best plan of action. The lifting of a dumbbell of that size may not be safe or even possible for a person of smaller stature or for someone who has issues with their wrists or forearms; nonetheless, the overarching notion of utilizing the goblet squat to push things as far as is reasonably safe remains the same.


Goblet Squat as a Regression

We’ve demonstrated that goblet squats are beneficial as a beginning point for anyone interested in weightlifting, but what about more experienced lifters? As a regression, for example, it might be useful in some situations. Let’s imagine someone has been doing barbell squats for a couple of years and has perfected all of the different varieties of squats that include the barbell.

It’s possible that at some point this person will get an injury and have to take some time off. After that, they’ll have to carefully work their way back up to squatting heavy barbells. A goblet squat is a good tool for reintroducing weight and the squatting pattern, which can help establish a safe return process to heavier squatting.


More Volume with Less Loading

Another way in which a goblet squat can be included in the routine of an experienced lifter is as a means of producing greater volume while imposing only a marginally increased load on the system overall.

If we are thinking about a more advanced lifter, such as a bodybuilder, powerlifter, or anyone else who is working on their lower body, we should consider the possibility that they structure their training day around squats, in which case their primary lift of the day would consist of few more sets of heavy front or back squats.

After that, they would most likely continue on to performing some additional lower body exercises, such as lunges, good mornings, step-ups, or leg curls. In this particular context, the goblet squat is an excellent choice for an auxiliary lift that you can perform.

It is a way of driving further acclimation in the lower body and getting more training in the movement, in a way that is still fairly low intensity, and it is more easily transferable to sports or other athletic activities than some other motions. A few sets of 10-20 reps performed after some other lower bodywork that is more intense is a good example of this.

At least once during the course of the year, including the goblet squat as an accessory lift during a session that focuses on the lower body is something that should be seriously considered.


You’re Ready For The Goblet Squat!

And with that, the majority of the information necessary for you to understand the goblet squat has been covered. There is no question that it is an efficient and risk-free movement that the vast majority of individuals are able to perform, and the rewards are unquestionably commensurate with the amount of work required. It is an activity that is really helpful for learning the proper form for squatting, and there are a lot of different options to choose from.


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