The Power Of The Goblet Squat

goblet squat

Squatting is a basic human movement, but many people are bad at it, what is the solution? Simple, the goblet squat.

Squatting with a back squat offers many benefits such as beefier legs, strong butt and greater core strength. Asking someone how much they squat is the same for lower body as asking someone how much they bench for there upper body.

The back squat is a great bang for the buck exercise for athletes, but it is not for everyone that’s a fact, fortunately there are many variations on the squat technique that all have there place on a training program.

One of the best squat variations is also the newest, welcome to the goblet squat, this is the easiest form to master, the best bit is everyone can benefit from it, even people who squat heavy right now could actually see there back squat improve with this.

Don’t Be That Guy

the goblet squat

dont be that guy in the gym grunting whilst doing it all wrong.

Picture the scene as i’m sure you have seen many times before, a guy approaches an olympic bar and slaps loads of plates either side and then proceeds to back squat, initially on his first couple of sets, things look good, good form and technique as well as good positioning.

The problems start when heavy weights are added on, the guy will only drop down halfway with knees shaking, on the way back up he is leaning forwards and I feel sorry for his poor back, a loud grunt escapes him and everyone in the gym turns round.

Confident he is done, I breathe a sigh of relief, but wait he’s going for another one, that poor back, I can’t look, finally he is done and I can breathe easy, don’t be that guy!.

Bring In The Goblet Squat!

goblet squat

goblet squat

Invented by the famous Dan John, named after the way the weight is held, the goblet squat is a fool-proof way of learning the basic squatting technique.

This is a very hard exercise to get wrong which is why I like it so much.

The way the goblet squat is setup from your feet positioning to the way you hold the weight is designed in such a way to keep you absolutely solid.

It’s a great exercise for beginners so they can feel what a real squat is like, a gym monkey who wants to perfect there form or even just an individual looking to stay mobile and healthy. It’s also great for injuries to ankles, shoulders, lats etc.

There are a few basic things to follow when doing this exercise to get it right and get the most from it:

  • The weight should be against your chest, if usingĀ  a kettlebell then grab it by it’s horns or if using a dumbbell then grab the weight vertically between your palms at the top.
  • Get your feet in position so that your stance is just outside shoulder width, with your toes slightly pointed outwards, if your taller then you may need to widen your stance a bit more.
  • Now sit back and down between your knees, keeping your chest up at all times, be sure your not falling forwards or arching your back.
  • Get down as low as possible, keeping your feet flat on the floor.if your heels come up at any point your stance is too narrow.
  • At the bottom, brush the inside of your legs with your elbows, pushing your knees out, this is what makes this exercise so great, remember, knees out, knees out, knees out.
  • Go back up and stand tall at the top.

Goblet Squats Video

How Much And How Often?

This is similar to a front squat in that it keeps you upright because of where the weight is positioned, this will recruit your quads more than your butt causing you to lift less weight than in a back squat, if you have been doing it shallow for a while then you will feel it in your hamstrings and glutes.

On the basis of what weight you should lift, start with the notion of a lighter weight than you think you can you lift, it’s better to push out an easy set and go up 10 pounds than injure yourself just to prove a point.

As far as when to do it, it works best when warming up to open up the hips and groove squatting form, it could also be a core exercise in a routine, use it as a substitution for the back squat for a while and later on you will have fantastic form.

Additionally, if you want you can practice everyday with a lighter weight tossing out 10 – 15 reps a time.

This short guide should have shown you the great power potential of the goblet squat and it will only serve to aid you in the more technical back squat going forwards.

goblet squat


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