Goblet Squat 101

Posted by Beni Cook

The goblet squat is often overlooked as an effective exercise due to its simple-looking nature, but simple doesn’t always mean easy! It’s incredibly underrated in its ability to provide excellent results across many different fitness criteria and demographics.

The goblet squat is a powerful exercise that strengthens many body parts. It builds strength in your quads, glutes, core and arms, as well as having a major positive impact on improving your hip and ankle mobility.

So while you’re building strong and lean muscle, you will also notice that your ability to move through greater range of motion will improve the more you squat!

Although the goblet squat is mainly a lower body exercise, don’t think that there isn’t anything happening in the upper body too! The goblet squat works on developing a much stronger grip as well as stabilizing strength in the shoulders and arms through which you can change the level of intensity in the upper body by simply changing the tool you are using, how you’re holding it or how heavy the tool is.

Now that you’ve had a small introduction to the goblet squat, let’s help get you the most from it so you can burn more fat and carve more lean muscle!

How to perform the goblet squat.

1. The most important step to getting the most from your squat is the stance. Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell in both hands and hold it close to your chest, just level with your collar bones. Keep your back upright, tall and neutral and plant your feet firmly to the ground approximately shoulder width apart.

Note: you may want to adjust your stance based on your leg length and movement capability. Adjusting your stance as well as foot position can make the goblet squat much easier for you to keep optimal body positioning throughout the movement.

2. Next is the descent for the squat, which is often overlooked and not given the same amount of respect as the elevation part of the movement.
When you are descending to the ground make sure to control the movement, don’t allow yourself to just “fall” to the ground, it’s important to keep a certain amount of tension in your body.

Watch where your knees are going when you descend to the ground, it is important to make sure your knees track towards the little toe, rather than coming together as this will help keep them in the best possible position with the least amount of stress on them as well. Make sure your feet stay flat and always in contact with the ground, don’t let your heels raise off the floor.

3. Lastly is the return to the starting position. Just as you did when you descend into the bottom of the squat, you need to watch where your knees are tracking when you come back to the top of the squat position. It is also important to keep the bell close to your chest and your back upright while keeping the shoulders pulled back into a neutral position.

Some common mistakes that people make which can drastically reduce results.

Not using full range of motion: this is incredibly common when people start to squat, this is usually because of either inexperience or using a too heavy tool so make sure you use an appropriate weight when squatting.

Full range of motion will look different to each person due to their movement capabilities and their body’s movement restrictions, so make sure you work within your limits.

Shooting your backside back first when standing up: when you stand up from the bottom of the goblet squat it should look the same as when you went down.

One mistake that is made is shooting the hips straight back when trying to stand up. This is often because the weight is too heavy or there is a lack of mobility through your ankle and hips. Make sure you take a small pause at the bottom of the squat to control your moment, steady yourself and concentrate on what muscles you need to activate to perform the return movement.

What are the benefits of the goblet squat?

One of the biggest benefits of the goblet squat is that it will help build more muscle on the body. Due to the large number of muscles used during the squat and the large range of motion they go through, places more tension on the muscles creating a larger muscle-building response.

Another great benefit to the goblet squat is the improvements in mobility. Improving mobility isn’t just sitting and using a foam roller or doing a bunch of stretches, making improvements to mobility can happen when you perform strength-based movements carrying various loads. This is because the resistance and force placed on the muscles can help them to lengthen when you perform each movement.

The best benefit to the goblet squat is it helps you to burn fat while you sleep because it helps build lean muscle mass in the body and the more muscle you build, the more calories they consume to use for energy.
Who should goblet squat?

Essentially the goblet squat is for everybody whether they are a total beginner or a seasoned lifter and because the load isn’t directly placed on the spine, like other variations of squats, it makes it a much more viable variation for more gym goers. While it might be easier for more types of people to perform the goblet squat more consistently easier than other squat variations, that doesn’t mean it is less effective, it still requires dedication to the technique to perform correctly.

This also makes the goblet squat an excellent choice for general sports people (not paid athletes/social sports) looking to improve strength and functional movement. Strength training is incredibly important for general sports people as it helps to keep their body healthy and functional but is often overlooked as not that important.

So if you want to improve your ability on and off the field or simply want to improve your technique to help maximize your time in the gym, come down to Beyond Best and book a free assessment session with Beni to unlock the secrets to getting the most out of your squat and start building a stronger and leaner body!

Simply click the link to book your session:


Beni Cook
Beni Cook is the Head Personal Trainer and Founder of Beyond Best. Beni is a health and fitness expert who develops individualised exercise programs that will meet your own short and long-term objectives, while providing information, advice and encouragement that will enable you to lead your healthiest life, every day.

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