What Is a Goblet Squat?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Man lifting weights
Man lifting weights

Plenty of exercises can be done to strengthen the lower body, but few are as efficient and challenging as the goblet squat. This exercise involves performing a normal squat, in which a person will stand with feet a bit wider than hip width apart, and then squat down while keeping the back straight. The legs will be bent at the knees at a ninety degree angle or beyond, and then the person doing the exercise will return to the starting position. The goblet squat is a variation on the simple squat that involves the use of a kettlebell or dumbbell.

When performing a normal squat, the person doing the exercise will generally extend his or her arms forward for balance. Instead of doing this during the goblet squat, the person doing the exercise will hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in his or her hands. If using a kettlebell, the exerciser will hold the horns of the kettlebell with both hands. If a dumbbell is used, the exerciser will hold the end of the weight so the bar is oriented vertically. The palms of the hand, in the latter case, will be facing upward, as though cradling a goblet.

The goblet squat is performed by lowering the body into the squatting position, but unlike the normal squat in which the exerciser will stop the squatting motion when the knees are bent at 90 degrees or just beyond, the goblet squat requires the exerciser to continue the lowering motion as far as possible. Once in the full squatting position, the elbows should be positioned inside the knees so the legs are spread apart. The squatter will hold this position momentarily, then return to the starting position. Several repetitions should be done in each set, and the full set can be repeated after a brief rest period.

Anyone who is new to the goblet squat should start by choosing a lighter weight. This allows him or her to get used to the strenuous motion of this exercise without increasing the risk of injury. As the squatter becomes more comfortable with the motion, he or she can increase the weight of the dumbbell or kettlebell. Kettlebells are generally safer to use for this exercise because it is easier to get a solid grip on that type of weight than it is with a dumbbell. When using a dumbbell, it is a good idea to use solid dumbbells, not ones with sliding plates that can fall off during the exercise.

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