Goblet Squats Exercise Guide

Goblet Squat is just like a squatting exercise, except there is added weight to the front of your body, causing you to tighten your core and straighten your back. It does not only target the lower portion of your body, but it will also help the upper body. 

What Are Goblet Squats

How To Do Goblet Squats

Setting Up

All you need for one of these squats is a kettlebell or dumbbell which you hold by the handles in front of you. This will not only make the exercise that little bit harder, but it will also help you to keep your center of gravity a lot more stable.

Because you are holding a weight, then you will need to be more aware of how your body will be positioned when you are lowering yourself. You will need to keep your spine straight and tall, making sure there is no bending in your back when you are lowering yourself to the floor.

Exercise

Maintaining a proper squat form is one of the most important parts of performing this exercise. To do this, make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and that you have an even distribution of weight.

Hold the weight close to your sternum and make sure that you have it gripped tightly in both palms.

Keep your core tight and your shoulders very straight. Keep your head upright and look straight ahead.

Once you have done this, then bend your knees backward, keeping your spine rigid the entire time. Make sure that as you initiate the squat that you are keeping your torso rigid and you are not looking down.

When you complete the movement, make sure that your knees and elbow are touching. We would suggest that you put your elbows on the inside of your knees, so you can avoid them prolapsing to the sides.

Tips

  • Try not to lean too far forward when you are using this weight, as this will put undue strain on your back.
  • Perform the squat fully to engage the muscles in your lower body and really get that blood flowing and muscle growing.
  • Place your elbows on the inside of your knees as you drop to the floor to keep your knees from caving in. 

Exercise Benefits

  • Strengthens up your spine, which is handy if you are recovering from any severe injuries.
  • Provides a total body workout
  • Improves your balance

Illustrated Guide

How to Do Goblet Squats Starting Position
How To Do Goblet Squats Middle Position
How To Do Goblet Squats Ending Position

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings

Secondary Muscles

  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Pectorals
  • Calves

Variations

Kettlebell Squat and Swing

This movement is a natural progression from the traditional hold, squat, and rise-up exercises. As well as toning your shoulders and your back, your core will be worked too. 

With your feet wider than hip-width apart, have your toes pointed slightly out. Hold the kettlebell with both your hands between your legs and ensure your abs are engaged. Check that your back is flat, then squat down.

Take a quick breath in, press down on your feet, then explode up swinging the kettlebell in front of you as your legs straighten. Exhale out and return to the starting position while the kettlebell returns between your legs.

Sumo Goblet Squats

So-called for its similarity to the pre-match pose of the Japanese sumo wrestlers, the sumo squat is an effective exercise for targeting muscle groups in the lower body. With a wider stance than the traditional squat, you should work your hip adductor muscles too.

This is an ideal squat exercise if you are taller or your hips are really tight. The ideal grip for the kettlebell is by the handle at your chest with both hands, as you should have more control. 

Stand with your toes turned out at a 45-degree angle with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your core braced, and your back flat, then bend your knees with your hips back.

Similar to the traditional squat, lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Ensure your chest does not pull forward by bracing your core, then pause and push back up

Narrow Kettlebell Squat

If you are looking to work your inner thighs, then the sumo squat is a good option. If you want to go a step further, try the narrow kettlebell squat. You will actually be taking a step in to really test those leg muscles.

Position your feet narrow, somewhere between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. Hold the bell (or bottom) of the kettlebell with both of your hands at your chest. The handle should be directly below your chin, then draw your shoulders down by pushing them away from your ears.

With your spine straight, bend your knees, then shift your hips back to lower your body down into a squat. Once you have reached the bottom of your range of motion, push through and engage your hips to rise back up.

Alternatives

Wall Squats

Wall squats are a bodyweight leg exercise performed against a wall. When done correctly, wall squats target the quads, glutes, and calves. Wall squats can also offer core benefits.

Start by leaning back against a wall with your feet positioned in front of your body. For a regular squat, your feet should also be at least shoulder-width apart.

Next, while making sure to keep your back flat against the wall, bend your knees and lower your body. Your knees should bend to ninety degrees. If not, adjust your footing.

You can keep your arms by your side or extend them out in front of you. Activate (squeeze) your core for added stability.

Lastly, push your feet into the floor, activating your quads, to push yourself back up into a standing position. And that’s it: one perfect rep.

Kevin Harris
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