Think you know all there is to know about the goblet squat? Want to see if that’s true? If so, then you’ll definitely want to read this. Why? We have all the info you’ll ever want on the goblet squat.
Do you even squat bro?
Well, I hope you do because it is one of the best exercises out there.
Simple, the reason is because the squat does so much more than strengthen your glutes. A proper squat will also help build up your quads, hamstrings and the muscles that make up your calves.
Squats are a compound exercise. This means they involve using multiple joints and muscles. The difference with an isolation exercise, such as biceps curls, calf raises or barbell shrugs, is that you are targeting one specific muscle. So, with compound movements, you are not only working more muscles, but you are burning more calories too.
When it comes to doing a goblet squat, you get the added bonus of working, even more, muscle groups than a traditional bodyweight squat.
Don’t worry. We’re about to get into all of that.
Let’s Talk About Your Form
Your form should always be considered first when doing any type of exercise.
The reason is because if you don’t have your form down, you may not be fully activating the muscles you intend on building. Also, bad form can lead to injuries. No matter what type of standing exercise you do, you should be paying attention to form above all else.
Consider The Amount Of Weight You Are Lifting
Just because you can pick up a certain amount of weight, that doesn’t mean that you should. That’s especially the case if it means that you are lifting that weight without being able to keep your back in line. This can be a pretty dangerous situation and, over time, your body will pay for it.
Consider lowering the amount of weight. That will allow you to lift with the appropriate form. Don’t let your ego be your guide when it comes to this one. No matter your reason for going to the gym, whether it is for your physique, strength, health or to de-stress, remember that you are there to better yourself, not injure yourself.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…
Every gym I’ve ever been in has had plenty of mirrors on the wall. The mirrors can be an excellent way to assist you with your form. They’re not just there to admire your fantastic muscles or to check your hair. They can actually help you with achieving a goal.
Stand in front of the mirror. Check your stance.
Where are your feet?
Is your back straight?
Turn to the side. Are you shifting your hips?
You get the point. You can check your form from every angle to make sure you get it down to perfection.
Take It Slow
Rushing a certain exercise can turn it more into a cardio session than a strength session (maybe not). With quicker movements, you may not be putting your muscles under tension long enough or focusing on where the rest of your body should be.
I’ve seen guys and gals grab a pair of dumbbells to do a simple biceps curl and it seemed to me that their hips were doing most of the work because of the rate of speed they were taking those curls. Slow down, find your balance and make your reps count.
Make A Friend
Who couldn’t use another friend?
You know, someone who can observe your movements and correct your form before any bad habits catch on. It is an excellent way to go.
A personal trainer or a lifter can assist you and prevent you from making mistakes. Do not be afraid to ask for help because everybody in the gym was a beginner at one time or another and we all know that safety is number one when it comes to lifting.
Benefits Of Doing The Goblet Squat
The goblet squat is not only a great exercise for beginners who are learning to perform a squat correctly. It is also for the more seasoned lifters.
The reason is quite simple. The goblet squat has many benefits.
They Make Your Fat Cry
Goblet squats are a compound exercise that activates more muscles in your body. This naturally increases the calorie burn and, by adding the weight, this brings up the intensity of the movement, even better to keep those calories frying.
They Give You A Strong Core
Engagement of the core muscles during the goblet squat is inevitable.
The reason is because, in order to hold proper form during this movement, your entire core must be put to use. And that can only be a good thing!
They Increase Your Mobility
Performing a goblet squat in full range, improves overall flexibility and mobility of your hips, knees, ankles and lower back.
They Cause Less Stress On Your Lower Back
Compared to a barbell back squat, the goblet squat puts a lot less pressure on your lower back. The reason this is the case is because of weight placement. And, of course, there will be less weight overall, but this does not mean less stimulation.
How To Perform The Goblet Squat
Are you ready to start? Now that we have outlined how important form is while performing any exercise, let’s get down to business and learn this awesome movement.
First, Do A Few Warm-Up Reps
A good way to ready yourself for the goblet squat is to go into a few of the deepest bodyweight squats that you are capable of. At the bottom of your squat, push your knees outward with your elbows and try to sink even lower. I call this the camping squat. The ladies know why. Be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor.
You can also do the doorknob drill to get ready for a goblet squat. Find yourself a door (with a knob) and make sure it is shut and latched. You may even want to lock it so the kids don’t open it on you like they tend to do when you’re in the bathroom. (Sorry, that’s likely too much info.)
Stand arms, length away from the doorknob and grab onto it with both hands. Your feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet slightly pointed outward. Stick your chest out and keep your back straight. Hold onto the doorknob tightly, keep your arms straight and slowly lower yourself by bending your knees. Sink down as low as you can get, hold a few seconds and repeat.
Grab a kettlebell or dumbbell. Use a weight that is comfortable for you. A good start for men would be 25 pounds while 10 to 15 pounds would be in the right range for women. A lower weight will allow you to practice with your form. As mentioned, you can do a few warm-up reps with no weight at all to get some good practice in.
Now You’re Ready
Hold your kettlebell by the horns and bring it up against your chest. If you are using a dumbbell, hold it vertically by one end much like you are holding a goblet (hence the name goblet squat). Your elbows should be pointed down.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and point your toes outward. Your feet should be flat on the floor with most of the weight in your heels. Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower yourself as far as you can go. Make sure to stick your chest out and keep your back straight.
At the bottom of the squat, your elbows should be just on the inside of your thighs. Press your thighs apart with your elbows. This will allow you to sink even lower into the squat. Hold this position for a few seconds, push off with your heels and come back to standing.
Variations Of The Goblet Squat
The goblet squat in itself is already a spectacular exercise, but there are a couple of variations you may want to try as you advance.
The Pulsing Goblet Squat
If you want to feel the burn and raise your pulse just a bit more, go to the bottom of your squat and pulse up and down just by a few inches in each direction. Try to perform this variation for up to a minute if you can stand it.
The Elevator Goblet Squat
This one is kind of evil too, but very effective. What you want to do is go to the bottom of your squat position and hold for a second. Then, come up by just a couple of inches (first floor), then by a few more (second floor) and finally back to the top (third floor).
Goblet Squat With A Resistance Band
Replacing the kettlebell or dumbbell with a resistance band is just another way to help you get lower in your squat. The ends of the band should be held in both hands against your chest, and the loop should be placed under both feet.
Put tension on the band as you are standing, and walk your hands down as you get closer to the bottom of your squat as if you are pulling up a bucket from a well (like in the old days, that none of us were likely around for).
Goblet Squat With Overhead Press
Want to engage the arms a bit more during your goblet squat?
Well here is your chance. Perform the goblet squat like you normally would and when you come to the top of the squat, bring your hands up overhead while holding the kettlebell or dumbbell.
When You Should Add The Goblet Squat To Your Workout
As mentioned, there are two types of strength training exercises that people do. Those two types are compound exercises and isolation exercises. The compound exercises are the big, strong movements that incorporate multiple joints and muscles. These are the ones that build the most muscle. Isolation exercises do build muscle too, but they don’t take as much energy to perform.
With that being said, a compound movement like goblet squats should always be performed before any isolation exercise.
The reason is because the majority of your energy is going to go into these types of movements. Also, compound exercises should always have priority over isolation exercises since they are responsible for the majority of your muscle gains.
Of course, you definitely don’t want to do a bunch of isolation exercises and drain your muscles’ energy before doing a compound movement for the simple fact that you may not be able to perform said exercise with the full range, proper form and so on.
The goblet squat can be incorporated into any strength training routine so do not be afraid to squeeze it in between some deadlifts and some dumbbell lunges. As with most exercises, there are plenty of variations to the goblet squat.
The idea is to keep things challenging. If you feel that a certain exercise is becoming too easy, it’s time to pump it up a notch. Add more weight, more reps, get lower or whatever you have to do to keep feeling the burn. Our bodies become accustomed to the same exercises over a pretty short period of time as we build strength. That’s when they no can no longer feel challenging.
As an exercise gets easier, you will burn fewer calories and make fewer gains than you did when you first started. That’s why it is a good idea to keep adding more and more challenging exercises to your routine. Try something new or increase the intensity. Whichever you choose to do, you can only gain by doing the goblet squat.
By Heather Neff, CPT
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The goblet squat is a lower-body exercise that increases strength throughout the legs. Due to the position of the weight, the exercise also strengthens the shoulders and core while improving posture and hip mobility.
Thank you for your insight!