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Goblet Squat - Benefits and Instructions to Do

Published on Oct 07, 2022   -  5 min read


The goblet squat is a highly effective exercise for burning fat. This article explains its benefits, and instructions for performing the exercise.

What Is a Goblet Squat?

A goblet squat is a full-body workout in which you squat while holding a single free weight in front of your chest, such as a dumbbell or kettlebell. A goblet squat strengthens the lower body's glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and the upper body's core muscles.

What Are the Benefits of Goblet Squat?

The goblet squat involves the lower body's major muscle groups, including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. This exercise also works your core, back, spinal erectors, forearms, and, to a lesser extent, shoulders and upper back, as you must consciously engage them to hold your chest and torso tall throughout the movement. It is, in essence, a total-body workout. Incorporating the goblet squat into your training program can have a number of advantages. They are as follows:

  • Goblet squats might help you balance your weight. In a goblet squat, the free weight you employ can act as a counterbalance to your body weight, keeping you upright throughout the exercise.

  • Goblet squat can help you improve your squat form. The increased weight in a goblet squat variation makes you more aware of bad form. Goblet squats draw attention to any problems with your squat movement patterns or range of motion.

  • Goblet squats are a good warm-up for other squats. The goblet squat is an excellent technique to build strength for a more severe exercise like a front squat or back squat, both of which use heavier barbells because it uses lesser weights like dumbbells and kettlebells.

What Are the Instructions for Goblet Squat?

To begin the goblet squat, all you need is a kettlebell or dumbbell, as well as adequate space to stand and move comfortably with your feet around hip-to-shoulder width apart.

  • Stand with your toes angled slightly outward and your feet somewhat wider than hip distance apart.

  • Hold a kettlebell in both the hands at your chest level, one hand on either side of the handles, as if cupping a goblet. Bend your elbows and set the goblet in the center of your chest.

  • To obtain a feel for the movement, warm up with a lighter or without a kettlebell. Then, for your full set, progress to a heavier weight.

  • Keep your back aligned neutrally and gaze straight ahead during the squat by engaging your core and looking straight ahead.

  • To perform the squat, push your hips back and bend your knees. As you complete this downward stretch, take a deep breath in.

  • During the exercise, keep the kettlebell close to your body.

  • As you descend and force your hips back, focus on keeping your chest tall. The idea is to get your hips to be lower than your knees.

  • You should not squat on your toes, and your weight should be evenly spread across your feet or slightly more weighted toward your heels.

  • Always check your position at the bottom of the squat; your elbows should be on the inside of either knee at the bottom.

  • Moving into the deep squat posture will help keep your knees straight with your toes.

  • By slightly pressing through your heels and reversing the motion get back to the beginning posture. Exhale as you rise, and at the top of the squat, thrust your hips forward to fully work your glutes.

  • Complete a full set and rack the kettlebell with care. Dropping weights from a height is never a good idea. Repeat for as many sets as you want.

How to Avoid Common Goblet Squat Mistakes?

The common mistakes include:

  • Keep your chest up. The goblet squat requires proper upper body alignment. Maintain a strong chest and a straight back, and avoid leaning too far forward.

  • Keep the free weight close to your body. Your dumbbell or kettlebell should be held near to your body's front. When you stretch your arms, the weight can put undue strain on your biceps, diverting attention away from your lower body's perfect form.

  • Carefully bend your knees. The lifter's knees caving inward at the bottom of the squat is a common problem with the goblet squat. Maintaining a straight line between your knees and your feet is important.

  • Spread your bodyweight equally across your feet. When finishing any lower body workout, a typical mistake that people make is to put too much weight on the front of their feet and toes when moving upward. Make sure your weight is distributed equally across your feet.

What Are the Modifications and Variations in the Goblet Squat?

There are numerous ways to modify this exercise, including making it a bit easier or more challenging.

1) Choose Your Goal:

You can also opt to focus on developing strength and power by using a heavier weight kettlebell or work on cardio and mobility by using a lesser weight and doing more reps.

Try to aim for three to five sets of four to eight reps if you are working on strength. If you want to focus on cardio, do four to six sets of eight to ten reps. Adjust these suggestions to what is difficult enough to tire you out but not so much that the last rep compromises your form.

2) Slow, Pause, and Pulse:

The most frequent approach to make goblet squats more difficult is to raise the weight of the kettlebell you are holding, but if you only have one, there are a few other options. Among the several methods are:

  • Begin by slowing your fall and counting to three or even five as you descend, making sure you do not reach the bottom of the squat before you finish. Then rapidly drive back up.

  • Pausing during the movement can also help to increase the difficulty. You can do this at the bottom of the movement by holding the squat for a few seconds before pushing back up, or you can do it in stages by resting two or three times.

  • Add pulses at the bottom of the exercise if you truly want to feel the burn in your legs throughout your squat session. Push up slightly and then lower five to ten times, keeping your back straight the entire time. Then return to your original location.

3) Add a Challenge:

The goblet squat is primarily a warm-up for a barbell front squat. This is because, like the front squat, the goblet squat needs you to place the additional resistance like the kettlebell in front of the body at around shoulder level. In the classic back squat, it is placed behind, and the barbell is positioned across the back of your shoulders.

Hold a barbell in both hands at the level of your shoulders. This requires some shoulder flexibility to execute right with your elbows pointed straight ahead and your palms facing up if you are up for a challenge. Do the squat the same way you did the goblet squat from this posture. The weight and heft of the barbell, as well as the uncomfortable posture of your arms, make this more challenging. You will also notice straight away that you have to keep your torso erect and your chest tall. Otherwise, the weight will pull you forward and throw you off balance because it is in front of your body.

How to Work Out Safely and Avoid Injury?

If you have a history of or a pre-existing health problem, you should consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is critical for preserving the safety and success of an exercise program, but based on your specific and individualized demands, you may need to adapt each activity to achieve the best results. Select a weight that allows you to maintain total body control throughout the workout. Always pay attention to your body when doing or performing any activity and stop that immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.

To witness ongoing progress and build body strength, incorporate required warm-ups, rest, and nourishment into your training plan. Your ability to recover properly from your workouts will influence your final outcomes. Allow your body for adequate recovery by resting for 24 to 48 hours before repeating the same exercise or muscle group training.


While executing a goblet squat, you can complete a large number of reps in one set, ideally near the end of a weight-lifting workout, to raise your heart rate and increase energy and oxygen consumption, forcing your body to burn more calories throughout its recovery phase. Get expert tips on how to incorporate this effective leg exercise into your workout routine.

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Last reviewed at:
07 Oct 2022  -  5 min read




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