Goblet Squat

goblet squat

The goblet squat is a leg strengthening exercise.  It can be used across all fitness levels and sports to develop muscle hypertrophy and strength.  This exercise can be used by everyone from beginners, athletes, lifters, and coaches. It is often used to learn the squatting technique.

This video demonstrates the technique for performing the goblet squat with a dumbbell or kettlebell.

Muscles Trained 

Agonists

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Semitendinosus
  • Bicep Femoris
  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Intermedius
  • Vastus Medialis
  • Rectus Femoris

Synergists

  • Adductors
  • Hip Flexors
  • Calves
  • Abdominals

The goblet squat is a great exercise for strengthening the glutes and quadriceps, which are the prime movers for hip and knee extension. Set up with feet hip width apart and rotated slightly outwards. The dumbbell or goblet will be placed under the chin, with the chest up for a tall neutral spine. Keep the weight evenly distributed through the feet. Squat down until the thighs are parallel to the ground and elbows close to the knees.

Common Errors

The Goblet Squat is fairly mistake-proof, which is one thing that makes it such a great exercise.

One common error which is seen with this exercise is getting up onto the toes on the way down, with the heels not staying on the ground. Another common error is knee adduction, with the knees collapsing inwards. This can demonstrate weak glutes. Keep the knees tracking in the same line as the toes are pointing. The third common error is the torso tilting forward, an indication that the ankles are too tight or the core isn’t strong enough.

Goblet Squat Benefits

  • It Teaches Proper Squat Form –  The Goblet Squat is great to learn how to squat. Someone who has little experience in the weight room can be confident they’re squatting with at least decent form if they can keep the weight in contact with their sternum and stomach, and their elbows touch their knees. If not, the fixes are relatively easy, as described above.
  • It’s Easy on Your Back – If Back Squats are uncomfortable, then Goblet Squats are a great option. The goblet position shifts the load to the front of the core and allows for a more upright torso position, which is easier on the spine.
  • It Can Be Loaded Heavy – Many make the mistake of categorizing Goblet Squats as a beginner exercise and only do them with light weight. Yes, it’s a great teaching exercise but that doesn’t mean they can’t be done with  heavy weights.

If you found this article interesting you may also enjoy reading The Front Squat, Are Deep Squats Bad For Your Knees?, or Bulking Up and Gaining Strength.

Learn about resistance training exercises in Fit Education’s Cert 3 in Fitness, and Cert 4 in Fitness.