Exercise: The Goblet Squat
The Goblet Squat is by far one of the best exercises you can do.
It has helped my own training and I use this with every female client I work with. From women with bad lower backs all the way up to my fittest and strongest female athletes, the goblet squat is a great exercise for all fitness and strength levels.
A goblet squat can be done with a kettlebell or dumbell.
I recommend doing 1-2 sets of Goblet Squats every day.
For those who are serious about lifting I recommend you add them in before every lower body workout to create a good squat pattern, improve mobility and more.
To give credit where credit is due the man himself Dan John was the creator of the Goblet Squat and I highly recommend you check out Dan’s blog here.
Before We Begin The Goblet Squat
Do me a favor, if you have running shoes take them off.
Running shoes are meant for one thing, running, and they are not meant for squatting.
Go barefoot or use squat shoes and for even better results train in both and Goblet Squat in both.
Now that we are ready to Goblet Squat here are some cues to help.
– Find a Comfortable Stance
One of the first things you want to do is to find your stance.
There is no perfect stance for everyone and this will be very dependant on your genetics and your hip structure. Play around with your foot stance to find a comfortable stance for you. Once you do this play around with “Toeing Out” that is changing the position of your foot and opening your toes out Change around with your stance and foot position to find one that is comfortable for you.
– Stand Tall
Before you start I want you to stand tall. Stand tall, head up and chin in neutral, chest up high, hips tight, knees and ankles locked.
– Brace Your Core
The best way I can explain to brace your core is to pretend someone is going to punch you in the stomach. Your immediate reaction would be to brace your core, and tense up like you are going to get punched. You want to turn your core to stone.
– Sit Back
Don’t think about bending your knees or squatting down, think about pushing your hips back. It’s important to push the hips back to load the posterior chain and work your hips. The main power source for squatting is the hips and then the legs, so you want to make sure you are using your hips by sitting them back.
– Elbows Inside Knees
Don’t allow your elbows to trek out. Keep the elbows tight, keep the lats tight, keep the core tight. Remember that on the way down to focus on elbows in and knees out.
– Knees Out
This is very important for developing a good squat and using your hips. Driving the knees out will engage the hips and glutes a lot more which is key in a powerful squat. Along with making you stronger this is very important for joint health and mobility in life.
Along with getting stronger you also always want to move better.
– Bum Back & Knees Out
I use this cue a lot with my students because it’s simple and it sums up the eccentric (lowering) phase of the goblet squat very nicely.
Every time you goblet squat think bum back & knees out.
This will teach you proper posture when squatting, getting the hips and glutes involved, improve mobility and also teach you to sit your hips back which is important for a good squat.
A great cue when in the bottom portion of a goblet squat is to keep tall. Don’t round or cave forward. Try to stand tall, elongate your spine, keep your chest up and keep tall.
-Explode Out Of The Hole
When you start the concentric part of the goblet squat I want you to focus on driving out of the hole. You want to explode up as fast as possible with speed and control. Always be trying to be explosive and fast with good form.
– Push The Ground Away
This is a great cue that works well for a lot of people. Don’t stand up, think about pushing the ground away from you. Pushing the ground away is what’s know as an external cue and works very well .
– Push Through The Heels or Mid Foot
Learning how to sit back is very important but you also want to push through the right part of your foot. When it comes to pushing the ground away find what feels better for you. Pushing through the heels or pushing through the center of the foot or mid foot. Find whatever feels better for you and stick to that.
As well there will be a difference in foot position depending on your foot wear. If you do goblets in squat shoes it won’t feel the same as doing them in bare feet. I recommend doing a mixture of bare foot and squat shoes for best results.
– Chest Up
Be sure that when driving out of the hole you focus on keeping tall and keeping your chest up. Keeping your chest up or a “big chest” is a great way to keep your form and learn proper posture when doing a goblet squat.
When it comes to learning the Goblet Squat I highly recommend you check out the best teachers of the exercise and that is StrongFirst. I did their SFG Kettlebell course in 2013 and it was a life changing experience. To be good at something you need to learn from the best and that’s Pavel & Dan John. You can read more about this amazing certification here.
In case you didn’t notice I think that the Goblet Squat is one of the best exercises you can do.
For strength, mobility, flexibility, assessment, warm up, to help lower back injuries and more the Goblet Squat and a great exercise.
Add the Goblet Squat to your program to move better, feel better, reduce injuries and improve overall strength.
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Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.