Part 1 of 3 Part Series:
Part 1 – The Goblet Squat (You Are Here)
What is it?
By now, our clients know that quality trumps quantity when it comes to banging out reps in the studio. Proper form not only prevents injury, but ensures you’re calling to action the muscles you want to be working—and getting the max benefit from every move you make.
Enter the Goblet Squat, this squat is amazing and I’m going to tell you why you should probably be using this move regardless of your training goal. The goblet squat was created by strength coach Dan John as a tool for teaching large groups of individuals how to squat without a huge list of intricate cues to keep up with.
It’s also useful as a training tool for developing flexibility in beginners who have a great deal of difficulty reaching a deep squat with just body weight due to balance issues. The kettlebell acts as a counterweight allowing them to properly sit back and down without feeling like they’re going to fall over from a poor sense of balance.
When using High Tension techniques, it becomes a total body toner and helps you develop impressive leg strength while improving stability. The act of picking up a kettlebell in the front loaded position automatically provides some of the initial cues required for a good squat such as tightening the core and upper back and bracing under the load. The Goblet Squat is the best way to teach, mobilize, warm up, and activate for the squat.
In this installment, I list the steps needed to do a proper Goblet Squat and the benefits of the Goblet Squat.
How to do it
- Loosen up your body by performing figure eights (hip openers) and facing the wall squats;
- Stand with your feet apart, in a shoulder width stance, or slightly wider;
- Swing a kettlebell into the upright position and catch it by each of its horns (the sides of the handle);
- Flex your arms so your elbows are pointing downward and the kettlebell is parallel with your chest;
- Pull yourself into the rock-bottom position, until your hips are below parallel or as close as you can get;
- Maintain a flat back, do not round;
- When you are in the bottom position your elbows should be inside of your thighs, pressing your legs outward;
- Force your feet into the ground;
- Ascend with a grunt;
- Return to an upright High Tension position.
That’s it. Easy movements are great movements, and this variation is accessible to almost everyone.
Benefits of the Goblet Squat
- Perfect for the beginner;
- Great mobility tool;
- Strong core, quad, and back activation;
- Reduces risk of injury, back tightness is easier to feel;
- Builds muscle;
- Improves Spine Position and teaches resistance against forward collapse;
- Minimum Space And Equipment Needed.
By using the goblet squat regularly you will be able to easily and safely activate sleepy glutes, mobilize tight hips, and learn to brace the core under load which has a huge cross over to other squatting varieties. The Goblet Squat teaches upper back awareness.
There are too many squatters who don’t realize the necessity of keeping the upper back tight because they don’t lift enough weight. With even moderate weights, the goblet squatter feels when his/her upper back rounds forward. Arm positioning allows good bracing against this, which teaches the value of using the upper back to fight forward-collapse.
This is why I recommend the goblet squat to everyone regardless of their individual goal, from being used as a warm-up to mobilize and activate the correct muscles for heavier squat work or as your entire squat workout.
Kelly Tip: Instead of spending hours static stretching to improve squat depth use a couple sets of controlled goblet squats and watch your depth and technique improve almost instantly!
Do not do anything that hurts. If it hurts, there is something wrong. Do not force yourself into positions or over-exert yourself in the performance of this exercise. It is best considered as a stretch or movement practice. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
This is installment 1 of a 3 part series. Part 2 includes corrections to the Goblet Squat using Face the Wall Squats.
We are proud to say that we’ve helped hundreds of people in Howard County and the surrounding areas learn the kettlebell goblet squat. If your looking for a personal trainer near Fulton, Maryland, we’d love to help you too! Call us at 301-452-5547 to see for yourself. Mention this article for a free session!