Exercise of the Week – The Goblet Squat

The goblet squat could be one of the most unappreciated, as well as unheard of, exercises out there.

Holding the weight in front of the chest is the key to allowing for improved squatting technique and to get great depth.  Check the picture below and you can see the advantages:

  • knees are wide
  • chest is up and the spine is straight
  • head is in-line with the body and looking forward
  • feet are straight ahead

We use the goblet squat as part of our warm-up to groove the squatting pattern because it fosters perfect technique and great range of motion.  A fairly heavy weight actually makes  it easier as far as getting the technique correct.  As your squat pattern improves, gradually decrease the weight to make it more challenging.  You should be able to get into this position naturally, so ultimately this would be a great goal for injury prevention and musculoskeletal health.

Athletes that have a hard time squatting with a bar on their backs, can often goblet squat without any trouble.  If this is the case for you, try 2-3 sets of 10 with a fairly heavy kettlebell or dumbbell prior to your back squat work out.  Usually the back squat will look and feel much better after grooving the pattern a bit first.

Lastly, if you’ve been strength training using back squats and can’t do them without pain, then the goblet squat may be your alternative.  I’ve seen plenty of patients back squatting with shoulder, back, and knee pain who could goblet squat just fine.  As you can see from the picture above the spine is straighter, weight is back on the heels more, and the weight is in front of the body. All things that can make it easier on your joints.  If this is you, gradually increase the load for the strengthening benefit as long as you can keep your form perfect and there is no pain.

So there you have it, all great reasons to give the goblet squat a shot in your training regimen.

Any questions or other thoughts (or even other exercises to discuss)?  Please leave those comments below.