It’s a foundational movement for anyone who likes to train with kettle bells, or who ultimately wants to train heavy back squats, front squats, power cleans, or a range of other more advanced movements. We’ll start by showing you how to execute the kettlebellgobletsquat with great form, tell you all the muscles it works and how, and then provide some alternative exercises you can use to become a sound and strong squatter.
First and foremost, the goblet squat is an excellent teaching tool for learning the classic squatting movement pattern correctly. They tend to lean forward excessively to maintain balance, and that can lead to a range of problems: squatting too shallow, rounding the lower back, letting the knees collapse inward, allowing the heels to rise off the floor, etc.
Positioning the kettle bell in front of the torso makes your core brace your spine more or less automatically, so you can argue that the goblet squat builds strong abs as well. Because the goblet squat is relatively easy to master, it works well in circuits and other fast-paced workouts that train the whole body.
It will certainly help to improve your squat technique and strengthen your back, legs, and core, but as you progress your loading on the goblet squat, you will reach a point where your upper body can’t support the weight anymore, while your legs still feel strong. However, that isn’t to say that goblet squats can’t be done with heavy weight, especially if kettle bells or dumbbells are all you have to train with.
Some lifters have done reps with well over 100 pounds, which makes for an impressive test of overall body strength. But the difficulty and awkwardness of getting such heavy weight into position makes moving on to a different type of squat a more practical progression.
The kettlebellgobletsquat is as beginner-friendly a squat as there is, but it still requires mobility in some key muscle groups to perform correctly. You can loosen up your ankles, hips, and quads beforehand with these drills from Natalie Rigby (Natalie.Rigby on Instagram), co-founder of The Durable Athlete.
Tuck your tailbone under and draw your ribs down, so that your pelvis is level with the floor, and brace your core. Raise one leg in the air in front of you, keeping your knee straight, and pointing your toes up.
Repeat in the opposite direction, engaging your glutes as you lift your leg behind you, and then rotating the foot outward. Keeping a long spine, begin leaning back slowly, so that you feel tension in your quads.
In this variation, you squat down, lower the kettle bell until your arms are straight, and curl it back up. If you can keep your spine and pelvis alignment while you move the kettle bell further in front of your body, you can be sure that your squat pattern is strong and stable.
Once they realize that the goblet squat makes it much easier to squat properly, many people have a tendency to rush their reps, bouncing out of the bottom. Adding the curl forces you to be more intentional with your movement and maintain muscle tension throughout the range of motion.
This can help prevent your knees from bending inward or outward and your tailbone from tucking under too much, and it will lead to better results. Single-leg squatting is a must for athletes, since so many sports movements require you to push off or land on one leg again and again.
The Bulgarian split squat (aka rear-foot elevated split squat) is perhaps the most challenging single-leg movement, and when it’s done holding a kettle bell in the goblet squat position, you combine the core and back training of the goblet squat with the increased range of motion and stability demands of single-leg work. Hold the kettle bell in front of your chest as you would to goblet squat, and rest the top of one foot on the bench behind you.
So it’s OK if your shin is angled forward a bit in the bottom position, and your back matches it. While the goblet squat is ideal for beginners, some people will find that they still have trouble keeping their torso upright while performing it.
With a landmine squat, the load is held in front of the body the same as it is with a goblet squat, but the bar is anchored to the ground and travels on an arc. This all but guarantees that you’ll stay tall while you squat, because if you bend too far forward, the bar will poke you in the chest.
(If you don’t have a landmine, the corner of a room can suffice; just protect the walls with a towel.) Hold the opposite end of the bar with both hands and stand in your squat stance.
Twist your feet into the floor to create tension in the lower body as described in the goblet squat directions above. Unlike the traditional back squat, the goblet squat is executed by keeping the body in an upright position, which results in less strain on the lower lumbar and spine.
Adding different squat variations challenges your body to stabilize during new movements to develop greater strength and function. Goblet squats are great for developing better hip mobility, improving strength through the full range of motion.
Holding the kettle bell in front of your chest to perform a goblet squat is technically isometric loading of the biceps. Whilst they won’t take the full brunt of the load as they are supported by other muscles, it all helps.
As you reach the bottom of your squat, allow your knees to point out before driving up to return to the start position. Now, as you explode up, flip the bell to sit on the back of your wrist at your shoulder and drive it up above your head.
The bell should be dragged halfway diagonally across your chest and then flip to the back of your wrist just before you reach your shoulder. Flip the bell back down and grab with the other hand to goblet squat, before repeating the motion on the other side.
The KettlebellGobletSquat is one of the most important and effective kettle bell exercises that all beginners should master. Feet should be a little wider than shoulder width apart with the toes pointing naturally outwards at 5 – 10 degrees.
Ensure your body weight is back on your heels, and they do not lift off the floor during the complete exercise. Continue descending into the squat until your thighs become parallel with the floor, this is important to achieve maximum activation of the buttock muscles.
Pause at the bottom of the squat position for 1 – 3 seconds and then drive back up to standing by pushing the floor away from you. Once you get to the top position, stand tall, squeeze your buttocks tightly together and avoid leaning backwards.
Opens up the vertebra of the lower back helping prevent back pain Creates a pumping effect distributing fresh blood and nutrients to damaged areas Teaches good body alignment using the counterbalance of the kettle bell Activates the often lazy buttocks or glute muscles effectively Burns calories and elevates your metabolic rate Increases cardio without the need to move your feet The goblet squat not only offers all the above benefits but it is also one of the most important movement patterns of the human body.
The goblet squat is predominantly a lower body exercise targeting the quads, hamstrings, glutes and hips. Other than the lower body the back and core muscles also have to work hard to stabilize the trunk.
The kettlebellgobletsquat truly is a full body exercise which means that it is great for burning calories and increasing your heart rate. If you keep the kettle bell light and don’t perform too many repetitions then this can be classed as practicing and daily goblet squats will help you to hone your technique.
Once you feel comfortable with the kettlebellgobletsquat you can start adding other kettle bell exercises to form a great full body workout. You could easily substitute the Kettle bell Halo for Push Ups if you have good upper body strength.
The kettlebellgobletsquat is a fundamental kettle bell exercise and movement pattern that all beginners should master. Not only is the goblet squat good for building strength and burning calories but it also helps keep your joints healthy and mobile.
Take care and enjoy this fun and highly effective kettle bell exercise. Hold the kettle bell with both hands at chest height, sit your hips backwards and squat down keeping your heels on the floor, don’t allow your knees to fall inwards.
Everyone has a different strength capacity so first master the goblet squat without a kettle bell and then add weight gradually every time you can manage 10 reps. The goblet squat can be used across all fitness levels and sports to develop squat technique, muscle hypertrophy, strength, and better functional movement.
GobletSquat Start Step 1: Grab a kettle bell or dumbbell and hold it at chest level. GobletSquat Halfway Doorstep 2: Set your feet in a squat stance, so that the heels are at hip width or slightly wider.
Step 3: To squat, sit the hips down over the heels, making sure to pull your groin down between the thighs. GobletSquat Bottom Front View Step 4: As you descend, be sure to support the weight so that it stays above your chest line.
Any excessive forward lean will result in your hips shooting backwards, throwing off the squat. Too often athletes and coaches will allow the hip to shoot up and back, rather than keeping the torso upright and placing the majority of the movement on the quadriceps.
Burgomaster/Shutterstock The goblet squat is a squat variation that can be done with a dumbbell or kettle bell being held in front of the body at chest height. The goblet squat, like most squat movements, targets the lower body, core, and back.
The scapular stabilizers/upper back muscles must work to resist spinal flexion caused by the front loaded kettle bell /dumbbell. In doing so, the scapular stabilizers work to stay retracted and stable, which is necessary for more advanced squatting movements.
Establishing better squat balance, stability, and positional strength can all be developed using the goblet squat for most squatters. The goblet squat can be used to develop better greater squat mobility and positional strength in either assistance exercises or warm up/corrective segments.
Goblet squats are a good movement for runners and other endurance athletes who need to target the upper back muscles and quadriceps in a higher rep fashion. The goblet squat is fundamental movement for most beginners and is often easier to grasp than a barbell back squat.
By performing a goblet squat with the kettle bell raised at shoulder height (with straight arms) the lifter can help to counterbalance themselves as the try to find better squat balance and activity. By using double kettle bells you can challenge total body control and upper back strength on an ipsilateral basis.
The front squat is a viable alternative to the goblet squat, as it targets many of the same muscle groups. The quadriceps, anterior core, and back muscles are primarily targeted by both be front squat and the goblet squat.
I'm already training my grip with timed dead-hangs, timed suitcase holds and Sledgehammer levering exercises 4x per week, so I need to either find a doable way to grip the 32 kg KB and/or drop the sledgehammer work to fix my program. I've uploaded pictures of my kettle bells so you can see the shape and size, plus my hand for scale.
I cradle the narrow part of the handle between my palms with my fingers pointing upwards. Both my index fingers are fairly curved from occupational overuse and would be very unhappy if I gripped a bell as you did in your picture.
But I would also agree that double front squats are much preferred for greater loads. Paul, the FAQ is done with one or two kettle bells held in the rack position.
I still need a lot of focus to make sure knees track the toes, hips and back are in their proper positions and that my glutes are active. You can also try pulling the handle slightly apart, somewhat like “breaking the bar” with an underhand grip.
Not much to add for the good advice given, but I admit I like varying the load for goblet squats from 16 kg up to 32 kg; each with its own impact. I hold the handle by the horns, with the fingers wrapped around each side of the handle. If you are doing a lot of other grip work, the heavier goblet squat may not be what you need anyway since it taxes the grip more than racking the bell for FAQ.
You can groove the movement with a light KB for goblet squats if you feel like you need it before adding a heavier load. If you're concerned about your squat technique, take some video from the front and side and post it; you'll get some good feedback and pointers for sure.
I find that every time I get back into goblet squats or go up, this has worked. At first, the 40 was hard to hold without losing proper posture, so I did two sets of 3 with some rest in between, almost no pause at the bottom.
The other kettle bell work I do (snatches and get ups) is enough to make progress even if the actual number of squats is low. For me, it's warming up after sitting all day, mobility and training all the muscles required to hold a heavy weight in the position with proper posture with sets of 5+ with a good pause at the bottom.
If you are after increasing leg strength, other options such as the double KB front squat, as mentioned by others are better. Hey comrades've started adding goblet squats into my regular training, and I really struggled to grip the 32 kg KB.
What's the easiest way to grip heavy kettle bells for Goblet squats? I'm already training my grip with timed dead-hangs, timed suitcase holds and Sledgehammer levering exercises 4x per week, so I need to either find a doable way to grip the 32 kg KB and/or drop the sledgehammer work to fix my program.
I've uploaded pictures of my kettle bells so you can see the shape and size, plus my hand for scale. The wrist position is not a strong one limiting what should be a lower body movement.
You can rack it on one side to start and then load it asymmetrically with your other bell later. You can load more weight onto yourself with it than the goblet, and the rack position is very comfortable, yet tenses up the entire upper body let alone the lower.
@PaulAtreides Goblet squats are my go-to move for legs right now, I like the demands they place on my abdomen, this is my focus more than legs, combining these with renegade rows are incredible for tension practice. Regarding goblet squat grip I like to use the horns up version, my grip is with three fingers and the index finger points at about 45 degrees up and guides more than holds. The heel of the hand tucks hard into the lower half of the horn and is helped by squeezing pecs together, this also becomes part of the tension chain.
Using this method I can squat with 40k and have no issues, I haven't gone heavier yet as 40 seems about right for 5 reps at the moment. You can load more weight onto yourself with it than the goblet, and the rack position is very comfortable, yet tenses up the entire upper body let alone the lower.
Coming from a place of no authority, I think DFS is THE double KB movement. Coming from a place of no authority, I think DFS is THE double KB movement.
Thanks for all of your good advice everyone I feel very tempted to buy a second 24 kg and 32 kg bell, but I'm on a budget for the next couple of months... Discs are awesome, tried them at a friends place a couple of years ago. I do have a barbell, a half-rack, J-hooks and spotter arms though, so I guess I should just get real and learn how to barbell- squat properly.
As for my grip question regarding the goblet squat : I've tried horns up (as described by Bret S.) which worked really well for the 24 kg but not the 32 kg (have to reposition the bell after or during each rep, tried upside down which I felt was harder than my initial technique. Holding it by the bell body works perfectly for the 32 kg, however I have no idea how to get it into that position, so I sort of cleaned it up and caught it mid-flip with the other hand, and getting it back down to the floor was a pretty dangerous act of randomness... tweaked my left shoulder blade and wrists a little but should be fine by Monday.
Preferably the technique shouldn't be too taxing on grip and wrists, since I'm already doing a lot of grip work. Thanks for all of your good advice everyone I feel very tempted to buy a second 24 kg and 32 kg bell, but I'm on a budget for the next couple of months... Discs are awesome, tried them at a friends place a couple of years ago.
I do have a barbell, a half-rack, J-hooks and spotter arms though, so I guess I should just get real and learn how to barbell- squat properly. As for my grip question regarding the goblet squat : I've tried horns up (as described by Bret S.) which worked really well for the 24 kg but not the 32 kg (have to reposition the bell after or during each rep, tried upside down which I felt was harder than my initial technique.
Holding it by the bell body works perfectly for the 32 kg, however I have no idea how to get it into that position, so I sort of cleaned it up and caught it mid-flip with the other hand, and getting it back down to the floor was a pretty dangerous act of randomness... tweaked my left shoulder blade and wrists a little but should be fine by Monday. Preferably the technique shouldn't be too taxing on grip and wrists, since I'm already doing a lot of grip work.