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How To Do A Goblet Squat

  • By Kate Moore
  • on 
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Goblet squats are a specific type of squat that involves holding a weight close to your chest and squatting deeply. The weight is held like a large cup would be, hence the name “goblet” squat. They can be very beneficial to effectively building a stronger lower body, and are fairly simple to perform.

All you will need is a wide space to safely perform the exercise and a dumbbell or kettlebell.

Goblet squat form

Goblet Squat Benefits

Properly doing goblet squats is an incredible way to build the glute and quad muscles while decreasing excess pressure on the back. They will help tone and define the muscles in the thigh area, as well as engage core muscles as you keep good form and straighten the spine.

Goblet squats also help you practice good form if you plan to increase the difficulty of your squats in the future on exercises like the back squat. This versatile exercise will help strengthen the:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Abs
  • Obliques

The core muscles are an essential part of any good workout. They are the center of everything in the body, so you should be focused on keeping them tight the whole time you do squats.

How to Correctly Perform a Goblet Squat

  1. Start with some dynamic stretches to warm up (jumping jacks, leg pulls, windmills, etc.)
  2. Pick up your dumbbell or kettlebell and stand with your shoulders back.
  3. Hold the weight with your elbows tucked in at your sides. The weight should be supported from underneath, reducing strain on the wrists.
  4. Squat low, keeping the knees from pointing in toward each other and the chest from dropping forward.
  5. Stand up, not too fast, and squeeze the legs and core at the top.

*Keep the spine in a neutral position the whole time. Allowing it to roll forward or arch can place pressure on the spine, and eventually cause injury. The goblet squat was designed to avoid this spine compression, so make sure you are doing it right.

Goblet Squat Mistakes to Avoid

Incorrect knee position

Squatting often seems like a simple exercise, but many people do it too quickly and forget to focus on the knees. Ensure that your knees are not leaning over your feet. Keep your weight back as you drop down, trying to press down into the floor with your heels. If your weight is shifted over your knees, it can cause chronic pain over time.

Going too fast

Squats are a very beneficial exercise, but to reap all of the benefits, you have to move slowly. Engage your muscles as you lower down, then try to squeeze the glutes on the way back up. Think about every step of the move as you perform it, focusing on even the smallest motions. Pushing your body each time will build muscle more quickly.

Starting with too much weight

When first starting out, begin with a low weight. Adding too much weight too quickly can make you lose your good form, and cause you to injure yourself. It is much better to do the squat accurately with a lighter weight than incorrectly with a heavier weight.

Not breathing properly

Oxygen is essential to a good workout. Take deep, even breaths, exhaling on the hardest part of the exercise. This will ensure that your body does not go into the fermentation process prematurely, allowing you to put in more reps, thus getting a more effective workout in.

goblet squat form

Goblet Squat Variations

If you are looking to make the exercise more difficult, there are several different options. The first one is, of course, increasing the weight. Choose a kettlebell that weighs five to ten pounds more than your original one. Even a few extra pounds can greatly increase the difficulty.

Wearing a resistance band is another easy way to make the squat much harder. Wear a resistance band around the legs, just below the knees. It will want to pull your legs inward, but really fight to keep them parallel. It will be surprising how much more difficult the squat will be. You can start with a light resistance, then slowly work up to the maximum to find the best one for your workout.

The back squat is a slightly different squat, but with the same motions in mind. If you have been doing a goblet squat for a while, and feel confident in your form, move up to using a bar. The weight will be shifted to the back of your body but will present a new challenge for people who are always looking to improve. This is a good demonstration.

If you are wanting a slightly easier variation, try getting rid of the weight for a little while. Work on improving your air squats, pretending that you have a weight in your hands. These squats will still give you a good workout, but this way you won’t have to worry about extra weight. Make sure to increase your focus on your form though so that when you want to add the weight back, it will feel easy.

Try holding on to a wall or piece of furniture if getting rid of the weight is still too difficult. It will help you practice good balance and form while giving you a little help on the way up.


Whether just starting out on your journey to better fitness, or trying to maximize your strength, goblet squats remain a great exercise. Their versatility and ability to be varied makes them perfect for nearly anyone. Done correctly, and combined with other lower body focused exercises, you will start to see results within weeks. Although it may be hard at first, your stronger, healthier body will thank you in the future.