Strength-Training Exercise: The Goblet Squat

The goblet squat, a movement invented by renowned strength coach Dan John, is perhaps the most simplistic, but effective squat variation in existence. What's great about the goblet squat is that it's almost impossible to do wrong, making it a perfect beginner squatting variation.

Just because it's easy and great for beginners, however, doesn't mean that it's of no use to veterans. The goblet squat allows for heavy loading (it makes the movement more difficult, which means you just pick up a heavier weight), just like front squats (which is essentially the same movement, but done with a barbell instead of kettlebells or dumbbells), so after you're comfortable with the movement, you can start to go heavy with it.

Follow these steps to do the goblet squat:

1

Grab a kettlebell or a dumbbell and hold it snuggly in front of your chest.

This is called the goblet position.

2

Assume a shoulder-width stance — maybe a smidgen wider — and point your toes slightly out.

The weight also acts as a counterbalance to help you achieve more depth.

3

Pull yourself down between your legs and go as low as you can with a flat back while keeping your heels on the ground.

Imagine you're trying to sit down on a curb. Don't forget to breathe. Take a deep breath into your belly before you lower into the squat, and breathe forcefully out as you ascend.

4

After you hit your maximum depth, push your heels into the ground, and stand straight up to finish the movement.

Your hips and shoulders should ascend at the same rate, not one before the other.

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