Offset Kettlebell Goblet Squat

How To Do An Offset Kettlebell Goblet Squat
By Alli McKeeFebruary 19, 2016

Offset Goblet Squat Exercise

The offset kettlebell goblet squat is one of many great kettlebell exercises you can use to strengthen the lower body and anterior core. The offset kb goblet squat is a more challenging variation than a regular goblet squat, as you are holding the kettlebell with one hand and on one side of your body. This makes it more difficult because you must resist lateral flexion or side bending throughout the whole movement.  When you are performing the offset goblet squat variation, it is best to drop the weight by about 30-40% from the regular goblet squat as this will help ensure that you can complete your desired sets and reps with good form. This exercise is a perfect option if you are learning how to master the squatting movement and gain the requisite levels of strength and stability before you move on to the more advanced squatting variations and with more resistance.

Equipment needed:

Although a kettlebell is used for this exercise, if you do not have access to a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell and perform a db goblet squat. Just make sure that your upper body and torso remain in the same position as if you were holding a kettlebell.

Ability level:


This goblet squat variation might be too advanced for women who are just beginning to strength train. This might be due to lack of strength, stability or mobility. A few great exercise options for beginners could include regular goblet squats, goblet box squats (squatting onto a box/bench and standing up), or bodyweight squats (regular tempo, pause squats, or negatives).

Women who have mastered the offset goblet squat and are ready for more resistance should place the offset goblet squat at the beginning of their workout. Beginners should complete 1-3 sets of 6-8 repetitions per side (12-16 reps total) with light weight.


The offset kb goblet squat is a great option for the intermediate lifter, and is pretty versatile as it can be placed at the beginning of the workout to prepare the body for more advanced exercise variations, or it can be performed after the more advanced movements have been completed. You can perform this exercise on its own, you can pair it with another exercise as part of a superset, or can you even make it part of a metabolic conditioning circuit. Intermediate lifters might perform 2-4 sets of 6-12 (total reps) of the offset goblet squat.


Women who are comfortable with the offset goblet squat exercise can choose to perform negative offset goblet squats where the lowering phase to each position is increased to 3-5 seconds. This trains the muscles eccentrically. You can also perform the offset pause squat variation, pausing for 3-5 seconds in each position, or you can combine the negative and pause offset squat variations. You can also increase the weight/resistance for multiple sets (2-4+) of fewer repetitions (3-6).

Another option for more advanced lifters is to perform a double kettlebell rack squat. With this option, you will hold one kettlebell in each hand in the rack position, which allows you to increase the resistance quite a bit.

Benefits of Offset Goblet Squats:

There are many offset goblet squat benefits. The offset goblet squat is very beneficial for someone who might not currently have the requisite levels of technical proficiency, strength, stability and mobility to perform barbell front squats. Like the barbell front squat, this exercise also trains the body to remain in a more upright position, and challenges the core muscles, particularly the anterior core, and really trains the body to resist lateral flexion (side bending). This exercise can be used in many different kettlebell workouts for women. How a woman chooses to use the offset goblet squat is highly dependent on her overall technical ability and experience, how much weight is being used, the set/rep scheme used, where the exercise falls in the workout, what it’s paired with, and what the rest periods are. In general, the offset goblet squat can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • increasing lower body strength, primarily in the quads, glutes, and hamstrings
  • increasing upper body strength, especially if a heavier kettlebell is being held
  • increasing core strength, particularly the anterior core, and improves ability to resist lateral flexion/side bending
  • building muscle
  • fat loss (if your diet and exercise routines are conducive to fat loss)
  • increasing conditioning (if used as part of conditioning circuits)

How to perform an Offset Goblet Squat:

  • Clean the kettlebell up from the ground to the rack position.  If you are not comfortable with the kettlebell clean, you can do what's called a cheat clean, where you grab the bell with both hands and kind of pick it up, keeping your elbow close to your body, and guide it around to the rack position. Keep your wrist straight, make sure your elbow is right by your body, and your forearm is vertical.
  • If you are not comfortable doing this, get somebody to pass it to you.
  • Before you descend into the squat, take a deep breath in (360 degrees of air around the spine), brace your core (imagine that you’re about to block a soccer ball with your stomach), and lightly tuck your rib cage down towards your hips (close the space in your midsection).
  • While maintaining muscular control and the same tempo the entire time, simultaneously move at the knees and hips, and aim to sit between your heels.
  • As you stand up and lock out at the top position, squeeze your glutes, quads and hamstrings, brace your core, and keep your rib cage down (close the space in your midsection) to prevent your lower back from arching and help you maintain proper alignment.
  • Keep your torso relatively upright and your chest up. Make sure that your body remains level and does not lean to one side. This is a huge point of this anti-lateral flexion exercise.
  • Make sure that your weight remains in the mid-back portion of your feet but keep your toes down, particularly your big and baby toes. This will improve your stability and strength, and ability to perform the exercise.
  • Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Do not allow your knees to collapse in or fall outside of your feet.
  • Squat only as deep as proper form allows you to go. Do not sacrifice form for depth.
  • Reset before each rep.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps, and perform with your other arm.
  • Make your first set your warm-up set and just use bodyweight or a lighter kettlebell.
  • Only add more weight when you have good goblet squat form. Your number one priority should be good form, not making yourself tired.
  • Please refer to the goblet squat video

Video Transcription: 

The offset kettlebell goblet squat is the more challenging variation than a regular goblet squat, as you are holding the bell with one hand on one side of your body. This makes it more difficult because you are having to resist this lateral flexion or side bend throughout the whole movement.  

So generally you will just clean the kettlebell up from the ground to what's called the rack position.  If you are not comfortable with the kettlebell clean you can do what's called a cheat clean,  where you grab the bell with both hands and kind of pick it up, keeping your elbow close to your body,  and guide it around to the rack position. So you are here, pick the kettlebell up and you just simply guide it to the rack position.  You are want to make sure your wrist is nice and straight, that your elbows is right by your body and your forearm is vertical.  It's going to go just like a regular goblet squat, with your feet a little bit wider than shoulder width apart, toes turned out, core nice and braced. Breathe in again, and this arm can go out to the side or can stay in tucked whichever is easier for you.  That’s an offset kettlebell goblet squat.


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About the author:  Alli McKee

Alli is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She's contributed to and modeled for a number of major publications including Oxygen magazine and the New Rules of Lifting: Supercharged. You can find out more about Alli on her personal blog at

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