The goblet squat is one of many great kettlebell exercises you can use to strengthen the lower body and anterior core. 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.
Although a kettlebell is used for this exercise, if you do not have access to a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell. Just make sure that your upper body and torso remain in the same position as if you were holding a kettlebell.
The goblet squat with a kettlebell 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 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 bodyweight squat and are ready for more resistance should place the goblet squat at the beginning of their workout. Beginners should complete 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions with light weight.
The 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 reps of the goblet squat.
Women who are comfortable with the goblet squat exercise can choose to perform negative 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 pause squat variation, pausing for 3-5 seconds in each position, or you can combine the negative and pause squat variations. You can also increase the weight/resistance for multiple sets (2-4+) of fewer repetitions (3-6).
More advanced lifters may also opt to perform other goblet style squat variations such as an offset goblet squat by holding the kettlebell with one hand in the rack position. It is best to drop the weight by about 30-40% when transitioning to an offset goblet squat to ensure that you can complete your desired sets and reps with good form. 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.
There are many goblet squat benefits. The 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. This exercise can be used in many different kettlebell workouts for women. How a woman chooses to use the 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 goblet squat can be used to do any or all of the following:
A kettlebell goblet squat is a fantastic exercise to transition from squatting without weight to squatting with a barbell. A kettlebell goblet squat is a little bit more difficult than a bodyweight squat but it’s going to be considerably less difficult than a barbell front squat or back squat. In order to do the kettlebell goblet squat, you are going to grab a kettlebell and set it up right in between your feet. You are going to grab it by the handles and kind of clean it up, so you are going to pop your hips, and you are going to grab it right under the horns. You are going to hold it at your chest. Women, really be careful not to keep it too close to your chest, to not actually having it touch your chest, you want it about a ½ inch away. You are going to keep your elbows nice and tucked, lats are going to be tight, you are going to do the exact same thing as you did with your bodyweight squat.
You are going to breathe in, blow your air out, get your rib cage down, and breathe in again to brace your core, because we want that intra-abdominal pressure when we are squatting with weight and that’s going to help stabilize your spine. You are going to drive your knees out and you are going to drop down right between your hips while you sit back a little bit. I am going to demonstrate. Push back into my hips to grab the horns of the kettlebell, pick it up, grab it right underneath the horns, keep it right next to my chest, set my feet into position, get my core tight, drive the knees up and sit back. Come up keeping the spine and the head nice and neutral the whole time. I will show you what that looks like from the side.
Again as I mentioned with the bodyweight squat it’s really important to only go as deep as you can keep your spine neutral and you will see that from the side: I drop down to my hips and stop before my butt tucks under. That’s a kettlebell goblet squat.