How to do: Goblet squat

Gobble up those glute gains with a goblet squat

Posted by for Strength

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: Goblet squat.

Goblet squats are the perfect moves for building strength in every part of the body. Sure, you’re really working those glutes and hamstrings but you’re also firing up the core to keep you stable, loading up the arms and training the back to stay stable.

So, what exactly is a goblet squat and what muscles does it work?

A goblet squat is a progression of the normal squat. Rather than squatting with your hands on your hips, you’re holding a weight in your hands – either a kettlebell or a dumbbell – and “goblet” refers to the way you hold it. You want your hands to be clasping your weight in the same way you might clasp a goblet of wine – the heel of your palms supporting the bottom of the kettlebell or top bit of the dumbbell so that it rests in the centre of your hand. It’s a total body burner, great all sorts of reasons, including:

  • Full body workout: Targets the glutes, hamstrings, core, arms, shoulders.
  • Adaptable: It’s a progression on the normal squat and the great thing is that you can keep on making it harder as you get stronger by adding heavier weights and slowing down the eccentric part of the move.
  • Function: Squats are arguably the most functional moves and a goblet squat is great for getting you used to picking up and carrying heavy objects. It’s also a great move for runners who need to make sure that their big muscle groups are able to fire on all cylinders. 

Goblet squats are great, whatever your goals – be they aesthetic or ergonomic. 

Which muscles are worked?

This move primarily targets the lower body, including:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Core
  • Arms

How to do to a goblet squat

If you can squat already, a goblet squat shouldn’t be too hard. Start with a medium weight and progress to a heavier one. Take it easy – add on bit by bit and you’ll avoid doing your back a mischief.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grab your weight and hold it in the goblet position. For kettlebells, that means turning it bell-side up and resting the bell in the palm of both hands. For dumbbells, you want to rest one end of the weight in your hands, heel of the palm just under the edge.
  3. Transfer your weight into your heels and sit back as if going to sit in a chair. You should be able to wiggle your toes.
  4. Engage the core and glutes before returning to standing.

The slower you sit down, the harder the move becomes. Try bending for a count of three and coming back up explosively. Keep the back straight and be careful not to go too deep; just go as low as you can while maintaining good form and muscular tension.

Keen to improve your form? Check out our How To library to see exactly how the experts do over 100 of the most common strength training exercises.

Image: Stylist

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Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is the editor of Strong Women and Strong Women Training Club. A qualified personal trainer and vegan runner, she can usually be found training for the next marathon, seeking out vegan treats or cycling across London on a pond-green Tokyo bike.

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