Abs & Core Bodyweight Exercise Bodyweight TV Strength

Goblet Squat – Great Leg Exercise, Anywhere, Anytime

Written by Ryan Murdock

What the heck is a Goblet Squat?

You could be forgiven for assuming that it’s some strange cellar maneuver dreamed up by Ryan for filling his wine glass straight from a barrel of vintage Bordeaux… Bu no, it has nothing to do with drinking.

The Goblet Squat is basically a front squat performed with the weight held tight against your chest. It’s a great variation for learning to drive back to standing by pressing through your heels. Keeping the weight tight against your chest also forces your upper body and core to work harder to hold the posture. Yep, you guessed it! That means you get a heck of a tough core workout while blasting your legs. And who doesn’t love multi-tasking?

Adam demonstrates the movement with a dumbbell, but you’re not limited to that tool. Kettlebells, medicine balls, and even large water jugs will all work equally well. The key is to form a “goblet” with your hands and arms and cradle the weight from below, rather than grasp it. Keeping your elbows in tight connects the resistance to your core so you’ll be driving directly from your legs.

And what happens to those pointy elbows at the bottom of the squat? If you’ve got long monkey arms like Ryan, they’ll  come to the insides of your knees, just grazing your thighs. It’s okay to spread your legs wide to achieve this.

Check out the video for a detailed primer on exactly how to do this exercise.

Let’s review the main performance cues for the Goblet Squat:

  • Tuck your elbows in tight to drive the weight down through your core
  • Cup the weight in your open palms rather than grasping it
  • Keep those shoulders pulled down, and shoulder blades pinched together
  • Break at the waist first — pretend you’re sitting back in a chair.
  • Your back remains neutral throughout. Squat to the point where you can maintain a flat back. That’s your current range of motion.
  • Press through your heels to return to standing.

If you’re new to Goblets, begin with 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps to build a solid base. When you’re comfortable with that you can start gradually increasing the weight.

Goblet Squats are a great lower body variation for blasting your core as you lean out those shapely legs! We love them, and we know you will too.

Get practicing, and if you have questions please post them in the comment section.

About the author

Ryan Murdock

26 Comments

  • Love this type of squat. I do it often with kettlebells and like knowing I am working so much of my body. Thanks for all the great stuff, guys!

  • As usual, clear instructions, great presentation. Do you prefer barefeet for this exercise? I wear my sneakers for this type of leg exercise. thanks, Rosalie

    • I like wearing bare feet for my workouts too 🙂 Thanks guys! I love how you guys seem to like hammering my quads with your stuff – it’s working! 😀

    • Barefoot or with sneakers are both fine. Personally, I train barefoot most of the time. When I do wear shoes I go with the Nike Free because it gives you the LEAST support of any shoe I’ve found.

  • I THINK WE COULD SEE YOU (AND THE MOVEMENT) MUCH BETTER IF YOU WARE LITE COLORED SHIRT+SHORTS. BEING IN A BLACK STEEL CAGE WITH BLACK ON HARD TO SEE. GOOD DEMO ! THANKS RICH

    • Rich,
      We were there (a friends gym), had a camera, and thought it would be fun to shoot a bunch of videos. I was wearing what I was wearing… Oh, and please don’t use all-caps anymore — makes me feel like you’re shouting. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Hey guys, the goblet squat is a great addition to a killer lower body workout – when I do them at home now I use a kettlebell. The shape of the handle really makes holding it at your chest less awkward then a dumbbell. 🙂

  • Since the ideal rep range for doing upper body reps is around 8 to 12, I like to double up the amount of reps for legs and abs, 15 to 25. For some reason legs and abs respond better at higher reps.

    • Hi Lee,
      That’s a very individual thing and depends a lot on your muscle fiber makeup. Some people will respond best to really heavy leg work at super low reps, others respond better to higher reps. It’s great that you’ve found where your personal groove is. 🙂
      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Adam,

    How about doing them on unstable surfaces like a Bosu ball or Dyna Discs? Then you would have to slow done in order to not spill the wine from the goblet! lol

    Or it can make you seem like you drank the wine from the goblet before doing the exercise!

    Great videos of demos.

    Being 62 yrs young, would the Bodyweight Blueprint still bemnefit me? I am thinking of ordeering it tonight.

    • Hey Frank,
      Actually, Goblet Squats on a flipped over BOSU are an awesome way to activate the nervous system for more intense squat exercises. When I’m in a “gym” phase I’ll often use them to fire up my nervous system for heavy back or front squats. Works like a charm.
      Cheers,
      Adam

  • Goblet squats are a great pair with swings. I’ll do a set of swings and then goblet squats. Then a quick rest and repeat. This is great as a lower body workout to go along with some bodyweight exercises or as a killer finisher! Derek

  • Hey there, you know there is a strangely surreal quality to you being in the giant play pen. It made you look like a very well built, tiny little person. 🙂

  • Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you
    so much, However I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why
    I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?
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