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Goblet squat is the best exercise for learning how to correctly do a squat. Squats are the most effective, but potentially the most dangerous exercise.


I have already mentioned so many times here that squats are great exercise and that they deserve the name king of exercise. Doing squats have so many benefits that I dedicated the whole article about this topic - Benefits of Doing Squats – The King of all Exercises.

My recommendation is that when you are doing the squat, don’t go below the parallel position of your thighs to the floor. Most of you are not enough flexible, so when we go below parallel position, you start bending your back. When you are under heavy load, this can cause an injury to your lower back and knees. Find out more about the proper squat form in How To Do a Squat Right – Find Your Perfect Squat Form.

The Goblet squat is the perfect exercise to learn you how to properly do the classical squats. You can do it with the kettlebell, dumbbell, or even a medicine ball. It is version of the front squat, which you are doing with the barbell resting between collar bone and deltoid muscles.

It is a perfect for beginners, because the weight is in front of your body and you need to compensate by lifting your chest up and keeping the back straight. When you start doing traditional squat, you are going to keep the same proper form.

goblet squat

Goblet Squat

Goblet squats were invented by Dan John to teach his students how to correctly do a squat. He, as weightlifting coach, faced a big problem, when hundreds of athletes couldn’t squat correctly.  He was trying so many moves, lifts, but it all failed. Then he accidently discovered the Holy Grail - the goblet squat. 

How to do the goblet squats?

  1. Starting position
  2. Squatting down
  3. Squatting up 

Starting position

Begin the exercise with standing position when you are holding the kettlebell, dumbbell or medicine ball with both palms. The position of the weight should be just below the chin level.

If you are doing it with a dumbbell, grab it vertically. With kettlebell you can hold it up, grabbing it by handle. Or you can hold it in reverse position, grabbing the ball. The weight should be placed on your chest all the time. There is also option to do it with two kettlebells.

Keep your shoulder back tightly and neutral spine through the whole exercise. Always look straight ahead of you. Keep your feet wider than shoulder width and place your toes slightly outwards.

Squatting down

Start by pushing the hips back, bending the knees and lowering like you are sitting yourself in the small chair. Keep your back straight, chest up and shoulders back.

Make sure you go deep enough so your hips go below your knees. Push your knees out as you are going up and down. You should squeeze your butt (glutes) through the whole motion.

Don’t go too low, so you don’t start to lean forward. Try to go lower and lower by maintaining the neutral spine. In the bottom position, your elbows are pushing your knees.

Squatting up

Go up keeping your spine straight, shoulders back. Make sure to extend your hips fully when you are going up to the starting position. Keep the kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest.

Important things to remember

When you are doing the goblet squat it is very important to remember the following things, to keep you from the injury.

  • Keep you back and spine straight during the whole exercise
  • Keep your feet wide and open
  • Keep whole core tight - abs and lower back
  • In the bottom position your back tends to round (Posterior pelvic tilt)
    • Try to keep them straight
    • Avoid going to low

Probably the biggest problem in any form of squat is the posterior pelvic tilt. It is caused by too much sitting and sitting with bad posture. For avoiding posterior pelvic tilt, or the situation when your back tends to round in low squat position, you need to do the regular stretching exercise. I encourage you to read more about this in this article.

Check the video

Before actually doing the goblet squat, check the video first.

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