Dumbbell Goblet Squat Exercise | Technique & Common Mistakes


By Myprotein Writer |

Jamie Wykes Hobday

Whenever we think of the conventional squat, we automatically assume that it is a barbell back squat. Whilst this is no doubt one of the most effective lower body movements for strength and hormonal stimulation, there are other ways of giving your legs a tough workout!

In comes the Goblet Squat; one of three most common squat movements using dumbbells.

For this particular passage there will be a detailed focus on the goblet squat including how to perform the technique correctly and a description of common exercise mistakes.

Goblet Squat Benefits

? Easy for those who have poor wrist and ankle mobility and due to the emphasis on the front of the body.

? Simple to perform.

? Can incorporate a resistance against falling forwards.

? Can be performed at home as they do not require a large vacancy of space.

Often, when performing the barbell back squat, there is a common tendency to either fall forward or induce a fear of falling forward, generating a less confident and therefore less effective range of motion.

The goblet squat will prevent this and teach a resistance against it due to the emphasis it places on the front of the body.

Additionally, whilst training using dumbbells/kettlebells will prove a similar technique as the barbell due to the fact it is a free weight with no machine stabilisation, they also can be more joint friendly, applied for uni-lateral movements.

How To Perform The Goblet Squat

1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart, facing forward a slight bend in the knees.

2) Grip a dumbbell by the rear end (in a vertical position) and hold it close to your chest. Try not to put too much stress and tension on the grip and therefore wrists when in this position.

3) Take a deep breath and inhale. Whilst keeping your chest upwards and back straight, slowly lower yourself so you are sitting back and downwards between the knees.

4) Whilst keeping your feet and heels firmly planted on the floor, lower yourself down as low as possible before briefly pausing for a second. Like any squat, you should be aiming to go down to at least 90 degrees parallel or lower.

5) Remember to keep your knees out the whole time. The elbows should be positioned on the inside of the legs at this point and throughout the majority of the movement.

6) Once you are as low as possible, exhale your breath and explode back up to the starting position. The eccentric phase of the movement (upward) should typically be performed quicker and more explosively than the concentric phase (downward).

7) At this stage of the exercise, your chest should still be facing upwards, back not curved and feet should still be facing forwards.

8) Pause for a brief second before repeating for the desired number of repetitions.

The Goblet Squat |

Common Mistakes

dumbbell squat

? Poor Feet and Knee Positioning

When performing the goblet squat, ensure that your feet are firmly placed on the floor whilst facing as forward as possible. Poor feet and knee positioning can lead to undesirable stress placed on the knee joint.

With poor knee functionality, any form of squat is impossible to perform correctly. To prevent this from occurring, ensure that your training partner or coach is there to constantly assess your form.

? Heel Position

Furthermore, the heels should be placed flat on the floor. If you are performing this exercise and rolling forwards towards your toes, then there is far less efficiency in the movement; the knees are once more placed under unnecessary stress and there is a far greater likelihood of injury.

Nine times out of ten, this is due to poor hip mobility and flexibility. To prevent this, work on developing the hip mobility before and after every session.

? Curving The Back

Not sticking your chest out and curving your back can lead to physically threatening damage to the invertebrate. Curving of the back during any squat movement will put the back muscles at a greater risk of injury. In order to prevent this, athletes should aim to develop their back muscles along with their posterior chain as a whole.

Effective lower back exercises include hyper-extensions, bridges and deadlifts as well as rehabilitation movements such as happy cat/sad cats, back extensions and knee rolls.

? Not Going Low Enough

Due to poor lower body mobility, poor range of motion is a far too common expectation to see in the gym today. Those who often try and lift more than they physically can, will often perform with poor form and lack of depth. This will reduce the expected stimulation of the quadriceps, glutes, hamstring and quads that a usual squat would and instead will neglect almost all of the previously mentioned benefits.

To prevent this, chose a weight that you can perform to a 90-degree parallel level or lower, focus on the time under tension and perform it correctly! Alternatively, try performing a box squat as this will teach you to go low enough without the fear of falling to the ground, as the box will be there to stabilise the movement and protect you.

Take Home Message

Whilst the barbell back squat should be a vital criterion in anyone’s training program, don’t be tied down to this exercise.

Try the dumbbell goblet squat or change it up with the cables. Train at the same intensity with all the added benefits of the goblet squat!

The cable squat is an excellent alternative compound movement which will trigger the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and lower back whilst allowing a controlled range of motion throughout. Cables are also a fantastic way of isolating a muscle if required.

This particular exercise can be performed using a variation of cable attachments from a cable bar all the way to a cable handle in each hand!

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