Making Goblet Squats More Challenging

November 4, 2018
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When performed properly, goblet squats are excellent for strengthening and sculpting the glutes, abdominals, and legs in a single effective and efficient squatting movement. In fact, many personal trainers at In-Shape Gym use goblet squats to teach beginners about the proper form and technique for squats.

But when the goblet squats have been mastered, a problem is revealed – the progressive loading of the movement becomes more awkward! There are also instances when the dumbbells and kettlebells in a gym are being used by others so progressive loading isn’t possible yet. There are also people who don’t like performing squats with a barbell yet want progressive squat training.

The solution: Make goblet squats more challenging and, thus, more enjoyable! Here’s how. 

Get the Right Form

Perhaps goblet squats are becoming easier because you’re not doing them with the right form and technique. You can then make it more challenging – and safer, too – by keeping these performance tips in mind.

  • Hold a weight, such as a dumbbell or a kettlebell, at your chest with both of your hands. Hold the kettlebell’s handle either facing up or down depending on your comfort level.
  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Brace your core just before starting the bracing movement, drop your buttocks back and down to assume the squat position, and keep your chest up.
  • While in a squat position, sit back into your heels but don’t shift your weight forward.
  • Get as low as possible into a squat, which will maximize activation of your glutes.
  • Return to the standing position while giving your glutes a squeeze. (This is one rep)

Make 10-12 reps and 2 sets with a light weight then progress to a moderate weight for 8-12 reps and 3 sets. Be sure to warm up first, such as with a 12-pound kettlebell first.

Get Lower or Slower

After a while, goblet squats become easier, perhaps familiar – and it isn’t something that you want for your mind and body. Complacency and familiarity aren’t great for strength training.

There are two ways that you can make goblet squats more challenging so you can get more benefits from the exercise:

  • Increase the weight
  • Slow down the descent into the squat

For the second way, you can establish a tempo – 4 seconds down, 1 second up and then followed by a 2-second pause at the top before the next rep.  

Slowing down the tempo also increases the time under which your body is under tension. BY doing so, your body enjoys higher calorie burn and greater muscle activation.

And be sure to keep your balance throughout the goblet squat! You may hang onto something, such as a handle, a door frame, or a TRX band until you have become more comfortable.

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