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Proper Squat Technique For New Lifters

Similar to the back squats, this exercise targets every major muscle group when performed correctly. Although it mainly targets the abdominals, lower back, and lower extremities, the goblet squat is beneficial for any fitness goal. Whether you want to get stronger, build muscle, or lose body fat; the goblet squat will help with any of those goals! Being able to do a proper squat will help with any exercise. Heck, if you even want to increase your bench press, you should start programming the goblet squat in your training plan.

How to do the Goblet Squat

(1) Grasp a dumbbell by the head and hold it close to your chest

(2) Widen your feet to just past shoulder width; with toes pointed slightly out

(3) Assume and neutral / extension of your spine

(4) “puff your chest out”

(5) Take a big breath in and tighten your abdominal wall

(6) As you descend, drive the hips back, keep the chin and eyes up. STAY TIGHT

(8) Once you hit the bottom position, drive through the heels while staying tight

(9) Focus on driving the hips forward to the standing position

Target Muscles

  • All muscle groups

  • Primarily: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, Upper Posterior Muscles, Pectorals, and the Abdominals.

Intensity Tips

The goblet squats are not as intense as the back squats. Therefore, this exercise is known as an accessory exercise. This is a great exercise that you can perform a higher number of repetitions with. Performing the goblet squat as a conditioning exercise is a great one to use. Don’t let this exercise fool you, it is great for overall strength development too.

Beginner Tips

This is a perfect exercise for beginners. Before taking action into barbell back or front squats, the goblet squat should be performed in the first few workouts in order to see how one performs the squat movement pattern. If a new lifter can perform the proper squat technique, he or she can move onto the back squat and make life changing gains in strength and size.

Don’t Do’s

This exercise shouldn’t be done on a bosu ball or balance ball. It is seen far too often people performing goblet squats on one of those pieces of equipment. The risk versus rewards are too heavily favored on the risk side. Also, don’t be using too heavy of a dumbbell. Since this is a anterior loaded exercise, it is easy to round the back if the weight becomes too heavy.


As previously stated, this exercise can be one anywhere in a workout. The goblet squat is great for warm-ups and accessory movements in a workout. Sets and repetitions can be anywhere from 2-5 sets of 6-20 repetitions. Just performing this exercise in any program will reap great benefits.

Now that you have the proper guidelines and verbal cues on how to perform this exercise. Take a look at this video and practice this exercise next time you are in the gym.

Keep Crushin' It

- PT

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