How to Do the Kettlebell Goblet Squat for Perfect Posture (and Bigger Legs)

Are you scuffling with maintaining your chest up and heels down when you squat? Are you restricted on tools or house? Do you marvel in case you’re even doing it proper within the first place? These are regular ideas that can pop up once in a while, whether or not you’re a newbie or superior gymgoer.

The kettlebell goblet squat is user-friendly, secure, and so efficient at refining your approach that you simply’ll be scratching your head, questioning how on the earth you hadn’t utilized it since your very first day in the weight room.

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat at home.
Credit score: baranq / Shutterstock

Comply with alongside to be taught extra about how greatest to implement the kettlebell goblet squat into your coaching routine!

The right way to Do the Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The great thing about this train is that it requires minimal equipment and you are able to do it nearly anyplace. All you want is your self, a kettlebell or dumbbell, and a flat floor to carry out on. Right here’s how one can do the kettlebell goblet squat.

Step 1 — Set up Your Setup

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat in the standard squat position.
Credit score: New Africa / Shutterstock

Place your toes inside your regular squat stance (or place them shoulder-width aside together with your toes pointed barely outward). Subsequent, decide up or swing the kettlebell as much as your chest. Lastly, seize the bell of the burden such that the underside of the bell is pointed up whereas the horns of the deal with are pointed down.

Coach’s Tip: Get into your squat stance whereas dealing with the kettlebell, then swing it into place.

Step 2 — Start Your Descent

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat lowering down for a deeper squat.
Credit score: Artem Varnitsin / Shutterstock

Take a big breath and really feel the muscle tissues surrounding your trunk get tight. Then, unlock your knees and hips on the similar time. Enable your knees to naturally observe over your toes when you’re supporting the kettlebell near your physique and sit straight downward right into a squat. 

Coach’s Tip: Preserve the kettlebell shut whereas dropping into the squat. Keep tightness in your core the complete time. 

Step 3 — Climb Out of the Gap

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat, ascending from a deep squat.
Credit score: antoniodiaz / Shutterstock

Reverse the movement when you attain the underside of your mobility. Push out of the squat together with your legs and maintain a tight core and upright torso the complete time.

Coach’s Tip: Think about that you simply’re pushing the earth away from you together with your legs. 

Kettlebell Goblet Squat Units and Reps

There are a lot of totally different set and rep schemes that you would be able to mess around with for this train, however listed below are some basic programming pointers that you would be able to comply with depending on your goals

  • For Warming Up: Carry out 1-3 units of 6-12 reps, with 1-2 min relaxation between units. Be at liberty to incorporate pauses and gradual eccentrics to heat up the working muscle tissues utilizing a light-weight to maneuver by the range of motion
  • For Hypertrophy: Carry out 3-5 units of 8-12 reps; relaxation 90 to 120 seconds between units. Leaving 2-3 reps within the tank with a difficult weight.
  • For Strength: Carry out 2-3 units of 2-6 reps, with 2-3 minutes of relaxation between units with a heavy, difficult weight.

Widespread Kettlebell Goblet Squat Errors

The kettlebell goblet squat could seem easy, however some common mistakes can nonetheless happen in case you lose focus. Keep away from these errors.

Not Holding the Weight Accurately

When executing the kettlebell goblet squat, you’ll need to maintain the burden in entrance of you whereas maintaining it as near your physique as you comfortably can. 

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat, holding it away from their chest.
Credit score: George Rudy / Shutterstock

The additional away the burden is out of your heart of mass, the tougher the train shall be, which might trigger you to lose balance or apply an excessive amount of stress to your higher physique. 

Stress-free on the Backside

Make sure you keep lively engagement inside your decrease physique muscle tissues and never change into too relaxed on the bottom of the squat by scooping your hips beneath you. That is referred to as the “butt wink,” in any other case referred to as posteriorly tilting your pelvis. Excessively doing this may occasionally place pointless stress on the lumbar spine. (1)

Hips Rising Early 

If you carry out the kettlebell goblet squat, your chest and hips ought to increase on the similar fee — you shouldn’t “tip over” as you rise up. 

A person doing a kettlebell goblet squat, who appears to be tipping forward.
Credit score: PR Picture Manufacturing unit / Shutterstock

If you end up falling forwards, you in all probability aren’t putting as a lot emphasis on your quadriceps as you would be. It’ll additionally make every rep tougher than it must be by reinforcing poor motor patterns. 

Kettlebell Goblet Squat Variations

Doing the identical train again and again can get boring. It’s important to vary the stimulus of the motion whereas maintaining the fundamental spirit of the exercise alive to maintain coaching contemporary and enjoyable whereas nonetheless getting the job performed. Listed here are a number of variations of the kettlebell goblet squat to problem you in several methods. 

Pause Kettlebell Goblet Squat

This variation is barely totally different from the everyday kettlebell goblet squat, because it features a pause. The aim of the pause is to construct your confidence inside the backside place of the squat and to extend decrease physique flexibility and mobility

Pauses additionally add some additional time beneath pressure to the query as properly, which might facilitate more muscle growth

Goblet Cossack Squat

If you carry out an ordinary squat (with a kettlebell or in any other case), your physique strikes in just one aircraft of movement (the sagittal aircraft). Nevertheless, you need to dedicate a portion of your coaching to moving laterally as properly.

The goblet Cossack squat allows you to just do that. It’ll train side-to-side stability and problem your core on the similar time. You may as well use it as a strong warm-up train. 

Kettlebell Goblet Squat Options

Even high-level powerlifters and Olympic-style weightlifters expertise rising pains when constructing their squats. Generally you could take a step again to fill in these gaps earlier than transferring ahead once more. 

If, for no matter purpose, you don’t benefit from the kettlebell goblet squat, listed below are a number of choices that will swimsuit you higher. 

Counterbalance Squat

This train is a superb software in case you’re nonetheless new to squatting and don’t have your approach dialed in but. By holding a lightweight weight additional out in entrance of you, you possibly can familiarize your self with the motor sample of the squat.

Holding a weight at arm’s size offers a counterbalance, which improves your stability and helps you determine how one can move your lower body correctly. 

Heel-Elevated Goblet Squat

Suppose your ankle mobility remains to be holding you again. In that case, this is a wonderful regression train to coach the squat motion sample whereas persevering with to construct muscular power and dimension inside your quadriceps. 

You’ll need to place some kind of wedge beneath your heel to raise them about an inch excessive. Then, squat as traditional. The elevated heel adjusts your heart of gravity, and may make the squat really feel extra pure.

Dumbbell Entrance Squat

If holding a kettlebell in entrance of you throughout a squat remains to be too difficult (otherwise you don’t have entry to a kettlebell within the first place), don’t fret. You need to use a pair of dumbbells as an alternative and get nearly the identical end result. 

Holding two dumbbells aloft with one finish resting in your shoulders will problem your higher again and mean you can replicate the kettlebell goblet squat cleanly. Holding dumbbells on this entrance rack place can also be a standard requirement for CrossFit workouts

Muscle groups Labored by the Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The higher your understanding of what muscle groups are at play and the way they behave throughout a squat, the quicker you’ll have the ability to progress ahead. Listed here are the foremost gamers of the kettlebell goblet squat. 


That enormous, beefy muscle on the entrance of your thigh is named your quadriceps. Your quadriceps are composed of 4 distinct compartments: the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, the vastus intermedius, and the vastus medialis. 

A person working on their quads doing squats.
Credit score: DmitryStock / Shutterstock

In the course of the kettlebell goblet squat, your quads are the prime mover in serving to you stand out of the underside by extending your knees. 


Your glutes encompass the gluteus maximus, which produces most of your lower-body power, your glute medius, and glute minimus. The latter two muscle tissues largely contribute to rotating your leg in your hip socket. 

Your glutes play an influential position in serving to you rise up from a squatting place, notably within the first half of the range of motion when they’re in a stretched place. Additionally they assist you to end the train by bringing your physique into hip extension. 

Higher Again

Your again is made from many muscle teams and might be separated into separate sections. The higher part includes the trapezius, the latissimus dorsi, and the rotator cuff complex, whereas the decrease part consists of the erector spinae. 

The back of a person doing a kettlebell goblet squat.
Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

When performing a kettlebell goblet squat, your back contracts isometrically to carry the kettlebell up.


Your abdominal muscles encompass the rectus abdominis, inside and exterior obliques, and the muscles of your lower back as properly. The kettlebell goblet squat is an anti-flexion train, that means that the burden tries to drive you to bend ahead. 

Your core works overtime to withstand that ahead pull and likewise keep sufficient air in your stomach to pressurize your torso like an inflated canister. You want this strain to remain inflexible when you transfer and defend your backbone. 

Advantages of the Kettlebell Goblet Squat

For those who’re nonetheless not satisfied that the kettlebell goblet squat is for you, listed below are a number of advantages that will win you over. 

Extra Leg Features

Because the quadriceps are the first muscle group focused as a result of quantity of knee flexion. If the kettlebell goblet squat is inserted inside your rotation, it’s nearly unattainable to not see some muscular growth in your legs.

Extra Mobility and Flexibility

Working with a kettlebell within the goblet place is taken into account anterior load; the burden is in entrance of your midline. Squatting with an anterior load helps you entry deeper ranges of movement and challenges your mobility, for the reason that resistance helps offset any steadiness points you could have. In so doing, your mobility and adaptability will skyrocket. (2)

Exercising with weight might be intimidating, particularly in case you’re a newbie. The very last thing you need to do is get harm earlier than you even get began in your journey. 

The kettlebell goblet squat requires you to carry one piece of apparatus straight in your fingers. You’ll have full management over the train, and may drop the burden safely at any level to exit the motion. For rank beginners, working with an train just like the kettlebell goblet squat might be far more encouraging than going straight for barbell squats.

They’re Accessible

You are able to do the kettlebell goblet squat nearly anyplace — whether or not you’re figuring out of a busy gym, at residence, or on the highway. 

All you have to is you and one kettlebell (or a similarly-sized object) with a flat floor to face on. The kettlebell goblet squat is very accessible to learners and superior athletes alike. Simply decide up the burden and get to work.

Who Ought to Do the Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The great thing about the kettlebell goblet squat is that it may be useful to a mess of people. Listed here are a number of for you to remember. For those who fall into considered one of these classes, the kettlebell goblet squat might be best for you. 


For those who’re nonetheless constructing your squat approach, the kettlebell goblet squat might be a superb choice to dabble in. It’s an excellent regression software to assist drill correct squatting mechanics and construct confidence within the required positions, all with out compromising security.


You’ll very generally see CrossFit workouts programmed with goblet workouts, together with the kettlebell goblet squat. The extra apply with and publicity to the train you may get, the higher ready you’ll be for your next WOD


An important facet of Olympic lifting is having a powerful, low, and steady squat. Weightlifting can also be a barbell-exclusive sport. Due to this fact, working with a kettlebell as an alternative might be an effective way to introduce selection into your programming.

You may as well use the kettlebell goblet squat to warm up your legs previous to a heavy weightlifting session, or as a part of an adjunct coaching circuit. 

Seize Life by the Bells

Whether or not you’re a newbie engaged on constructing, good sound squatting approach, at a busy health club in want of an effective leg exercise to do whereas all of the squat racks are taken, otherwise you’re on the highway and need to pull over to do some squats to get up your legs, the kettlebell goblet squat matches the invoice. 

It’s so user-friendly, secure, and efficient, that it’s a no brainer inclusion in most exercise applications. For those who’ve made it this far, it belongs in yours, too. 


It’s completely regular to have questions; listed below are a number of questions concerning the kettlebell goblet squat that will or might not have popped into your thoughts whereas studying. 

What’s the function of the kettlebell goblet squat?

For those who’re attempting to work on your squatting technique, construct extra confidence on the backside of a squat, and get extra big legs, the kettlebell goblet squat is for you. It’s an all-purpose squatting motion that’s straightforward to be taught.

How a lot weight ought to I do on the kettlebell goblet squat? 

It depends upon why you’re performing the kettlebell goblet squat and what you need to get out of the train. Check with the “Reps and Sets” part for various approaches and objectives. Irrespective of the plan, the burden ought to at all times be one thing you possibly can management and make the most of with good kind.


  1. Nielsen, S. R. (2015). Posterior Pelvic Tilt in Barbell Again Squats. Brage NIH. Retrieved February 5, 2023.
  2. Alizadeh, S., Daneshjoo, A., Zahiri, A., Anvar, S. H., Goudini, R., Hicks, J. P., Konrad, A., & Behm, D. G. (2023, January 09). Resistance Coaching Induces Enhancements in Vary of Movement: A Systematic Evaluation and Meta-Evaluation. Sports activities Drugs. 

Featured Picture: baranq / Shutterstock

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