The goblet squat is amazing and once you can commit to this one-move plan for the next 7 days. you’re guaranteed to boost your squat, strength, energy, and even weight loss!
I’m sure you might ask, Why challenge myself with goblet squats?Why not, say, hit heavy back squats every day? This is because while there’s a time and a place to go heavy, there are also great benefits to be gained from racking up lots of volume with picture-perfect form.
The problem with squatting is that most people just can’t do it. There are various reasons why – from lack of mobility to lack of strength in the right areas to plain laziness (because heavy squats are brutal in a way that no other exercise can match).
Squats aren’t necessarily the “King of Exercises” for no reason. In fact, you naturally gravitated to a perfect, deep squat when you were a toddler. Remember as kids, when we were playing with our toys or holding our bottle for minutes on end while sitting in the squat position. It’s about as natural a human position as it gets.
Sadly, many of us stop squatting as we grow older, especially in Western society. Many other cultures, like those in Asia, still eat, work, and give birth in the deep-squat position.
Believe it or not, not squatting can actually increase your mortality rate. According to a recently conducted research in Brazil, people who weren’t successful at being able to get up and down off the floor from the seated position, without using their arms—in other words, from an easy squat—had a three-year shorter life expectancy compared to those who were successful.
But aside from their association with long life span, squats offer plenty of life-enhancing—and body-enhancing—qualities as well. Properly executed squats make you stronger, increase your conditioning, firm your legs and gluteal muscles, and strengthen your hips and knees. You’ll also gain mobility in your hips, knees, and ankles. Plenty of people even report that their digestion is better once they get their squat back!
Squats are truly one of the most beneficial exercises to practice. If you have to choose just one exercise to focus on, squats should be it.
How to Goblet Squat:
Directions: Each day, pick a weight, and stick with that same weight every day that week. Add more weight in subsequent weeks. Beginners should start with no weight.
Wondering how much to weight to choose? Start conservatively on Day 1. By Day 7, you should have a pretty good idea how much more you can handle!
Set the stance up. You’ll need a training partner or video camera for this, not a mirror. Begin on the ground in a four-point stance. Your hands should be roughly under your shoulders, but more importantly begin with knees under hips and ankles. Your back should be flat here.
Start with a narrow stance – knees hip width apart with feet in line – and push your butt back from there. What we’re looking for is that your back stays flat and your knees travel back behind your hip crease.
The squat depth we’re aiming for is hip crease below knee so this is the same thing, just rotated ninety degrees. Most people will find that this narrow position is difficult for them and their back will round or they won’t be able to get back far enough at all. Slightly widen your stance and try again. Eventually you’ll find a width that allows your back to stay flat and gives you enough range of motion to allow for a full squat.
The next thing to do is to grab a kettlebell.
Here’s how to perform a perfect kettlebell goblet squat, the move you’ll be using for the next seven days:
- To get the kettlebell into position, start with a two-handed kettlebell swing and “catch” it at the top, so that you’re holding the kettlebell by the horns.
- Take a breath, and slowly lower yourself down, using your elbows to push your knees out and open your hips. Only go as low as feels comfortable, and focus on improving your depth over time.
- Pause for a second. Pressurize your abdomen, and straighten out, pushing steadily through your heels as you ascend back to the top position.
Try to squat as deep as you can from this stance while keeping your knees as close together as possible. You can’t do it, can you? You know why? No space. The goblet squat is primarily a mobility exercise and we use it to reinforce the movement pattern before we add more load. One of Pavel’s magic “three S’s” for mobility is to “create space.” If we want to be more mobile we need to create space. That means we need to push the knees out to make that space. This helps the knees track the toes, but the main point is that we’re trying to sit our hips into the space between our feet.
As you squat down think about putting the point of your elbows into your vastus medialis – the teardrop shaped muscles on the insides of your knees. When you’re in that position – feet flat on the ground, elbows inside knees, and knees pushed out to make space and tracking over your feet – Use your elbows against your knees as a fulcrum to pull your chest up and forward and really get your spine flat. Thinking about using this fulcrum to rotate the entire body so that it is more vertical and your hips are more in line with your feet than behind them is goo, too. The bottom body position should more resemble the overhead squat than a box squat.
Now you’ve got a good feel for the bottom position we’re just going to add some breathing. At the top, take a good sniff of air through your nose and into your belly. It’s important you breathe into the belly and not your chest – your chest isn’t going to stabilize your lower back. Holding that breath and tensing your stomach as if someone is going to kick you there, descend down to the same point as before – elbows inside knees, knees pushed out, hip crease below knee – once there give out a short exhalation or grunt (think of quickly saying “ha!”) and rise out of the squat, driving through your heels.
Now that you’ve had a quick run down of what you’re about to indulge in, let’s get squatting shall we!
REFERENCES: menshealth.com, powerbodymind.com, breakingmuscle.com, bodybuilding.com