Sunday, May 29, 2011

Goblet Squats

Dan John has talked a lot about Goblet Squats and their value in patterning the squat. 

I found this video of a strong set.

Deep, straight back. (but crap shoes as Pieter points out in the comment below)

EDIT - For what it is worth the video below is what Dan John himself in his new book (Dan has just posted a link to a free ebook  - The Coyote Point Kettlebell Club) points to to explain the move.  You will see it is more of a mobility move / stretch.


pieter said...

It would be even more impressive barefoot on a flat surface. Nevertheless, certainly a lot more than I can do ;)

Chris said...

well spotted - I missed his awful shoes

Anonymous said...

I don't see why anyone would do these unless it's for some very specific reasons (which I am not aware of). This exercise is a potential back killer. For the average person or athlete, why do it?

Chris said...

Anonymous, actually it is usually promoted as an exercise that protects the back. If you are to keep balanced and keep hold of the weight you need to remain upright with a solid back.

Dan John discusses it here it is all about squatting between your legs.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

The thick heels plus standing with the heels on a pad is presumably to compensate for ankle mobility limitations. Kind of cheating perhaps.

Should he have really pushed so far into exhaustion though? Isn't there a bigger risk of losing form and causing injury? It looked like his left knee was about to collapse on him at the end.


Dan Hubbard, M.Ed. said...

I agree with Cynthia. He not only has an elevated heel due to the running shoes, but needs a mat to help him compensate for his lack of ankle mobility. It is tough to tell from the camera angle, but it appears than he is tucking his pelvis (lumbar flexion) at the bottom ROM.

I would prefer clients limit their squat depth until they get their ankle mobility to an adequate level or they will compensate somewhere (lumbar flexion, femoral internal rotation, and valgus genu). Additionally, I would like to see more stability at the bottom ROM. I like to use pause sets in beginners to help them develop stability at the bottom ROM.

Lastly, I prefer using a kettlebell (or two) or a barbell to help develop torso stability. I coach them to "stay tall" and "keep the upper arm horizontal" through the entire range of motion. This is very challenging and most people lose the "tall torso" after a few reps. This guy seemed to lose it, too.

Anonymous said...


I'm not sure how an exercise that increases the lever arm against which your low back muscles (which have a short lever arm) have to work is protective for the low back? Even with less weight, the longer lever arm makes this exercise a potential problem (or at least as problematic as a back squat, depending on the weight and it's position). Would you have anyone with low back trouble do it? I wouldn't.

Chris said...

I'm regretting posting this now!

I think the goblet squat is much more about patterning a squat movement rather than moving big weights.

I think this guys shoes and elevated heels are not ideal.

As for the low back - the more vertical the back the less the moment arm surely? It is when the back hinges at the bottom that you get a lever.

Chris said...

I've added another video that I think stresses that the move is intended to be a stretch / mobility move

Chad said...

Don't regret. I have all my clients achieve the goblet. Certainly not with THAT weight! But a 26 lb kbell does the trick for stability and mobility.