Squatting is not easy.
There are people out there who will make you believe that you SHOULD be able to squat because humans are primal beings and we used to be monkeys and we evolved to squat ass to grass and you’re a monkey and monkey’s don’t wear deodorant or brush their teeth so neither should you.
But here’s the thing…
You probably haven’t spent the last 20 years of your life working on your squat.
You probably have spent the last 20 years doing things that make it very hard for you to squat.
Think about it. As soon as you started school you were made to sit at a desk for hours a day.
And then you went to more school and sat some more.
And then you got a job and sat some more.
And all along the way you got further and further away from that stinky bad breathed monkey and became more like a stiff, weak, but sweet smelling ‘uman.
So there is an upside.
You smell good and brush your teeth but your squat is suffering.
So then you throw a bar on your back, start doing that program you found on BodyBuilding.com, and in two weeks your biceps are the size of your head and you can’t get up out of your lazy boy because your back is lit up like Times Square.
Instead of getting right into barbell movements (especially if you are new to training and don’t have a coach) start with a Goblet Squat instead. It is capitalized because it is important.
Goblet Squats are an amazing exercise even for an advanced lifter.
I love them for a number of reasons.
They force you to get into a solid and SAFE position.
They strengthen your core muscles.
They improve your mobility and get you STRONG.
They are hard.
Here are a few Gold Medal cues to follow when you are goblet squatting.
Eyes Forward. Chest Up
One thing we want to work on with the Goblet Squat is thoracic extension.
Thoracic extension is simply what girls do when they are showing off their breasteses.
Thoracic flexion is what you do when you are sitting on the computer typing like I am right now and round your shoulders and upper back forward.
We want to encourage thoracic extension when we train because in our day to day lives we are constantly in flexion. Driving. Sitting. Scrolling on Instagram. Having bad posture.
Being in flexion all the time is not good.
It can lead to all kinds of problems such as:
Lower back pain.
Increased potential for injury.
We want to use the Goblet Squat (never going to not capitalize it) to strengthen our thoracic extension and improve our posture.
Eyes Forward. Chest Up.
The next cue is one that is very simple to do but makes a big difference.
2. Keep the Weight Close to your body.
It’s called a Goblet Squat because it is how you would hold a Goblet if you were to hold a goblet like a really weird person. Everyone I know does not hold their goblet out away from their body. They keep it nice and close right under their chin so that they can take a sip at a moments notice.
Make sure that the weight stays close to your body.
When you keep the weight close to you you maintain a strong and stable centre of gravity. This means that you can use a heavier weight. This means that you can get stronger and more fit which is rad.
When you hold the weight out away from your body it turns the squat into some kind of weird isometric shoulder exercise which may be great but not for building a booty.
Make sure that your elbows are pointing down and are not touching your knees when you get to the bottom of your squat because that is cheating and everyone will notice and call you a cheater and not be friends with you.
3. Knees tracking over your toes.
The Goblet Squat is great because it is easy to ensure that we are in good solid positions. So when you are performing this movement make sure that your knees are tracking over your toes.
It is very common for peoples knees to cave in during a squat.
This is bad because it can destroy your knees rendering you useless in the coming apocalypse.
There can be a multitude of reasons for this including muscular weaknesses and muscular tightness BUT in my experience most people let their knees cave in because they just never tried to keep them out.
So next time you squat try to spread your groin apart as if you are….Just spread your groin apart and your knees will track over your toes.
This will keep your knees safe and allow you to lift til you die and get buried in a massive coffin cause you got ‘uge quads and a ‘uge butt from doing Goblet Squats.
4. Butt Squeezed at the top.
Squeeze your butt at the top of the lift.
Why? Cause I said so.
Also because it allows you to maintain a neutral spine, a strong core, and perform the lift in a safe and efficient manner.
So there you have it!
The four most effective cues for the Goblet Squat.
Goblet Squats are a great way to start squatting, learn the movement pattern, and get some great strength and body composition results without the fear of getting injured.
I use them with the most beginner clients I have as well as with the most advanced clients I have. The only differences are the weights and reps we are using.
If you want to add them to your routine I would suggest doing the following as a part of your warmup.
Goblet Squats 3x10 (3 second pause at the bottom on each rep)
Russian KB Swings 3x15
Pushup 3x5 (3 seconds down + 3 seconds up)
Try this out and then get into your regularly scheduled programming!