The goblet squat is a fantastic way to introduce beginners into the technique of squatting, but is also used by many advance lifters to introduce a slightly different type of force to a regular squat.
Goblet squats shift the weight slightly forwards which offloads the stress through the spine and increases the work being done in your abdominals and core stability muscles. It primarily works the glutes (buttocks) and quadriceps (thighs) but does give a total body workout which means great bang for your buck during a workout.
It is performed by holding a dumbbell or kettle bell close to your chest as shown. Whilst maintaining an upright position, drop down into a squat until your elbows meet your thighs. Make sure you do not lean too far forward during the movement. You can use a chair behind you to help guide your bottom down and keep technique initially. Also ensure your knees do not collapse inwards when dropping down into a squat.
I use goblet squats to help start building strength in those with lower back pain. Bad backs can often lead people to be afraid of exercise, but often it is exactly this kind of strengthening exercise that is most needed to help get pain under control.
The goblet squat strengthens the whole body, including the lower back, without putting too much stress through the spine itself. The obliques and trans-abdominal muscles, which are essential in helping to avoid and recover from a bad back, are heavily involved in this exercise.
The goblet squat will also help improve hip pain and mobility, knee pain and imbalance. As well help improve general strength and fitness. All this in an exercise that helps teach proper squat form and can help people safely progress onto even more complex, powerful and varied exercises, and you have an exercise that people of all abilities can benefit from! Even advanced lifters can find fantastic benefit from heavy goblet squats.