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You don’t know squat … unless there are goblet squats in your workout routine

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

The goblet squat is an incredible exercise that was popularized by legendary strength coach, Dan John. He has also popularized the saying “If it’s important, do it every day. If it’s not important, don’t do it at all”. Wrestling champion, Dan Gable, also popularized this saying. Their advice was resonated with me since 2006 and I have used this term as part of my #training and nutrition #philosophy.

So, how does this advice apply to the goblet squat? We all need to squat in some way, shape, or form each day. You can lose the ability to squat as you age, which can hinder you from performing some of the most basic daily tasks.

Performing just the basic bodyweight squat requires a lot of good movement to happen for it to take place. You need good foot mechanics, ankle #mobility, strong quadriceps, good hip mobility, functional glute contraction, strong lumbar erectors, lumbopelvic stability, strong thoracic extenders, and some good coordination to put this all together in one movement. As you can see, there is a lot that goes into a squatting pattern.

If you are someone that can squat correctly with no pain already, awesome! If you are not someone who can squat correctly, you need to consider doing so now. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

The mechanical characteristics that I described above will erode over time if you don’t squat. This can also affect other movements such as walking, running, and picking up objects. Luckily for everyone, this erosion of movement quality can be prevented.

Building flexibility, strength, and coordination can be difficult, but maintaining these qualities is much easier. If you goblet squats every day, you will maintain the ability to squat for years to come.

This will require you to grab a weight (not that heavy), and perform 5-10 full range of motion goblet squats each day. Yes, each day, or at least 5 days per week. Think of it as just liking brushing your teeth. If you skip a day, you will be able to tell the difference with your teeth. If you skip a day with the goblet squat, your body will know.

Keep in mind that the goblet squat can have a #strength purpose as well as a movement quality purpose. In this case, we are using it to improve movement quality. A weight that is just enough will do. Typically 10-30 pounds for women and 20-50 pounds for men depending on ability.

It is imperative that you perform this exercise correctly. Please use this guide to help you get started.

Use a #dumbbell or kettlebell and tuck it into the upper chest.

  • Keep your elbows in tight.

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with a 0-30 degrees of foot flare.

  • Pull yourself down into the squat slowly.

  • Push your knees out to the sides and have your elbows track inside the #knees.

  • Push all the weight of your body through the #heels.

  • Keep your chest up.

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