How to Make Goblet Squats Harder Without Adding More Weight


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Goblet squats are an excellent exercise. When executed properly, they train the legs, glutes, and abdominals in one efficient squatting movement.

Goblet squats are my go-to exercise for teaching the squatting movement to strength training beginners. Once a trainee gets quite strong with goblet squats, however, their one glaring drawback is revealed–the awkwardness of progressively loading the movement. Anyone who has shimmied a dumbbell weighing half their bodyweight, or more, into position knows how true this is.

Or what about those who work out at home with limited equipment and don’t have a whole row of dumbbells or kettlebells at their disposal? What about trainees who don’t enjoy doing squats with a barbell but still want to train the squatting movement progressively?

Improving your performance is mandatory with any strength training exercise if you want to get stronger, lose fat, or build muscle. This begs the question: How can goblet squats be made more challenging beyond simply increasing the weight, since this can be an issue (or not an option for those with limited equipment) for many trainees?

You perform more challenging goblet squat variations, of course. Below are video demonstrations of six goblet squat variations you can use to increase the challenge and intensity of goblet squats that don’t require the addition of more weight.

Goblet Squat Variations

The Goblet Squat