Squats are an excellent way to strengthen the lower body, recover knee stability, as well as prevent commonly faced injuries. And while they may seem tough to master, perfecting your squat routine adds more power to your leg, which directly improves your performance in other activities like running, swimming, cycling, and strength training.

But squats are also highly dreaded, especially among newbies, because they can be difficult to perfect when one has no prior strength training experience. This is where Goblet Squats can come in handy. Invented by strength coach Dan John, this simple, yet effective variation of the squat is excellent for beginners because it allows you to go deep into the pose with minimum risk of injury.

The Goblet Squat makes you hold a pair of kettlebells or dumbbells in front as you squat. This shifts your center of gravity a little, and forces you to tighten up your trunk and core to brace the load. Thus, it allows you to really sit back on your heels when you bend into a squat. A multijoint lower-body exercise, the squads can really fire up the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Steps:

  • Grab a dumbbell and hold it in front of your chest.
  • Assume a shoulder-width stance and point your toes slightly out. The weight also acts as a counterbalance to help you achieve more depth.
  • Pull yourself down and go as low as you can with a flat back while keeping your heels on the ground. Take a deep breath into your belly before you lower into the squat, and breathe forcefully out as you ascend.
  • After you hit your maximum depth, push your heels into the ground, and stand straight up to finish the movement. Your hips and shoulders should ascend at the same rate, not one before the other.

Pro-tip:
– Keep your back straight throughout the exercise
– Your knees and shoulder should be aligned through the routine. Try and ensure that your knee doesn’t drop forward at your toes as that can cause an injury.
– As you lower into a squat, your heel, shinbone and knee should be aligned atop each other.

Variations
Once you’ve gotten your technique right, you can you can continue with heavier weights and build a great base of strength before moving onto barbell variations.

Main image: BodyBuilding.com

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