Whatever your reason for wanting a new leg exercise — injury, change of pace, a new way to look awesome — goblet squats are a great addition to your workout routine as either a staple movement or a throw-in from time to time.
Similar to a front squat in terms of weight distribution, the goblet squat differs from other forms of the squat in one regard: You hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of you like, well, a giant chalice (or goblet).
The benefits of the goblet squat are many. It helps improve your overall squat form when done correctly, improves balance through the movement with repetition and builds up the core stability and leg strength you’d want from a squatting movement. It also provides a greater range of motion than a standard back squat can, given where the weight is.
Take a wide stance (about a step beyond shoulder width on each side, though you can go even wider), and focus on squat fundamentals — chest out, butt out, shoulder blades squeezed together, head neutral — but instead of climbing under a bar, you’ll simply hoist your weight up to about chest level. If you’re using a dumbbell, use both hands to “cup” (GET IT?) the top head of the weight. If you’re using a kettlebell, simply grab either side of the handle.
As with a normal squat, start the movement with your hips, control it on the way down, and explode up, driving from the heels. Since you’re using a lighter load than normal, it’s a good idea to go for higher rep ranges (at least 10) on goblet squats; there’s no big benefit for going ultra-heavy here — if you’re a heavy squatter, you can do these with a decent weight as a form corrector, but you’re probably better off to keep your big numbers in the rack and on your back.
The great thing about goblets is that they’re difficult to get injured with; if the weight is ever too heavy, you can just drop it in front of you. Just remember to keep your head neutral and back flat, as you would with a regular squat.