Single Greatest Lifting Movement
What do you think is the single greatest lifting movement?




No, no, and no. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce the goblet squat. The goblet squat is probably the greatest lifting movement to get someone to squat with perfect form. In today’s society we have too many people sitting 8-10 hours a day, too many people spending their evenings on a hamstring tightening eliptical machine, and too many people that straight up don’t know how to squat.

This toddler has absolute PERFECT squat form. The issue is, as we grow today, we loose the ability get into that position. How many of you can get into that position right now? Probably a lot of you think you can, but then when you try you are struggling to reach the 90 degree mark. This is simply because from our sedentary life styles and improper technique, we develop tight ankles, knees, hips, hamstrings, and lower backs. This causes us to have a “kyphotic” or rounded back when we squat. It also causes us to want to come up on our toes instead of driving through our heels, and causes pressure on the knees as we don’t stick our hips back, but instead put our knees over our toes.

How do we fix this? Let me introduce you to the goblet squat:

This may seem like a very simple exercise. However, in my opinion it is the best teaching movement when showing somebody how to squat. Refer up to the picture of the toddler above. Can you get into that proper squatting position? If not, why are you going to throw one, two, three or more hundred pounds on your back and try to squat, if you can’t even get into that position using your own body weight?

The goblet squat is good for several reasons:

*Anyone can do it-You can use anything from a 2.5lb dumbbell to a 44kb kettlebell. So whether your teaching the 15 year old football player or the 65 year old retiree, this exercise is great for everyone.

*It forces you to stick your hips back and drive through your heels-By holding the weight in front of you, it forces you to sit back on your heels, not bending with your knees, but having the first movement be at your hips. If you push through your toes, you are going to fall forward, thus forcing you to properly push the weight through your heels.

*It helps in maintaining a tight back, keeping your chest up, and having a strong core throughout the movement. Again, by holding the weight in the front, you are “forced” to keep your chest up, maintaining that good arch in the lower back, to prevent the weight from falling forward.

*It still builds strength-Even though it is a great teaching tool, the goblet squat is still an excellent strength exercise, building strength in the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

So, before you go throw 315 on the bar next time, just do a simple bodyweight squat, and analyze your form. The goblet squat may be your next best friend.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Stay Fit,

Doug Spurling, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Spurling Training Systems, LLC
Kennebunkport, ME


About Spurling Training Systems

At Spurling Training Systems, our focus is on providing a superior athletic conditioning experience. The combination of expert training, time spent understanding your specific goals and customized program development is what makes Spurling Training Systems a unique and effective training experience for athletes of all ages, levels and abilities. Doug is the founder and owner of Spurling Training Systems. He graduated from University of New England with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Exercise Science. He has several years of experience as both a personal trainer for general fitness and a strength and conditioning coach for athletes. His certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) include Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).
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