Demenstration on how to perform the Goblet Split Squat

In this article, we will cover how to perform the Goblet Split Squat, the muscle group that it works, the benefits to performing this exercise and the equipment required.

We will then go through a variation of this exercise known as the Bulgarian Goblet Split Squat.

When you are finding the exercise is becoming to simple move to the Bulgarian version to continue your progress.

The Goblet Split Squat is a compound functional movement.

Being a compound movement means that it requires multiple joint movements working together to perform the lift.

Compound exercises use a higher amount of our muscle fibers.

Most of your routine should consist of different compound exercises.

Functional exercises mimic movements we use in our everyday life. Strengthening these movement patterns helps to make daily activities easier for us.

How To Perform the Goblet Split Squat

Video Example

Written Description Example

  • Use both hands and grasp the kettlebell by the horns. Bring the kettlebell close to your sternum commonly known as the breastbone. Your elbows are to be pointing down.
  • You will hold the weight there throughout the duration of the exercise.
  • move into the standing position, keeping your torso upright and flex your abdominals.
  • One of your legs is to go approximately two feet forward and leave the other foot stationary. The goal is to have your back leg in a position where it hits zero degrees of hip extension. This position will place the tension on the forward foot.
  • You are now in the starting position to perform the exercise.
  • Make sure that your torso stays upright as you lower your upper body down, inhale as you are lowering yourself.
  • Tip Make sure that your knee does not pass your toe as you are performing this movement (shown to increase excessive stress onto your knee joint). You front shin is to stay perpendicular to the ground.
  • Use the heel of your front foot to push your body up to starting position. Exhale as you push yourself up.

Goblet Split Squats Muscles Used

Your abdominal muscles and back muscles act as stabilizers when performing this movement.

  • Primary Muscles

  • Quadriceps
  • Secondary Muscles

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves

Benefits of the Goblet Split Squat

Being a compound exercise it will target multiple muscle groups.

Having a higher number of your muscles working when performing this lift will help you to burn a greater number of calories.

The movement to this exercise makes it ideal for functional training.

Functional exercises train your muscles to work together simulating the natural movements we commonly do throughout the day.

Functional exercises in your routine can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.

Having to hold the weight at chest level will help you to train your cores stability.

The Equipment You Will Need

A Kettlebell or Dumbell is required for you to perform this exercise.

If you are using the variation Bulgarian Goblet Split Squat, you will also need a bench, box, chair or step.

Ideally, you want to be able to alter the height to make the exercise easier or harder.

How To Perform the Bulgarian Goblet Split Squat

Many people find using a step or other object 6 inches to one foot high feels more comfortable.

Bill Poliquin (Olympic trainer), recommends that you put your back leg/foot only 4" to 6" inches off of the floor. As the height of your foot increases the compressive forces on your disks also increase.

Dementration on how to perform the Bulgarian Goblet Split Squat
  • Grab a dumbbell and use both hands to cup the top end of the weight and hold it close to your body at chest level. Your elbows should be facing down.
  • Stand with your back towards the bench, box or step.
  • Place the top of one of your feet on the bench behind you.
  • You are now in the starting position for this exercise.
  • Lower your body until the front thigh is as close to parallel with the floor as you can. Breath in as you are lowering your body. Your torso is to stay upright throughout the movement of this exercise.
  • Use the heel of your front foot to push back to the standing position. Exhale as you are lifting your body back to the standing position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch your feet and repeat.

Additional Benefits of the Bulgarian Variation

Since the Bulgarian version is a single leg exercise, it has the added benefit of helping to correct left-right strength and size asymmetries.

Single leg training is shown to improve general balance and proprioception.

This exercise also mimic everyday movements better such as running and bounding. This gives a stronger motor carryover to sports.

People who train single leg exercises also receive the benefit of increased hamstring range of motion according to T-NATION.

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