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Long before I became certified as a personal trainer, I mustered the courage to step into the weight area of a gym.  I had a lot to learn and received free advice from gym members and, ahem, Youtube.

One exercise that I received excessive direction on was the squat.  Well intended comments such as my spine flexed forward, my knees were positioned incorrectly, the squat rack should be used instead of the smith press and employ heavier weight began to reverberate in my head.  It wasn’t long before I became confused; no two pieces of advice were the same.

The comments and the voices in my noggin (are my knees overshooting my toes? am I tilting forward?, IS EVERYONE WATCHING ME SQUAT?) stopped once I discovered the goblet version of this exercise.
Here’s why:  The goblet squat naturally and instantaneously puts your body into proper form, is almost error-proof and is easy to master.  Those factors make it ideal for beginners and advanced athletes alike.  I still perform the goblet squat on a regular basis because reinforcing proper form can’t hurt!

 

 

Malasana

NOTE : The goblet squat is similar to a yoga position called the malasana. Beginners may wish to start with the malasana due to its similarities to the goblet squat. The differences are that the yoga squat position is held longer and performed without weight.

 

Equipment: Dumbbell, kettlebell

Major Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Gastrocnemius, and Soleus.

Position: Hold a dumbbell or kettllebell against your chest. Hold the dumbbell vertically or the kettlebell by the handle. Feet are shoulder-width apart and toes point slightly outward.  Take care to align your knees in the same direction as your toes.  Pelvis, neck, spine and scapulae (shoulder blades) are in neutral.  Contract abdominals. Squeeze the glutes to make sure hips are squared. Feet are kept flat on the floor for the entire movement.

Movement: With the weight resting on your chest, inhale as you lower weight. The spine, neck, and scapulae are kept in a fixed position as you lower.  Keep the chest lifted, head in line with the spine (eyes look forward) and your weight resting in the heels. Elbows lead and point down as you lower and slide/brush past the inside of your knees. Elbows can push knees outward as you lower.  Exhale and extend knees and bring pelvis back to the original position. Follow through with the hips by squeezing the glutes.

Common errors:
– tilting torso forward
– toes/knees point forward
– goblet isn’t held against chest for the entire movement

 

Form, above all else, is the single most important factor in any exercise. Mastering the basics before moving to more complex exercises is the key to injury prevention and progression.  Please leave a comment…

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