The Dumbell Goblet Squat is an excellent leg, core and even upper body exercise. To perform that exercise, you simply hold a single dumbell in a vertical position with your hands cradled under the plates, like you’re holding a big goblet in your hands. You hold that at chest level then you squat.

This version of the Goblet Squat adds a small twist to the exercise…literally.

At the bottom of each rep, you’re going to rest the dumbell on end on first your right thigh, then stand up, then down then rest it on your left thigh.

This is is going to hit the obliques and transverse abdominus to a greater degree than with the straight up and down version. The twist is very small…but because the tension is shifted over as you start out of the bottom, you’ll get some excellent core work, especially when you start using heavier dumbells.

So first, get a moderate weight dumbell…I’m using a 105 lb dumbell because I’ve done this exercise before. Grab it with boths hands.


Squat down then rest it on your thigh then get your palms under the top set of plates. This is the easiest way to get a heavier dumbell into position for the exercise.


Now stand up.


Now squat down, resting part of the dumbell on your left thigh. Take tension completely off the hips and core at the bottom…we actually WANT to start from a dead stop here to develop power from a dead stop.

The other benefit here is that you can reset your lower back arch and hips on every rep to make sure you’re in the best squatting position. Hold your breath when you being the push back up to stabilize the torso.


Stand up.


Now come down and rest it on the right thigh. As you can see, it’s not completely on the thigh…just really the outer half of the dumbell. We don’t want to twist much at all – it’s a very subtle movement, basically shifting the weight to one side rather than fully twisting. This weight shift is what activates the obliques.


Here’s a side view of the goblet squat position.


This Goblet Squat has a lot of benefits and adjusting it in this fashion can increase the core workload very effectively without excessive twisting because, as I mentioned above, it’s really about shifting the weight a bit rather than really twisting very much.

The Goblet Squat in general is a great way to learn proper squat form…having the weight in front of your body forces you to sit back to compensate and counterbalance for it, which is what you should do with a squat anyway.

  1. TONY THE TIGER 12 years ago

    I saw a buddy at the gym doing this squat a few months ago. I never saw it before.. i thought it was just a variation of the barbell front squat.. I tried it and it allowed me to get a little lower in my squat and i could feel my core getting more of a work out to balance my body. I try to make sure i get this exercise in at least once during my leg day. I haven’t done the twist you mention but i’ll give it a try next time.. thanks for the article. Now i know the name of this thing.

    • Author
      Nick Nilsson 12 years ago

      Yeah, the goblet squat is a great exercise – excellent for perfecting your squat form for sure. This little twist adds some nice core work.

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