Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Quads Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Overview

The dumbbell goblet squat is a variation of the squat and an exercise used to build the muscles of the legs. In particular, the dumbbell goblet squat will place a lot of emphasis on the quads.

The squat movement pattern is a foundational movement and should be performed by most capable individuals throughout their lives. So, it is important to find a variation that is comfortable for you to perform, and continuously work on it.

You can include the dumbbell goblet squat in your leg workouts or full body workouts.

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Instructions

  1. Select a dumbbell and position it at chest height with one hand under each edge of the dumbbell.
  2. Take a deep breath and descend by simultaneously pushing the hips back and bending the knees.
  3. Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, begin to reverse the movement.
  4. Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor.
  5. Drive back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Dumbbell Goblet Squat Tips

  1. If you struggle with squatting with a barbell then this is the best version for learning how to squat in a vertical fashion.
  2. Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
  3. Experiment with a “false” (i.e. thumbless) grip as this helps to eliminate elbow and wrist issues in some folks.
  4. Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
  5. Imagine you’re trying to drop your back pockets straight towards your heels. Down, not back.
  6. Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
  7. Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
  8. Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.
Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2024 - 10:46

I have 25kg dumbbells. This workout has both the goblet and plie squat. When 25kg is not enough, what can I replace these 2 movements with? For 1 movement, would classic dumbbell squats work, holding the dumbbells to the side? What about for the 2nd movement

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Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2024 - 19:28

Dumbbell squat would be fine, Scott. You can do jump squats or superset either goblet or pile with something like stationary lunges.

Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 08:52

Hi, is there a way I could hold the dumbbell a different way? I have adjustable dumbbells and the way they’re made deter me from sustaining a comfortable grip on my hands.

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Posted on: Thu, 01/11/2024 - 09:32

Hi, Jacob. As long as you hold the weight in front of you, it should be fine. I hold onto the handle with both hands while keeping the dumbbell vertical, but I've even seen people hold it in a cradle method, like they are holding a baby.

Posted on: Wed, 02/16/2022 - 17:40

Hi, could you do this exercice with two Dumbbells instead of one? I only have two 52 lbs Dumbbells, and doing the squat with only one o them for a total of 52 lbs is not challenging enough. Thanks!

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Posted on: Sat, 02/19/2022 - 10:52

Hi, Simon. Yes, you can. Hold the dumbbells to your chest with your arms wrapped around them, like you're hugging them. This worked for me when I had to make that adjustment. It may be awkward getting them up there, but once you get used to doing it, it will feel no different than any other movement.

Simon Crewe
Posted on: Sat, 02/19/2022 - 16:14

Thanks, I’ll give it a try!

Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 13:37

Hi I am trying to work on proper squat form as well as building my quads. I squat 300 with a spotter and nervous to lift that weight without one. However, with the goblet squat it's significantly less weight and I want to still be pushing myself as much as I can while still being safe and keeping proper form.

With that information, would you recommend doing the goblet squat or lowering the weight for a normal back squat?

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Posted on: Thu, 10/07/2021 - 11:36

Hey Josh, train with the goblet squat more often. It's generally safer than squatting with a bar on your back.

Posted on: Sat, 12/19/2020 - 03:34

Can I do dumbbell fly instead of floor press?

Posted on: Sun, 09/13/2020 - 21:44

Thank You!
When I am doing Step 3(raising thighs so it goes back to more of vertical posture), I hear a small "Tik" sound from my right knee. No pain or discomfort, just the sound. It does not happen all the time. When it does not happen, i feel the tension more on my quads & hamstring compared when the "Tik" sound appears. Why does this happen ? Would I be worried about a potential injury ? How to avoid this ?

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Posted on: Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:34

SKK - I'd first start by asking, what does your warm up routine look like?

Posted on: Sun, 09/27/2020 - 15:55

I do the lower body warmup suggested in https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies before starting the workout

As I mentioned earlier, this "Tick" sound does not happen in all reps. Only in some reps.

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Posted on: Mon, 09/28/2020 - 13:32

Hey SKK - this is something you might want to have your doctor take a look at. Always better to be safe than sorry!

Posted on: Thu, 09/10/2020 - 17:04

Beginner question here. How do you determine how much weight to use for each excercise?

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Posted on: Thu, 09/17/2020 - 10:33

JRH - ultimately it depends on what programming you are following. Example, how many sets / reps you're looking to complete. The weight you'll need to perform 3 sets x 15 reps of a given exercise will be different than the weight you will need to perform 1 set x 6 reps of the same exercise. But generally speaking, as a beginner I would start out by focusing on nailing the proper form and execution of this movement using your bodyweight.

Posted on: Wed, 07/08/2020 - 17:38

My knees bow slightly inward. What is the optimal way to squat without my knees taking a negative impact? Or what am I doing wrong?

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Posted on: Fri, 08/14/2020 - 09:35

Hey Rachael

Make sure your feet are pointed out at around a 30° angle (give or take). If they're still bowing inwards then lighten the weight, use a resistance band around your thighs, and press outward to strengthen your muscles to stabilize your knees.

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:19

Is there an alternative to squatting exercises that exercise the same muscle groups, but don't require ankle mobility? I have one ankle with very limited range of movement from an old injury, making squats impossible (except very, very shallow squats)

Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2019 - 20:15

Try Wall Squats.

Posted on: Tue, 06/23/2020 - 05:58

Thank you mate, have a good day.