The goblet squat is a great full-body exercise that builds muscle (particularly in the legs, core, and glutes) and develops cardiovascular fitness. It’s also a fantastic beginner-level progression of an air squat because it can help beginners add resistance to the exercise while simultaneously perfecting their squat form.

One of the best things about the goblet squat is that it’s designed to help you move through a full range of motion while preventing common beginner-level mistakes, like leaning too far forward or allowing your knees to cave inward.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, your toes angled slightly outward.

Hold a kettlebell in both hands at your chest, gripping the handles as though you were cupping a goblet—one hand on either side of the handles. Bend your elbows so the goblet is positioned right at the centre of your chest.

Engage your core and look straight ahead—you want to keep your back neutrally aligned and your eyes facing straight ahead throughout the squat.

Press your hips back and begin bending your knees to perform the squat. Inhale as you perform this downward phase.

Focus on keeping your chest tall as you continue pressing your hips back and lowering down. The goal is to get your hips below parallel with your knees.

Make sure your weight remains evenly distributed across your feet, or slightly more weighted toward your heels—you shouldn’t come up on your toes as you squat.

Check your position at the bottom of the squat—your elbows should be positioned on the inside of either knee at the lowest point of the squat. This helps ensure that your knees remain aligned with your toes as you move into the deep squat position.

Press through your heels and reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Exhale as you rise, and be sure to press your hips forward at the top of the squat to more fully engage your glutes.

Complete a full set and carefully rack the kettlebell. Always avoid dropping weights from a height. Repeat through as many sets as desired.