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Master This Move: Goblet Squat

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By now, you know that quality trumps quantity when it comes to banging out reps in the weight room. Proper form not only prevents injury, but ensures you’re calling to action the muscles you want to be working—and getting the max benefit from every move you make.

Enter, the Goblet Squat. It’s a squat variation in which you hold a (heavy!) kettlebell at chest height throughout the movement. It was the brainchild of Dan Jon, fitness expert and author of Intervention, who had his eureka moment when working with athletes who couldn’t nail the proper squat form. What that kettlebell does is help to stabilize and align your shoulder blades, ribs, hips, and legs, says Pat Davidson, Ph.D., Director of Training Methodology at Peak Performance in New York City. "The goblet squat grooves the right pattern into your brain, and the hope is that that pattern will carry over when you're using a different (more form-challenging) squat variation, like the barbell back squat," says Davidson.

But beyond perfecting your general squat technique and helping you sculpt a gorgeous back that will look awesome in backless or cut-out dresses this summer, the goblet squat is also one of the best for shaping a great butt. (Try these other 6 Butt Exercises That Work Wonders.)

What’s more, it can also whittle your abs—to maximize its core-sculpting powers, Davidson recommends blowing air out on both the way down and up during the squat. “Blowing out air will help engage the abs and the pelvic floor, which will really help to stabilize your spine during this exercise,” he explains.

Start with a weight that’s at least double what you’d pick up for a move like the biceps curl—remember, you don’t actually have to lift the weight overhead, and it should be challenging to hoist the weight from the ground to chest height. Work this move in to your routine two to three times per week. Each time do three to five sets of six to 12 reps, per Davidson.

Shape - Goblet Squat

A Hold a kettlebell at chest height with your hands on the horns of the handle of the bell. The middle of your thumb should be at the same height as your collar bone. The forearms should be perpendicular to the ground and parallel in a vertical direction with one another. The feet should be flat on the ground with the weight on the heels. 

B Descend into the bottom position of a squat. Work hard to keep your heels pressing down into the ground as your legs bend. The more your legs bend, the harder it is to find the heels. Keep the back in a flat position with the chest upright. From the bottom of the squat, push yourself back up to the top. Push through the heels and the inside arches of the feet to maximize all the muscles of the legs and hips. 

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