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3 Common Errors In The Kettlebell Goblet Squat and How To Fix Them - Stronghorn Fitness

3 Common Errors In The Kettlebell Goblet Squat and How To Fix Them

The Kettlebell Goblet Squat is a great exercise for beginners. Using the squat movement pattern, it boosts leg and core strength and can be incredibly effective for increasing hip mobility and reinforcing a good posture, if you avoid making these 3 top errors.

If you’re not familiar with the Kettlebell Goblet Squat…

The Kettlebell is held by the horns in front of the chest with the forearms squeezing the bell. Keeping the chest up and a neutral spine. Hinge at the hips and bend the knees until the hips are below knee level or thighs are parallel with the floor. After a brief pause for effect, return to standing while maintaining an upright and neutral spine. Rinse and repeat.

The standards for the Kettlebell Goblet Squat:

  1. The back must remain neutral throughout the entire rep.
  2. Knees must track inline with your toes.
  3. Heels and toes must be firmly grounded.
  4. Hips below knees or thighs parallel with ground.
  5. Elbows must be between the thighs at the bottom.
  6. Torso must be upright at the bottom.
  7. Hips and shoulders must ascend at the same time.
  8. Stand up tall and fully at the top.


Now, let’s take a look at the most common mistakes with the Kettlebell Goblet Squat and how you can fix them.

Error #1: Knees Caving

This is a pretty common fault in the squat movement pattern and is not just found in the Kettlebell Goblet Squat. It refers to when the knees no longer track inline with your toes . The issue with the knees caving in is the collapsing arches and loss of stability in the hips, as well as the loss of strength to safely get out of the bottom of the squat.

How to fix:

While descending into the bottom of the squat, focus on keeping the knees inline with the toes. This can be done by pulling them out with the gluteal muscles. Another cue would be to create big arches in your feet while keeping the big toe firmly grounded. This helps transfer your weight to the boney side of the feet, where you’re a lot stronger and grounded, creating a firm base.

Error #2: Torso Tipping

The Kettlebell Goblet Squat requires both the hips and knees to bend maximally. This ensures that the torso stays upright, the spine stays long and tall, and uses the full range of the gluteals and thigh muscles. Torso Tipping is when the chest (or torso) tips forward while descending.

How to fix:

The Torso Tipping error can usually be fixed by simply focusing on bending the knees more and sitting the hips down and not just back. A common cue for this one is to maintain your eye gaze to the horizon, if you’re looking at the ground in front of you, you’re tipping.

Error #3: Wing Flapping

This is probably the easiest fix of all three. Wing Flapping is when the elbows point out to the side versus straight down. When this happens, the shoulders tend to shrug up, the chest caves in and the top of the spine and shoulder lose integrity.

How to fix:

Keep the elbows pulled in tight to the ribcage, the shoulder blades pulled back and down, chest open and shoulders away from the ears. Another great cue is squeezing the bell with your forearms. I also like to tell my clients to close their armpits like they forgot to put on deodorant and they don’t want anyone to know.

Final Note:

I’ve been around and been using kettlebells for a long time and I think I’ve only done 1 perfect Kettlebell Goblet Squat, ever. And it was probably by accident and it definitely wasn’t on video (so it really doesn’t count). This is true ALL of my kettlebell exercises. I say this because every rep, you should have the intention and focus for progress in your form. Think of it as practice and don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. Always reassess your technique with each rep and never forget the basics.

Happy Squatting!


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Coach Joe

Joe holds multiple certifications through nationally accredited sources including, but definitely not limited to; Hardstyle Kettlebell Coach through Dragon Door Publications and Personal Trainer / Sports Performance Enhancement through National Academy of Sports Medicine. Valuing education, he plans on continuing his learning and growth in teaching kettlebells and practical healthy lifestyle changes to promote longevity and vitality to his clients and followers. Voted one of Austin's Best Personal Trainers in the Austin Fit Magazine 2017 Best Of Awards, Joe prides himself on making fitness fun and effective for all clients no matter their fitness level. Even though Joe is one of the top personal trainers in the Austin area, he also works with clients remotely and in group classes. Learn more about him HERE.

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