Exercises You Should Be Doing: Offset Goblet Squat

I am a big fan of offset exercises.  It's when you perform an exercise with only one weight, normally only on one side of your body.

It's an easy way to make "boring" exercises more fun and to change the emphasis of the movement to incorporate more of your core.  They also force you to concentrate more on the movement as you don't want to fall or lose your balance.

The Offset Goblet Squat utilizes all these principles and has a host of benefits.

How to do it:

  • Grab one kettlebell or dumbell.

  • Set it in rack position. Your elbow should be close to your ribs, and the weight should be below your chin on one side of your chest.  It should almost look like you're about to punch yourself in the face.

  • Set your core, set your feet and squat.  

  • Focus on keeping your spine neutral as you move through the squat.  Neutral does not mean perfectly straight up and down, you can lean forward if that is how you squat.  Neutral, in this cae, means no swaying side to side.  Your spine should remain straight, not leaning or cheating towards one side.

Why I like it:

  • To keep your spine neutral you have to unconsciously engage all the deep core muscles that support your spine.  The fact that the weight is only on one side means you are putting a very high demand on them and they have to work much harder.  
  • As I've written about before- a lot of lower back problems are caused by over extension of the lumbar spine.  In order to move correctly throughout this exercise you have to learn to relax your ribs down and self correct that over extension.
  • This exercise requires more focus than a traditional goblet squat because you are off balance.  A lot of times a little extra focus is what people need to correct their squat, and movements in general. 
  • It works nearly every muscle from your neck down.  It's a good "bang for your buck" exercise when in a crunch for time.
  • Stability is the ability to resist force.  This exercise develops full body stability, especially in the hips and knees.  The surrounding muscle groups must learn to fire properly during the novel movement. 

Why You Should Do It:

  • If you want to work you core in a more functional manner, but get too bored while planking or doing other smart core exercises.

  • You know there is something wrong with your squat mechanics and you want to fix them.

  • You have lower back pain, but can't figure out the cause.  It's probably that extension I mentioned earlier.  This exercise will teach you how to self correct your posture and rib positioning issues.

    This is a brilliant exercise that can be included in almost any program.  It will correct a lot of big issues that most people face, yet is not complicated to perform or set up.  Give it a try during your next training session.

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Patrick Henigan