S&S 2.0 Goblet Squats

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I'd like to better understand what the goblet squats do as part of the S&S system.
Are they intended as muscle building, or are they just a way to get Westerners to correct for their non-squatting habits in daily life?
 

ChrisHill

Level 2 Valued Member
The book states this as their purpose:

"At StrongFirst, we do not stretch just for the heck of it. We stretch to remove the brakes that prevent us from fully expressing our strength. The three drills in this section have been cherry-picked to do just that.

The first exercise—the prying goblet squat—unlocks the pelvis and hips. The freedom of movement it will give you is mind-boggling."
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
I believe Pavel writes that it should be 3 sets of 5 with the working bell weight, at first, and later can be one light prying set of 5 and just 2 x 5 with working bell weight.

For me, it's much more for your second reason. 2-3 sets of 5 with <1/3 of bodyweight is hardly a muscle-building stimulus (post couch potato at least).
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I believe Pavel writes that it should be 3 sets of 5 with the working bell weight, at first, and later can be one light prying set of 5 and just 2 x 5 with working bell weight.

For me, it's much more for your second reason. 2-3 sets of 5 with <1/3 of bodyweight is hardly a muscle-building stimulus (post couch potato at least).
I wonder if I've done S&S for so many years that I can just take it easy on the goblet squats - maybe just do it without the weight or something.
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
I wonder if I've done S&S for so many years that I can just take it easy on the goblet squats - maybe just do it without the weight or something.
I do my goblet squats light (12-16kg) and like this:
  • Bottoms up (hold by handle with bell on top)
  • Squat down and up
  • Halo 1-2 times left
  • Squat down and up
  • Halo 1-2 times right
  • 10 total squats and 5-10 halos per direction
  • 1-2 arm bars if my shoulders are particularly tight that day
That’s all I need to get my hips and shoulders mobilized for ballistics (I mostly snatch, heavy A+A or fast Q&D).
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
After reaching timeless simple, I switched to primal squats (unweighted) and frog stretches.
I think I'll follow you regarding the primal squats. I just find the 32kg goblet squats awkward for no especial benefit for me. I've always squatted growing up and still do as a normal part of living. I used to live in a campsite for the summer months up here in Canada, and it's just a basic kind of a position to use a lot of the time for this or that. Also, I'm quite flexible from judo etc over the years. I'd rather just kind of practice the up and down movement and get my heart rate up a bit and then just get into the big swings, which are really what S&S is all about.

I'll keep doing the goblet curls in a squatting position though - the book says you should do them to develop your biceps.
 

patterner

Level 5 Valued Member
I'll keep doing the goblet curls in a squatting position though - the book says you should do them to develop your biceps.
I did exactly this during my stint with Kettlebell Muscle.

I tried just doing the regular S&S warmup, but the weighted squats started killing me about 4 weeks in, so I'd do unweighted squats with the 32 in front of me, and grab it and do 5 curls on the 2nd and 4th rep of each set of squats. Worked pretty well, actually.

EDIT to add: I started only doing them on the 3rd rep, and worked my way up to the 2nd and 4th rep of all three sets.
 

Mo04

Level 5 Valued Member
Fascinating discussion - thanks for starting the thread.

I'm actually thinking of moving from weighted prying goblet to primal squat (no weight) for my S&S warmup.

Do you do the primal squats for reps (eg. 3 sets of 5 reps), or for time (eg. 1 rep in bottom position for Xmin)?
 

Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
I do the S&S squats for
a) warming up (for explosive swings from the first rep), and
b) lower body mobility.

With those goals in mind I often substitute them, or add some drills.

I often substitute 1, 2, or all 3 sets of GSq with full ROM Split Squats. They feel more natural to me and help me to work on ankle mobility.

And I often add some Rocking and Crawling, depending on how I feel. Sometimes I do Door Knob Squats and pry a little longer.
 

Alexander Halford

Level 7 Valued Member
I did different portions and styles of squats in a last few years. There's a thing on my end: if I don't use squat as a heavy compound exercise, nor as part of any particular complex, and it's not a part of any specific athletic preparation, squat can be performed entirely bw as a part of GPP. I enjoy bw paused squats, hack squats, any variations per se.
As S&S warm-up, bw squat, hip bridge & shoulder dislocates are more than enough for me.
 

Nacho

Level 5 Valued Member
I think matching the GS weight to swing weight since hitting timeless simple, has been really beneficial for myself.
In addition to maintaining the squat pattern, it has made my upper back, midsection and hips a bit stronger and I feel like I`m ready to swing explosive right from the first set. I also feel like I found my anaconda strength (as Dan John describes this internal pressure) by moving to almost daily GS`s with a 32kg.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I think matching the GS weight to swing weight since hitting timeless simple, has been really beneficial for myself.
In addition to maintaining the squat pattern, it has made my upper back, midsection and hips a bit stronger and I feel like I`m ready to swing explosive right from the first set. I also feel like I found my anaconda strength (as Dan John describes this internal pressure) by moving to almost daily GS`s with a 32kg.
In other words it works as a true warmup. Makes sense. I'll keep your experience in mind. I did the 32kg goblet squats yesterday, for example.
 

Ryan Johnson

Level 5 Valued Member
In other words it works as a true warmup. Makes sense. I'll keep your experience in mind. I did the 32kg goblet squats yesterday, for example.
I agree with what @Nacho said. My whole trunk is much more solid and upright which i attribute to the weighted GS.

In another thread it was mentioned that you really only need ONE of the sets of GS to be your swing weight. I ascend in 4kilo increments to my swing weight during the warmup most sessions.

I also have added the primal squats to the stretching i do each night, so three rounds of three at 10 breaths per position.
 

Mo04

Level 5 Valued Member
I do my goblet squats light (12-16kg) and like this:
  • Bottoms up (hold by handle with bell on top)
  • Squat down and up
  • Halo 1-2 times left
  • Squat down and up
  • Halo 1-2 times right
  • 10 total squats and 5-10 halos per direction
  • 1-2 arm bars if my shoulders are particularly tight that day
That’s all I need to get my hips and shoulders mobilized for ballistics (I mostly snatch, heavy A+A or fast Q&D).


Thanks - thats a really good suggestion. I'll give that a try.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I agree with what @Nacho said. My whole trunk is much more solid and upright which i attribute to the weighted GS.

In another thread it was mentioned that you really only need ONE of the sets of GS to be your swing weight. I ascend in 4kilo increments to my swing weight during the warmup most sessions.

I also have added the primal squats to the stretching i do each night, so three rounds of three at 10 breaths per position.
At the very least it's a movement pattern being practiced under stress. While it might not work really as true "muscle building" beyond a certain minimal point it certainly works as movement training, which helps you lift weights better. In any case, it seems to prime the main muscles for both the swings and TGUs and get one's heart rate up and in the mood for the main workout.

What I've gotten out of this thread is a better appreciation of what the goblet squats are for in S&S. I'll keep doing them.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I wonder if I've done S&S for so many years that I can just take it easy on the goblet squats - maybe just do it without the weight or something.
Yes, you can. At the end of the day, if you don't need the GS to accomplish for you what the GS is supposed to help with, then don't do them or do them less. I prefer my "mobility" type squatting to be without a weight - I can get plenty deep enough that way. Once in a while, I'll use a weight, and I can get a little deeper with the weight so, once in a while, it's still good for me. YMMV (Your mileage may vary.)

-S-
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Yes, you can. At the end of the day, if you don't need the GS to accomplish for you what the GS is supposed to help with, then don't do them or do them less. I prefer my "mobility" type squatting to be without a weight - I can get plenty deep enough that way. Once in a while, I'll use a weight, and I can get a little deeper with the weight so, once in a while, it's still good for me. YMMV (Your mileage may vary.)

-S-
Thank you. Once my back got better I'm back to doing the goblet squats with the 32kg. What you say makes perfect sense since like some others have said here it isn't really a strength-building exercise holding such a light weight for a squat, but the squat motion is important to practice just to make sure everything is still flexible! However, I think clutching the 32kg bell while squatting is a good way to prime the muscles in the back for the swings. It's probably safer to keep doing it with the weight than not... I don't want to start the swings totally cold.
 
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