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Kettlebell Squat / Swing ratio

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
I am not sure about that. The reason being - the load on the knees. There is a reason why we do box squats with bad knees. Thanks, I'll pass.

I've done it just fine, but I also do 20 degree squat wedge cyclist barbell front squats, which is also ultra knee intensive.

It's definitely not for beginners or those with unhealthy knees, though, hence the designation "hardcore".
 

jayjo

Level 2 Valued Member
Pavel_T says something like: 'fighting men ride on chicken legs' in Enter the kettlebell :)

Would KB lunges help with the knee/quad issue? my TGU progres is stuck because I've not put in the effort on standing up from the lunge position. I'm not personally after body-size gains, just want to progress up to heavier KB's (in my own time)
I think Yes I would do overhead lunges in sets of 5 reps. That should make the last part of the TGU seem easy.
 

ajs

Level 4 Valued Member
bj gaddour posted a goblet squat emom workout a while back on instagram. 10 minutes x10 squats with a bell that is half your bodyweight. says for most, it would be all that is needed for lower body development. says it starts to suck in the later minutes because the work time gets longer which means the rest time gets shorter.
 

JZY111

First Post
Certified Instructor
I do roughly a 1 squat to 3 ballistic ratio. Mainly doing single leg squat, will do squat while working out with mace and club. Depends on individuals.
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
Yes, I have done that. The thing was - I did not understand why am I doing 5 reps with 32 when I could do 20 with pauses...
So, I just do prying with 16 now - but this is also questionable, my flexibility for the squat is extremely good.

You could think of them more as a maintenance exercise while you move on to other movement patterns. Prying is really great. I often have a focus for progression and a maintenance/Mobility focus at the same time. Think of it like cooking. You can't pay attention to everything at the same time, so you may put something on a backburner to keep it warm when you want to reheat it later. This is especially good for older lifters where intensity is easier to handle than volume.

If you do goblet squats then maintaining and coming back to your heavy squats later after you have given your joints a bit of a break would be worthwhile.

You could also do single KB overhead squats. Challenging but more shoulder/mobility forgiving than a barbel. Or hold the KB in the bottoms up position and do a thruster. Or just choose it as a finishing move at higher reps.
 
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Hung

Level 7 Valued Member
bj gaddour posted a goblet squat emom workout a while back on instagram. 10 minutes x10 squats with a bell that is half your bodyweight. says for most, it would be all that is needed for lower body development. says it starts to suck in the later minutes because the work time gets longer which means the rest time gets shorter.
I prefer 60-80% 1rm, 8-10 sets of 2-3 reps, with minimal rest between set while keeping the reps as explosive as possible ( Conjugate Method dynamic lower day)
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
I prefer 60-80% 1rm, 8-10 sets of 2-3 reps, with minimal rest between set while keeping the reps as explosive as possible ( Conjugate Method dynamic lower day)

Yes, but this means that you also have a max effort day :) (and probably exercise cycling) . And that you are busy with the barbell, so the topic of doing squats exclusively with the kettlebell is not really applicable.
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
I would like to revisit this topic. I wonder, how everyone else uses goblet squat.
To narrow down the situation - one kettlebell programs, no double bells.

So far I have seen 3 approaches. None of them takes the goblet squat as a strength exercise - more a mobility drill.
1. In S&S we just try to keep the squat in line with our 1h swing (which, for a set of 5, is ridiculously easy) and we do a prying version (which is great for a warmup!)
2. In press-swing programs, the squat goes with the swings: like, 1 squat 5 swings combo. Dan John writes about it as well, but I think here the squat is just an addition, that trains the movement pattern and bracing (abs).
3. In Iron Cardio sequences the squat is done as a part of a sequence. This makes sense with the double bell. With a single one - I honestly don't know. I would rather reorder, and do clean - squat - press (opening the possibility to a push press) rather then clean - press - squat. Also here, a single bell front squat is mostly for the movement pattern (I think).

So, in mine view, in none of this programming approaches squat load really matters. What does matter is that you squat a bit during the session.
And (as a bonus): if the bell will be further away from the body, the goblet squat can be a great abs exersise. Still squatting, but great for bracing, as long as the arms are not overused. Still - not even close to overloading the quads.

So - I wounder, what other members think of the goblet squat application? Not the double front squat - this one is more or less clear.
Once again, for this case - let's drop all the funky variations, just the vanilla version. With a single bell.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
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So - I wounder, what other members think of the goblet squat application? Not the double front squat - this one is more or less clear.
Once again, for this case - let's drop all the funky variations, just the vanilla version. With a single bell.
My thoughts: 1) If someone is not otherwise squatting as part of their program, 2) if someone's squat needs restoration/development (i.e. they can't squat very well), and 3) as a general warm-up... Goblet squats are AWESOME.

None of those currently fit me, so I don't really do goblet squats very much these days. But they all have fit me at some point in the past, so I definitely have used and appreciated goblet squats as a great and useful loaded movement to incorporate into training.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
So - I wounder, what other members think of the goblet squat application? Not the double front squat - this one is more or less clear.
Once again, for this case - let's drop all the funky variations, just the vanilla version. With a single bell.
To add to what @Anna C said, I would add an additional application - working around injury/pain. That might fall under her second point. Without tiptoeing into medical advice territory, there have been times working with people that have a back "issue" where squatting with the weight loaded onto their spine is an absolute no-go, but squatting with the weight in the goblet position is A-OK.

None of them takes the goblet squat as a strength exercise - more a mobility drill.

2. In press-swing programs, the squat goes with the swings: like, 1 squat 5 swings combo. Dan John writes about it as well, but I think here the squat is just an addition, that trains the movement pattern and bracing (abs).
3. In Iron Cardio sequences the squat is done as a part of a sequence. This makes sense with the double bell. With a single one - I honestly don't know. I would rather reorder, and do clean - squat - press (opening the possibility to a push press) rather then clean - press - squat. Also here, a single bell front squat is mostly for the movement pattern (I think).

I would not dismiss including the squat - goblet or single kettlebell front squat - here as a mobility drill. I have not read or watched @Brett Jones 's Iron Cardio yet, but it was never my understanding that a single bell front squat in the sequence was intended as a mobility exercise and not a strength exercise. Perhaps he'll pop in and clarify if I've misunderstood.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
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@John K
For Iron Cardio in particular I do look at the front squat (single bell) as a part of that strength sequence.

Once hitting the 36kg for a total of 40-60 sets or weight ladders of double 32kg > 36kg > 40kg for upwards of 50-60 sets the squats are not an "after thought."
 

Cyrus-II

Level 1 Valued Member
It's like @John K knows my spine...

Back when I had a gym membership I was into barbell, and could back squat about 1.8x my bodyweight as my 1RM. Until I tweaked my lumbar.
In addition to that, a friend of mine is a chiropractor (and longtime bodybuilder since the 80's), who has taken x-rays. I've got disk thinning at C7-T1. So due to cervical degradation I'll never back squat again. Frankly I don't miss it anyway. I never felt the back squat helped me much with real world strength. Since you still need a rack to get that weight up there...meh. Pass. I don't find any appreciable loss in quality of life since I quit heavy squats.

- I'm more impressed with someone who can clean and front squat 150-200lbs vs someone who needs a rack and can back squat 350lbs...

- Since I'm working with my 32KG bell in S&S, I'm also using the same weight more frequently for goblet squats. I try to focus on mobility. Sometimes I pry for awhile. Sometimes I curl it at the bottom. Sometimes I just sit in the pocket and feel out all the kinks in my lumbar and hips. It might take me 45-60 seconds to do a set of five reps. Sometimes I'm slow and it takes 20 minutes to get in my three sets. Sometimes I just want to pry a couple times and then bang out a set of 10-15 all at once. I just try to leave a few reps in the tank.

- I've toyed with double KB front squats. I didn't have too much trouble banging out a couple sets of 3 reps with my 32KG and 24KG racked. Frankly they seem easier in some ways. I find my thoracic stabilizers tire faster doing goblets vs double KB front squats. Perhaps because I'm more vertical with racked bells?

- If I ever get to the point where I feel like I need to squat heavier I could continue to do S&S and perhaps once a week warm up with an alternate front squat. I found I can still do some prying with double racked bells. There are also Cossack and split Bulgarian squats with single bells. Those will work the quads!

- As a bonus, my legs have thinned out some in the last 20 years. It's nice to be able to go into the store and find a pair of pants that fit or I don't need to take to the tailor. :)

With all that said. I understand how Joe Average could live just fine doing good quality goblet squats with a 32-40KG bell. Nothing wrong with that and you still keep your hip mobility. Keeping my range of motion in my hips is critical. I think that's partly why goblets are emphasized so heavily in S&S.
 

Grizzlyman

Level 4 Valued Member
Aside from the prying aspect- I wouldn’t ever do goblet squats. I started getting into double bell work this spring and I will tell you that a double front squat is far superior to a goblet squat… I mean if you’re going to go to the trouble of squatting- why limit yourself to only 32kg?

On top of that I could never progress real high on the goblet anyways as the off center nature of it could tweak my back on bad days. Not a problem with doubles. I can comfortably double bell squat 2X what I can uncomfortably squat in a goblet.

My .02
 

Pavel.Kosenkov

Level 2 Valued Member
Aside from the prying aspect- I wouldn’t ever do goblet squats. I started getting into double bell work this spring and I will tell you that a double front squat is far superior to a goblet squat… I mean if you’re going to go to the trouble of squatting- why limit yourself to only 32kg?

On top of that I could never progress real high on the goblet anyways as the off center nature of it could tweak my back on bad days. Not a problem with doubles. I can comfortably double bell squat 2X what I can uncomfortably squat in a goblet.

My .02
Because after owning 180 kg of weight plates and a squat rack, a really like just having 3 kettlebells at home ;)
 

Cyrus-II

Level 1 Valued Member
Aside from the prying aspect- I wouldn’t ever do goblet squats. I started getting into double bell work this spring and I will tell you that a double front squat is far superior to a goblet squat… I mean if you’re going to go to the trouble of squatting- why limit yourself to only 32kg?

On top of that I could never progress real high on the goblet anyways as the off center nature of it could tweak my back on bad days. Not a problem with doubles. I can comfortably double bell squat 2X what I can uncomfortably squat in a goblet.

My .02
I don't know...I think goblets still have a place. Here is a fellow who does heavy, but he loses the prying and focus on mobility;

Regardless, this fellow could probably pick up almost any random object that weighs 150-175 pounds and move it however he likes. That is some pretty useful real world strength.

So I think I agree with you that in the long run if one wants to squat heavier, then double bell work makes sense. I eventually plan to do just that with offset bells. But I agree with @Pavel.Kosenkov regarding keeping hardware to a minimum.
I have three main bells; 16KG, 24KG, 32KG (not including some random lighter weight ones my wife and kids use). I don't want a lot of bells, I have no room for a squat rack. I could keep a bar and plates in the garage, but already know I wouldn't be highly motivated to go out there in the heat of summer or the cold winters to use them. I'd rather get a 40KG next and just do offset doubles.

But I'd still do deep goblets for mobility. I'm finding it's also helping me to ID shortcomings in my core stabilizers. And like I said earlier, for the guy who really wants to work his legs with a single bell, there are always Cossacks and split squats...

 
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