Combine These Squats for Ultimate Leg Development

Combine The Belt Squat and Goblet Squat for Ultimate Leg Development

Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.


Lets face it, the goblet squat is a great lower body exercise but oftentimes the upper body ends up being the limiting factor as there is only so much the arms and upper torso can hold.  As a result the lower body doesn’t always get taxed as heavily as it should especially if ample growth and strength gains are desired.  So what’s the solution?  Combine the belt squat with the goblet squat as shown here by one of my awesome figure clients Leslie Petch. 

There are several unique benefits of this.

1.Goblet squats tend to place the lifter into a more upright position than traditional squats.  The heavier you go the more upright it makes the lifter.  While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, a more upright torso takes stress off the posterior chain such as the glutes.  By combining the hanging belt squat with the goblet squat it balances out the load and keeps the lifter’s torso in a similar angle as a barbell squat thereby placing equal stress on the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

2. This specific squat combination is very low back friendly as all of the weight is kept very close to the center of gravity.  For individuals who have a difficult time finding squat variations they can load with heavier weights while still taking stress of the joints, this one is a winner.

3. There’s a significant balance component involved with the goblet belt squat as the load is positioned in two different locations of the body.  In addition, having much of the weight hanging below the body forces the lifter to use strict form as the load can swing and oscillate unless the lifter controls their mechanics and uses strict form.

4. This is one of the most effective squat variations I’ve used to teach people not to collapse and use excessive range of motion.  In fact going below parallel on these feels very unnatural and almost impossible.  As a result the lifter is forced to use ideal squat mechanics that involve parallel limbs and 90-degree joint angles.  Besides teaching proper squat mechanics this also takes significant stress off the joints while crushing the entire lower body.


Training Protocols

I recommend 3-4 sets of 6-15 repetitions.  After progressively ramping up the loads use heavier weights and slightly lower reps for the first two sets then drop the weight and increase the reps to 12-15 reps for the last set or two to create metabolic stress and cellular swelling in the lower body, both of which are key hypertrophy mechanisms.