Goblet Squat Jumps for Strength & Performance

Use This Goblet Squat Variation for Strength, Size, & Performance

Dr. Joel Seedman, Ph.D.

If you’re looking for a way to amp up the difficulty of traditional goblet squats you’ll want to try goblet squat jumps. In fact if you can successfully perform several repetitions of this movement with half of your bodyweight, chances are you’re strong from had to toe.

Besides being one of the most challenging lower body exercises you’ll ever perform there are five reasons why the goblet squat jump exercise is so effective.

1. Most fitness facilities only have dumbbells that go up to 100 pounds.  While this is ample for many individuals, stronger athletes will find this to be a relatively light load for the goblet squat.  However, most individuals will find they need to drop their weight by at least 50% to successfully perform goblet squat jumps.  Unless you consistently goblet squat over 200 pounds, the 100 pound dumbbell should suffice for most individuals. 

2.The goblet squat is a great movement for targeting the quads.  Add in an explosive jump and you’re now forcing more of the fast twitch fibers in your quads to activate quickly.   As a result this exercise has a tremendous impact for increasing vertical jump height and jumping performance not to mention sprinting and running speed.

3. One of the benefits of the traditional goblet squat is the full body activation involved.   When combined with a jump and landing sequence not only do the legs get crushed but the upper back, shoulders, arms, and core get absolutely pummeled from this.

4. Deceleration and force absorption are some of the most critical yet oftentimes overlooked components of strength and performance.  Jump squat variations are excellent not only for addressing acceleration, speed, and power, but also deceleration and force absorption.  However, many loaded squat variations can be somewhat taxing on the spine and low back as a result of the high impact.  Due to the front loading nature of the goblet squat, the low back receives minimal stress even on the landing phase, however, the quads, glutes, upper back, core, shoulders, and arms get hammered.

5. The goblet squat jump is also very effective for teaching proper squatting mechanics. Part of this is due to the fact that you’ll be using approximately half the weight you would typically use during traditional goblet squats thereby allowing the lifter to hone in on their form particularly on the eccentric phase of the movement.  However, another reason the goblet squat jump is so effective is that it teaches the lifter to avoid collapsing at the bottom and using excessive range of motion, both of which are common issues on goblet squats.  That’s because jumping from a collapsed position feels very unnatural and incredibly weak.  As a result the lifter will be forced to find a squat depth that allows them to produce strong and powerful jumping mechanics.  Inevitably this will be somewhere around 90 degree joint angles.

Oh and just in case you were wondering, the grunting you hear from me in this video was not forced or purposeful.  It was actually a result of having to fire every muscle fiber in my being to decelerate a 100 pound dumbbell.


Once you master the basic jump squat variation you can also perform box jumps with the goblet squat as demonstrated by several of my athletes.  

You'll want to go substantially lighter than you would for the normal goblet squat jump.  I suggest working up to 25% of your bodyweight.

First Things First

Before you attempt any form of goblet squat jumps you'll want to master your form on the basic goblet squat variation.  One of the best variations I've found for grooving the proper movement pattern for the goblet squat is performing bottom half reps as demonstrated by my awesome client Leslie Petch.  

Because you'll be spending greater time in the stretched position, this enhances proprioceptive feedback ultimately teaching the athlete how to dial in their squat mechanics.  

Practical Application

Try implementing several sets of 3-5 goblet squat jumps using brief eccentric isometric holds on your next leg day.  This is also a great movement for super setting with bodyweight jumping movements or traditional plyometrics as you’ll notice an increased level of power and explosiveness due to the potentiation response.

If you’re searching for a training program that teaches you how to employ explosive power movements such as these into your training routine, check out my Complete Templates at