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Revolutionize Your Squat Routine: The Slant Board Goblet Squat for Enhanced Performance



Mecca V.I.P.
Dec 2, 2023
The slant board goblet squat is a valuable addition to any squat routine, offering a range of benefits that cater to individuals of all fitness levels.

This exercise is crucial in enhancing squat technique and building lower body strength. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, incorporating slant board goblet squats into your workout regimen can significantly improve squat mechanics and overall well-being.

What is the Slant Board Goblet Squat?​

The slant board goblet squat is a specific variation of the goblet squat exercise that involves performing squats on a slant board or an inclined surface. This exercise targets the lower body muscles, particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, while also engaging the core muscles. You can perform it by standing on a slant board with your feet hip-width apart and holding a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest with both hands.

Slant Board Goblet Squat

It is a relatively new exercise, but it has quickly gained popularity due to its effectiveness in improving lower body strength and mobility. The exercise came from the goblet squat introduced by strength and conditioning coach Dan John.

Today, the slant board goblet squat is typical in CrossFit and other strength training programs. It also became a popular exercise for powerlifters and weightlifters who want to improve their squat depth and mobility.

Exercise Benefits​

Performing squats on the inclined surface increases the demand for these muscles, helping to develop lower-body strength, power, and endurance in the legs. The exercise also stabilizes muscles in the hips, pelvis, and lower back, promoting overall lower-body stability. Additionally, the exercise strengthens the core muscles, providing stability and support for the lower body during various movements.

Squatting on an inclined surface challenges your balance and stability by altering your center of gravity. This challenge forces you to engage your core muscles and fine-tune your proprioception, which can lead to improved balance over time. The increased range of motion provided by the slant board can improve flexibility in the ankles, knees, and hips.

The exercise also improves functional fitness, mimicking movements encountered in daily activities. The exercise strengthens the muscles for climbing stairs, lifting objects, and maintaining balance, making everyday tasks easier and reducing the risk of injuries.

Targeted Muscle Groups​

The quadriceps, located at the front of the thighs, are the primary drivers of the squat movement. The slant board's incline emphasizes the quadriceps' role in extending the knees, increasing strength and power in this muscle group.

The glutes at the back of the hips extend the hips and generate power during the squat. The exercise challenges the glutes to work harder, increasing strength and endurance in this muscle group. The slant's angle stretches the hip flexors and allows for a greater range of motion, improving hip mobility and flexibility.

The core muscles, including the abdominal, obliques, and lower back muscles, provide support and stability throughout the squat. The weight held close to the chest forces the core muscles to activate and stabilize the torso, preventing excessive forward or backward movement.

Slant Board Goblet Squat target muscle group

Proper Technique and Form​

Proper technique and form are crucial when performing the Slant Board Goblet Squat to maximize its benefits and reduce the risk of injury. Here are step-by-step instructions along with the importance of knee alignment and posture:

  • Stand on a slant board with your feet hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest with both hands, palms facing each other.
  • Engage your core muscles and maintain an upright posture with your back straight. Ensure your gaze is focused forward, preventing excessive rounding of the shoulders.
  • Initiate the squat by pushing your hips back. Descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground or lower if your flexibility allows, but never compromise form for depth. Ensure your knees track over your toes and do not go past them. Keep your weight evenly distributed between your heels and the balls of your feet.
  • Push through your heels to rise from the squat, fully extending your hips and knees. Exhale as you return to the starting position. Avoid bouncing at the bottom or jerking your body back up.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions, typically 8-12, for strength and muscle building. Maintain a consistent breathing rhythm throughout the exercise. Exhale as you descend, and inhale as you ascend.
Proper knee alignment is crucial to prevent injuries and ensure optimal squat mechanics. Knees should track over toes, preventing excessive valgus (inward collapse) or varus (outward flaring) of the knees. Maintaining an upright posture with a neutral spine is essential to avoid strain on the lower back.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them​

Avoiding common mistakes during the Slant Board Goblet Squat is essential to ensure proper form, maximize benefits, and minimize the risk of injury. Here are some typical errors and tips on how to avoid them:

  • Leaning Too Far Forward: Leaning excessively during the squat can put excessive stress on your lower back and knees. Maintain an upright chest and keep your torso as vertical as possible.

  • Rounding the Back: Rounding your back can lead to poor posture and an increased risk of back injury. Maintain good posture throughout the exercise, and engage your core to support your back.

  • Lifting Heels Off the Slant Board: Lifting your heels off the slant board can cause balance issues and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Ensure your heels stay firmly planted on the higher end of the slant board throughout the squat. This position helps maintain stability.

  • Using Excessive Weight: Too much weight can compromise your form and increase the risk of injury. Start with a light weight and gradually increase it as you get stronger.

Required Equipment and Setup​

You'll need specific equipment and a suitable setup. The slant board or inclined surface typically consists of a sturdy, angled platform designed for exercises like squats and stretches. You can purchase a slant board from fitness equipment stores or make one by propping up a sturdy, non-slip board or platform with one end higher. The angle of the slant should be adjustable based on your fitness level and comfort.

You may use a kettlebell or dumbbell to add weight to the exercise. The weight should be challenging but manageable, allowing you to maintain proper form throughout the movement. Additionally, it should be appropriate for your strength level.

Ensure you have enough space to perform the exercise safely without any obstacles or hazards. Position the slant board on a flat surface, ensuring it is stable and secure. Adjust the incline to your desired level, starting with a lower incline for beginners and gradually increasing it as your strength improves.

Exercise Variations and Modifications​

Beginners can perform the exercise without holding a weight to focus on form and technique before adding resistance. Don't worry about going too deep if you're new to squats. Focus on a shallower range of motion until you build strength and flexibility.

For immediate and advanced levels, balance on one leg while performing the squat, holding the weight close to the chest. This single-leg slant-board goblet squat variation enhances balance and targets each leg individually. Another variation is pulse squats. Instead of returning to the standing position after each squat, stay in the lowered position and perform pulsing movements by moving up and down slightly before standing up.

If ankle mobility is limited, start with a lower incline on the slant board and gradually increase it as your flexibility improves. If you have knee problems, consider using a shallower range of motion and avoid going too deep into the squat. If balance is a concern, perform the exercise with one hand holding onto a wall or chair for support.

For workout diversity, incorporate the exercise into a circuit with other routines like lunges, planks, or calf raises for a comprehensive lower-body workout. You may also stand with a wide sumo stance, toes pointing outward. This variation emphasizes the inner thighs and adductor muscles.


Comparison with Traditional Squats​

You may perform traditional squats on a flat surface, including standard goblet squats. It engages a broader range of lower-body muscles, making them suitable for a comprehensive lower-body workout. They provide versatility with various squat variations and are an excellent choice for a balanced lower-body exercise. It emphasizes the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh, compared to slant board goblet squats.

Additionally, the flat surface of traditional goblet squats reduces stress on the ankle joint, making it a suitable choice for individuals with limited ankle mobility or ankle pain.

Both slant board goblet squats and traditional goblet squats are valuable exercises for improving lower body strength, balance, and flexibility. The choice between the slant board goblet squat and traditional squats depends on your fitness goals, individual needs, and any existing physical limitations or preferences.

Injury Prevention and Safety​

Always begin your workout with a proper warm-up routine. Dynamic stretches, such as arm circles, leg swings, and torso twists, are effective for warming up the major muscle groups involved in slant board goblet squats.

Pay attention to your body's signals. If you experience any pain or discomfort during the exercise, stop immediately and rest. Pushing through pain can lead to further injury. If you struggle with balance, consider performing the exercise near a stable support, such as a wall or sturdy object, to provide additional stability. Avoid overloading yourself with weight or attempting advanced variations too soon.

If you have persistent pain or discomfort during or after the routine, consult a qualified fitness trainer, physical therapist, or healthcare provider. They can assess your form, offer modifications, and provide tailored guidance to address any issues.

Integrating into Workout Routines​

As a beginner, you can start with three sets of 10-12 reps using a light to moderate weight. Focus on proper form and squatting to a comfortable depth. You may include it 2-3 times per week in your leg day or whole-body workout with at least one day of rest in between. This frequency emphasizes proper form and introduces the exercise with lighter weights.

Including slant board goblet squats 3-5 times a week is essential for intermediate and advanced levels. Performing four sets of 8-10 reps with a moderate weight creates a challenge. You may add three sets of 8-10 reps per leg to challenge your legs further. Add planking to the routine for a stronger core, with an increased duration of three sets of 30-45 seconds.

Add more sets, reps, or weights as you advance through the levels. Additionally, modify the exercises to make them more challenging.

Nutrition and Hydration Tips​

Focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide essential nutrients that support muscle growth, repair, and overall health. Consume complex carbohydrates before, during, and after workouts to provide energy and support muscle glycogen stores.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain fluid balance and support muscle function. Replenish electrolytes through sports drinks for muscle function and fluid balance.

Rest, Recovery, and Progress Tracking​

During slant board goblet squats, your muscles undergo microscopic damage. Adequate rest allows your body to repair and rebuild these muscles, increasing muscle growth and strength. Rest periods help prevent overtraining, leading to injuries, fatigue, and burnout. Taking rests between sets and workouts also ensures you can perform at your best, maintain proper form, and lift heavier weights.

Many fitness apps and spreadsheets help you log and analyze your workouts. Record the number of repetitions and weight you lift for each set of slant board goblet squats. Track your progress over time to identify improvements.

In addition to tracking your performance in the gym, measure your body's physical changes. Keep tabs on metrics like body weight, body fat percentage, and measurements of key muscle groups to see how your physique is evolving.

Expert Opinions and User Testimonials​

According to Coach Mike McElroy, "Slant board goblet squats are a great exercise for targeting multiple muscle groups in the lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The slant board's incline increases the depth of the squat, which can help improve ankle mobility and hamstring flexibility."

Dr. Joel Seedman also emphasized the proper form to prevent injuries. He added, "If you have concerns about your ability to perform the exercise safely, consult a healthcare professional."

An office worker and an athlete shared on Reddit, "Slant board goblet squats have helped me improve my ankle mobility and reduce pain in my knees. I'm also able to run more efficiently and with less fatigue."


Slant board goblet squats are a versatile exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in the lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The inclined surface increases the depth of the squat, which can help improve ankle mobility and hamstring flexibility. Like other exercises, it is crucial to have proper nutrition and adequate rest to replenish the energy lost from the previous exercise.

If you plan to include it in your routine, consult a fitness professional or healthcare provider to ensure it's safe and appropriate for your fitness level and needs. Consider the exercise's potential to address specific fitness goals, such as muscle development, improved balance, and functional fitness. Remember that consistency is vital to achieving results in strength training, so make slant board goblet squats a regular part of your workout routine.

Frequently Asked Questions​

Is the Slant Board Goblet Squat suitable for beginners?

Yes. However, starting with proper form, lighter weights, and gradual progression is essential. Beginners should consult a fitness professional to ensure they use the correct technique and avoid overloading themselves.

What are the benefits of doing Goblet Squats on a slant board?

The slant board helps increase the range of motion of the squat, which can help improve ankle mobility and hamstring flexibility. It helps to engage the core muscles more effectively, which can help to improve overall stability and balance. The angle can help make the squat feel more challenging, which can help improve lower body strength and power.

What type of slant board is best for Goblet Squats?

The best type of slant board is one that provides a comfortable and stable platform. Look for a slant board with an adjustable incline to accommodate different fitness levels and body types. Ensure it has non-slip features to prevent slipping during the exercise, and always test it for stability before use.

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