YOUR LEG DAY workout would be incomplete without some for of the squat, but that doesn't mean that you can only use a barbell to do them.
Grab a kettlebell (or, if you're short on KBs, a dumbbell) and take on this challenging leg day finisher that will put your lower body to the test while also honing your squat form. The routine, the goblet squat count-up finisher from Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is designed to build up plenty of time under tension, which is one of the keys for packing on more muscle and strength during your strength training sessions.
The key to the finisher is the goblet squat position, a squat variation that moves the load from your shoulders to the front of your torso. You won't be able to lift as heavy as you might when your back supports the weight, but you'll have to fight and use your core to maintain proper posture. "Go heavy on this, and you'll rock your glutes and quads, challenge your abs more than you think, and hone better squat mechanics," says Samuel.
How to Do the Goblet Squat Count-Up
●Hold a kettlebell (or dumbbell) in front of your chest in the goblet hold position. Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out, then squeeze your glutes and core.
●Push your butt back and lower down into the squat, pausing at the bottom with your thighs parallel to the floor (or as deep as is comfortable given your level of mobility). Keep your core engaged to prevent your torso from being pulled down by the weight; don't allow your elbows to rest on your knees.
●Hold for one count, then press your heels off the floor to stand up.
●Perform another rep, but pause for two seconds at the bottom before standing.
●Continue to add a second to the holding position for each ensuing rep, up until 8 reps. That's 1 set.
●Complete 3 total sets.
"If you get to 8, you've spent 32 seconds on the bottom of a squat—and made it a position of work," says Samuel. For a full 3 set workout, that's over a minute and a half of tension all together.
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