For some reason the goblet squat has a reputation of being a fluffy exercise that only the elderly or those with severe pain do. But this couldn't be further from the truth. When trained hard with heavy-ass dumbbells, it's one of the most effective lower body moves there is. It'll also give you a sick leg pump.
The Setup for Heavy-Ass Goblets
The setup off the floor will become your limiting factor. So instead of hoisting that SOB up like your competing against Eddy Hall in the World's Strongest Man, use a box or elevated surface to unrack the dumbbell just as you would a barbell out of the rack.
So Why Do Many Lifters Avoid It?
Well, other than the fact that goblet squats remind them of a physical therapy office, it comes down to incompetence. In addition to hammering the legs, this squat variation can make the heart rate sky rocket. Your work capacity needs to not suck and your upper body needs to be strong.
Holding a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in an anteriorly loaded position requires huge amounts of shoulder stability and spinal stiffness... and on top of that you actually need to be able to squat the weight itself.
Think your barbell squat is strong? Take the heaviest dumbbell you have in the gym and see how many reps you can knock out with it. Better yet, use this move as the main lift for a secondary leg day and enjoy the strength, hypertrophy, and motor control that comes along with it. You'll dominate your standard squats when you add a different loading tool.