Some people are born with natural inclinations. There are those who possess a gifted eye for art or a talent for musical composition. Likewise with the physical side of things, there will be individuals who exhibit body proportions that allow them to excel at performing specific movements. When it comes to squatting, people with shorter femurs and longer torso are naturally better performers due to the physics at play. However, having a less-than ideal body type is no reason for you to give up on squats – not when there are ways to make the movement work for you.
It's not uncommon for taller, lankier individuals to have trouble learning the squat – longer femurs combined with a higher centre of gravity can be a challenge to overcome. Getting a proper feel of the movement is a crucial first step towards consistent execution, and while one-and-a-half repetitions have typically been used to force further hypertrophy of the muscles, it can also be used as a way to teach and improve the mechanics of movement.
Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit
Why use the goblet squat though? For beginners, performing the goblet squat is often a much more feasible task compared to the back squat. A lack of posterior chain strength and awareness can make movement difficult, whereas the anterior position of the load in the goblet squat makes it more of a pure quadriceps-focused exercise. The goblet squat is also a great way to introduce some the more basic mechanics of the squat, such as bracing, torso position, hinging and hip abduction.
With one-and-a-half goblet squats, a large amount of focus falls on maintaining tension even as you transition back and forth between eccentric and concentric phases of the movement. The additional “half-rep” also serves as an additional opportunity to refine the mobilisation of your ankle, knee and hip joint as you squat. It also allows you to identify bad habits that tend to pop up when fatigue starts to set in; the “half-rep” is positioned precisely at the point where things tend to go screwy.
For the purpose of technique refinement, five repetitions with a moderately challenging load is good enough. If the intent is to use it for hypertrophy (as it's most commonly done), then you may consider employing a repetition count as high as ten. Instead of bemoaning your luck in the genetic lottery, take control and make the best of the hand (or in this case, legs) that you've been dealt with!