The goblet squat is a great fundamental movement for young adolescents and really anyone (athlete or not) for a variety of reasons:
1) It helps to mobilize tight ankles, hips and the thoracic spine (middle back). It may also be a better exercise selection for those with tight shoulders where putting/holding the bar on the back for a traditional back squat may be difficult-thus potentially leading to undesired compensation as a result of the poor flexibility and likely poor form.
2) It helps teach to activate the glutes during squats instead of solely relying on the quads to complete the movement. This will ultimately lead to greater strength/power gains as well as less pressure on the knees.
3) It helps teach how to greater engage the core and upper back musculature because of where the load is placed (in front of the body vs. behind the body in the traditional back squat).
4) It is safer for younger individuals because it is not recommended for teenagers to be doing a lot of movements which place a lot of the direct load on the spine (which is often not yet fully developed at this point in their lives) like the traditional back squat can if not being executed properly.
5) It works better for high repetition training because the form can usually be maintained for a longer period of time versus the back squat where form tends to break down more quickly. This is particularly important for athletes where musculature endurance gained through higher rep training is crucial.
6) The back squat is one of the most incorrectly done exercises in the gym and if proper movement is not learned before loading it you are likely doing more harm than good. Good form will lead to strength gains if you are patient. Sacrificing good form for heavier weight will likely lead to tighter musculature/decreased functionality, not getting the strength/power gains in the desired areas and potentially injury-and no one wants that.
7) It can be done anywhere with very minimal equipment. You can use a dumbbell, kettlebell or even a rock!
To learn more about how to incorporate the goblet squat and other functional movements into your routine, contact Jon Mack