Strength Training Exercises for Firefighters: The Goblet Squat

We often talk about the need for firefighters to be strong, which leads to a natural focus on strength training in the gym. But we don’t always think about how that strength is applied on fire and EMS calls.

The classic example is the bench press—a firefighter may be able to bench press 350 lbs., but is that effective when balancing in an awkward position to maintain patient stabilization, or crawling through a smoke-filled room? Strength training exercises for firefighters need to be focused on preparing the body for the challenges it will face on the job.

In this quick video, Aaron Zamzow, a firefighter with Madison (WI) Fire Department and founder of Fire Rescue Fitness, explains how the goblet squat does just that. By positioning the weight in front of the body, the goblet squat shifts the focus from the back to the core, building strength where you need it most.


Want more fitness tips? Check out these resources:
The First Step in Creating a Firefighter Workout Program [Video]
Stay Hydrated, Stay Alive: The Importance of Firefighter Hydration [Video]
Firefighter Fitness Tip: Stop Exercising, Start Training! [Video]
Are We Fit to Fight Fires? Real-World Guidance for Firefighters and Leaders [On-Demand Webinar]

Aaron Zamzow

AARON ZAMZOW is a firefighter/training officer for Madison (Wisconsin) Fire Department with 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and host of the Better Every Shift podcast. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness as well as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. He is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, an NASM certified personal trainer and an ACE-certified peer fitness trainer. Zamzow is the founder and owner of and develops programs aimed at getting fire rescue athletes fit for duty. He authored the book "Ladder 2 Workout: A Comprehensive Firefighter Workout Program that will get you 'Fit for Duty' in 28 days." Connect with Zamzow on Twitter at @GetFRFit, on Facebook at Fire Rescue Fitness or at

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