10 Muscle Building Exercises For a Belt Squat Machine

10 exercises you can do with the belt squat machine

The belt squat machine is arguably the most versatile machine for a lifter at any experience level. There are dozens of possible exercise variations, but we’ve narrowed it down to 10 of the best muscle-building exercises you can perform with it. There's a mix of upper and lower body, and you can do them with either version of our Belt Squat Machine. Time to build some muscle!

1. Belt Squat

It comes as no surprise that the first exercise is the belt squat itself. This movement is great since it doesn’t put any load on your spine. Instead, the load is placed on your hips — perfect for those with more sensitive backs.

As an added bonus, the belt squat loading your hips through a belt squat belt means that your hands and arms are free to move as you’d like. Prefer to keep them to your sides? That’s cool. Like to hold the handles to help with balance? No problem.

There’s also tons of versatility with this single exercise: stance width, foot angle, amount of forward lean or degree of knee bend, you can hit your legs from many different positions.

2. Lunges

Next up are lunges. Lunges come in many forms: forward lunges, walking lunges, curtsy lunges, and such — all working your legs a bit differently. That said, the best lunges when using the belt squat machine are stationary reverse lunges (usually called “split squats”) and alternating reverse lunges.

Due to the belt squat’s frame, you won’t have the space to step forwards or very far out to the side. Because of this, reverse lunges are the best candidate. Just watch your footing when you step backward, since you’ll be stepping off the platform.

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

Ah yes, the most hated enemy of almost all lifters — bulgarian split squats. These are a type of lunge where your feet remain stationary but your body dips down and back up. The exciting twist is that your back foot should be elevated, making this a challenging exercise.

Feel free to use a plyo-box, weight bench, or even a chair to prop your foot up. If the top of your foot is uncomfortable, go ahead and place a rolled-up towel or mat on the edge of your elevated surface. Many find it easier to push themselves hard on bulgarian split squats using the belt squat machine since you can hold the bar. Without having to actively balance so much, you can focus more on the actual movement.

4. Belt Marches

The next exercise we have is belt marches. I know, it looks really simple. But don’t let its simplicity fool you. Throw a serious amount of weight on the machine and literally march in place, driving your knees to roughly the same height as you would when climbing a flight of stairs. Your glutes will be screaming — trust me.

5. Calf Raises

Time for those calves to get some love. If you don’t want anything fancy, a calf raise on the platform will do just fine. That said, using a piece of scrap wood like a 2x4 can be great to get an extra range of motion to build more muscle. For a more home gym-friendly option, place a 25lb bumper weight plate on the platform. This will add a couple of inches to get your calves burning.

6. Stiff Leg Deadlifts

Thought deadlifts were impossible on a squatting machine? Think again. While you could technically just hold onto the middle center pole during your set, you’ll find it more comfortable to swap out the belt squat belt for a straight bar attachment. If you’re working out alone: tie a resistance band around the support arm so that when you lift up to start your set, the tension will automatically pull the stoppers away.

7. Bent Over Rows

To add some slabs of muscle to your back, rows are the way to go. Using the same straight bar attachment as in #6, you can do a classic bent-over row.

8. One Arm Rows

Alternatively, replace the straight bar with a standard cable machine handle to perform single-arm rows. Combined with a lunge stance, you can get a great stretch with this variation.

9. Biceps Curls

Building your biceps is definitely possible on the belt squat machine. Simply use your favorite attachment (rope, straight bar, cambered bar) and squeeze hard at the top. In just a couple of sets, your arms will be pumped up and ready for the beach.

10. Sumo Squats

Finally, the belt squat can also be used for sumo squats. Place your feet wide on the platform with your feet angled outwards and drive your knees outwards while you squat down. You can hold the middle metal lever or clip on your favorite attachment for a less awkward grip.

Final Thoughts

The Belt Squat Machine isn’t just a one-trick pony. While belt squats are the obvious main choice, you can actually get an awesome full-body workout with this machine. Interested in learning more about the Belt Squat Machine?