Do Hack Squats Work Glutes?

Do Hack Squats Work Glutes_

If you're looking for a way to sculpt your lower body, you might have heard of hack squats. Hack squats are a variation of the classic squat that uses a hack squat machine to support your back and allow you to push through your heels.

But do hack squats work glutes, or are they just for quads? Let's find out!

hack squat for glutes

What actions do the glutes do?

The glutes are the largest and strongest muscle group in your body. They consist of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The glutes perform several actions, such as:

  • Extending your hip joint (moving your thigh backward)
  • Abducting your hip joint (moving your thigh away from the midline)
  • Rotating your hip joint (turning your thigh inward or outward)
  • Stabilizing your pelvis and spine

Because of the actions above, yes — hack squats work your glutes.

Why do hack squats work glutes?

Hack squats work glutes because they involve hip extension, which is one of the main functions of the glutes.

When you lower yourself into a hack squat, you flex your hips and knees. When you push yourself back up, you extend your hips and knees.

This movement requires the contraction of both your quads and your glutes. However, how much your glutes are targeted by hack squats depends on several factors, such as:

  • Foot position
  • Squat depth
  • Stance width
  • Weight lifted

Let's look at each of these factors in more detail.

Foot Position

Your foot position on the platform can affect how much your glutes are activated by hack squats.

Generally speaking, placing your feet higher on the platform will increase the range of motion of your hips and engage your glutes more than placing your feet lower on the platform.

Additionally, turning out your feet slightly (about 15 degrees) will also recruit more of your gluteus medius and minimus than keeping them parallel.

Squat Depth

Your depth refers to how low you go in a hack squat. The deeper you go, the more you stretch your glutes and activate them during the ascent. This is also true for a barbell back squat.

A full-depth hack squat is when the crease of your hips dips below the top of your knee joint when looking from the side. A partial-depth hack squat is when you stop before reaching parallel. A rock-bottom hack squat is literally going as low as you possibly can, often resulting in your hamstrings touching your calves.

While going deeper can enhance your glute activation, you should only go as deep as you can maintain proper form. If you lack the ankle mobility to go as low as you’d like, feel free to use a squat wedge board as long as it can be used safely on your machine.

Stance Width

Your stance width refers to how far apart your feet are on the platform. A narrow stance is when your feet are closer than hip-width apart. A wide stance is when your feet are wider than hip-width apart. A wider stance will involve more of your glutes and hamstrings than a narrow stance.

Weight Lifted

The weight lifted refers to how much weight you use on the hack squat machine. The heavier you go, the more you challenge your muscles and stimulate growth.

However, the load also affects your technique and range of motion. The lighter you go, the easier it is to maintain proper form and go deeper in a hack squat.

Therefore, you should find a balance between load and technique that allows you to work your glutes effectively without compromising your safety. A good rule of thumb is to use a weight that you can lift for 8 to 12 reps with good form and moderate effort.

Is hack squat enough to grow your glutes?

The hack squat is a great exercise to work your glutes, but it's not enough to grow them by itself.

To maximize your glute development, you need to include other exercises that target different aspects of your glutes, such as hip thrusts, lunges, deadlifts, and bridges. Also, consider adding a glute loop during these exercises for extra glute gainz.

Do hack squats work glutes conclusion

Hack squats are a fantastic exercise to work your quads and glutes. They can help you build strength, power, and muscle mass in your lower body. However, they are not the only exercise you need to grow your glutes. You should also include other exercises that target different parts of your glutes and follow a progressive overload principle