What Is A Hack Squat?

What Is A Hack Squat

If you're looking for a way to blast your quads, glutes and hamstrings, look no further than the hack squat. This exercise is a variation of the traditional barbell squat, but it uses a machine that allows you to lean back and push the weight with your legs.

hack squat machine

What Is A Hack Squat?

The hack squat machine has a padded support that rests on your shoulders and a platform for your feet. You can adjust the angle of the platform and the weight of the machine to suit your preferences and goals.

Hack Squat Benefits

The hack squat has several advantages over the regular squat, such as:

  • It reduces the stress on your lower back, since you don't have to balance the bar or maintain a neutral spine.
  • It isolates your quads more, since you don't have to use your hips or core as much.
  • It allows you to lift heavier weights, since you have more stability and leverage.
  • It improves your ankle mobility, since you can place your feet lower on the platform and achieve a deeper range of motion.

Hack Squat Tips and Variations

To do the hack squat, follow these steps:

  1. Step onto the platform and position your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. You can point your toes slightly outward if you prefer.
  2. Place your shoulders under the pads and grasp the handles on each side.
  3. Unhook the safety catches and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly lower. Keep your chest up and your head in line with your spine.
  4. Push through your heels and extend your legs until they are almost straight. Don't lock out your knees at the top.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets.
  6. Re-engage the safety catches and rest the carriage back onto them.

To get the most out of the hack squat, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don't bounce at the bottom of the movement. Pause briefly and then explode up with control.
  • Don't let your knees cave in or out. Keep them aligned with your toes throughout the movement.
  • Don't round your back or shrug your shoulders. Maintain a tight and upright posture.
  • Don't hold your breath. Exhale as you push up and inhale as you lower down.

You can also try these variations to spice up your hack squat routine:

  • Change the foot position. You can place your feet higher or lower on the platform, closer or wider apart, or angled differently to target different parts of your legs.
  • Change the tempo. You can perform slow and controlled reps, fast and explosive reps, or pause reps to increase the time under tension and challenge your muscles differently.
  • Add bands. You can attach resistance bands to the machine to create more tension at the top of the movement and make it harder.

What Is a Hack Squat Final Thoughts

The hack squat is a machine exercise for your lower body. It can make your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core stronger and bigger, and easier than the barbell squat because it is easier on your spine and upper body. You can do the hack squat no matter your skill level, so go try it out today!