If you’re looking for more gains, bigger glutes, and a stronger lower body, you might want to consider adding the hack squat into your workout routine. A machine-based exercise, the hack squat stimulates your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and can assist with improving your traditional back squat form.
What Is Hack Squat
The hack squat is a compound strength movement and squat variation. However, instead of using free weights the hack squat is a machine-based exercise. The hack squat is an excellent auxiliary movement that can assist in developing better squat form and improve strength gains. A hack squat machine works just like a traditional barbell back squat, yet with a few variations. The hack squat is positioned at a 45-degree angle, which provides for a more controlled movement, placing less physical demand on your joints, and providing a deeper range of motion. Range of motion is a key contributor to muscle growth; therefore, the hack squat can benefit you by achieving more strength and gaining more lean muscle mass in a controlled and fixed motion.
Hack Squat Muscles Worked
Hack squat works the muscles in the posterior chain. These muscles include the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, and gastrocnemius. Hack squat also works several stabilizing muscles and joints, as well as the core.
Hack Squat Benefits
1.Strength And Lean Muscle Mass
Hack squat like other machine-based exercises, can help you achieve bigger gains in strength and lean muscle mass. Hack squat is a controlled movement, maintaining fixed form. This will help you push a heavier load without worrying about coming out of the pocket position with a traditional barbell back squat. It will help you achieve a deeper range of motion, with heavier loads, increasing lean muscle mass.
2. Controlled Form
Form is critical and movement is complex with heavy loads. A benefit of the hack squat is controlled and fixed movement. The hack squat keeps your joints aligned and each muscle group engaged throughout the movement, which will help you with functional strength training movements, such as the back squat or front squat. As a supplementary leg exercise, the hack squat can help develop you develop better form, incrementally improving performance.
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3. Better Mobility And Posture
Since the hack works on a fixed plane, it can help you achieve a deeper range of motion, thus contributing to better hip and ankle mobility. Better mobility will attribute to increased core stability, strength, and improved coordination. Hack squat will also greatly benefit posture, since it follows functional form in movement.
How To Hack Squat
Watch this video to learn the proper hack squat technique.
- Load the machine with your desired weight
- Step onto the platform and place your feet shoulder-width apart with toes slightly pointed out
- Place your shoulders firmly under the pads, retract your scapulae and grip the bars.
- Keep your back on the pad and head up at all times
- Inhale, brace your core, and disengage the safety bars on the machine
- Keep your legs straight without locking your knees
- Descend keeping your form and movement smooth just below parallel, slightly less than a 90 degree angle.
- Begin to raise and push the machine back up through your heels and exhale.
- Fully extend your knees and hips
- Repeat for the desired number of reps
Hack Squat: Takeaway
The hack squat can serve as an integral piece and exercise in your lower body training protocol. The hack squat targets your quadriceps and glutes, which can help you build more lean muscle mass and strength. It will also train your body to work in the specific plane of motion, to achieve better functional movement and form when loading a heavier barbell for dynamic lifts such as the traditional barbell back squat or front squat.
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