What Is A Hack Squat?

What Is A Hack Squat?

With the present reputation of lifehacks, it’s straightforward to imagine the hack squat is a few trendy variation meant to unravel an issue with the standard squat. And although the transfer was created to change up regular weighted or easy body weight squats, folks have been hack squatting because the late 1800s. 

The hack squat is usually credited to wrestler George Hackenschmidt (therefore the “Hack” within the identify), who designed the transfer to alleviate the impression on the again and hips whereas isolating the quad muscle groups labored for focused growth. Whereas some points of the exercise have developed over the past century, its thigh-toning ethos stays.

So, what do you might want to know to securely execute one like The Russian Lion himself? Under, we’ll cowl why the transfer is value rediscovering and the right way to loop it into your exercise routine.

The best way to Execute a Conventional Hack Squat

There a couple of variations of the standard squat: V squat vs Hack squat vs body weight vs sumo, and the listing goes on. However one of the crucial well-liked squat variations is the hack squat. Again when bodybuilding was in its infancy, Hackenschmidt didn’t have the kind of equipment used for hack squats in trendy gyms. He did, nonetheless, have barbells and a want to get stronger. At some point, he determined to mix the 2, bent down on the knees, and gave beginning to the hack squat.

The kind of hack squats The Russian Lion was doing on the flip of the twentieth century require little tools and are nonetheless broadly practiced at present. Right here’s the right way to prep for a conventional hack squat:

  1. Select your weight – Your weight for a hack squat isn’t going to be as heavy as different squat variations. The facility wanted to drag off a hack squat comes primarily out of your quadriceps, so assess your power there earlier than deciding how a lot to choose up. Usually, you need to have the ability to do 2 to 4 units of 8 to 12 repetitions, so select a weight that fits these targets.Will it’s snug? They’re squats, so likelihood is, you’ll really feel the burn—simply be certain that to keep up type all through.
  2. Arrange – Discover an space with a mat or different non-slip floor appropriate for any kind of squat. You shouldn’t be dropping the load any important distance, however a padded, shock-absorbing flooring can’t damage in case you by accident let go. Place a barbell loaded with plates on the bottom behind you and put together to carry.
  3. Take maintain – Squat down in a beginning place as you’d for a conventional squat and seize the burden from behind you with an overhand grip. On this place, you need to be virtually sitting on the bar together with your arms holding it subsequent to your thighs. The soles of your footwear needs to be completely flat on the bottom. 

Bend low at your knees and preserve your backbone as straight as potential. In case you discover grabbing the burden from this angle too troublesome, you need to use a platform or rack to raise it. Then, merely step ahead after securing it to start your set with a downward movement.

  1. Drive upwards – Begin pushing out of your ft upwards to carry the burden. You need to really feel nearly all of the power being exerted out of your thighs. Because the bar climbs increased, stretch out your hips and straighten your legs as a lot as potential. As you attain full extension, flex your quads tightly to raise the burden that additional little bit. Your again needs to be straight as an arrow all through this complete motion to forestall damage.
  2. Ease downwards – Return the burden to the bottom with a gradual, managed motion. Primarily, reverse the motions you probably did to carry the burden. Bend on the knees and decrease your posterior till you’re once more virtually sitting on the bar. Backbone stability is essential—at no level in the entire motion ought to your again bend.
  3. Repeat till you attain your purpose – Preserve pushing till you’ve hit the reps and units you’re aiming for. As with every train, guarantee enough relaxation between units, typically round 2 to three minutes. Depart no less than 48 hours between exercises as properly– although your muscle groups may welcome a couple of additional days off!

This tried and true technique of hack squatting is a selection technique for free-weight aficionados and people with restricted tools. It has a dozen a long time of confirmed features underneath its weightlifting belt, and it’s an efficient train as long as you nail the shape.

If the barbell hack squat isn’t your factor, nonetheless, there’s one other, extra trendy technique of hack squatting that’s turn out to be well-liked in weightlifting communities.

Getting a great workout can take many forms. Explore our group classes for every level!

How To Use a Machine to Hack Squat

Honestly, there are two right solutions to the query “What are hack squats?” They are often carried out with or with out machine help, and each sorts of train differ barely from one another. The barbell hack squat alternate options embrace machine hack squat exercises. In case you’re fortunate sufficient to be a member at a fitness center with a hack squat machine, you need to use trendy know-how to use George Hackenschmidt’s age-old health finesse. 

The method of hack squatting with a machine is much like doing it with free weights, however with a couple of twists. To start:

  1. Set and cargo the machine – Set the machine to a place the place the helps relaxation comfortably in your shoulders while you’re at full extension. You need to have the ability to deal with a heavier load with machine help than when lifting free weights, simply ensure to not pile on an excessive amount of to keep away from damage. You possibly can all the time add, however in the event you damage your self, you’ll be able to’t carry something.
  2. Climb in – Get within the beginning place together with your again firmly in opposition to the rear pad with the helps squarely in your shoulders. Your foot placement needs to be according to your physique, going through ahead, and planted flatly on the platform. Launch the protection handles and…
  3. Slide down – The stress of the burden and the power of gravity ought to naturally start to push you downwards. Bend on the knees and slowly decrease the burden till your quads are at a few 90° angle from the machine’s body. Your again ought to stay firmly planted in opposition to the pad, and the quantity you tackle shouldn’t really feel prefer it’s crushing you.
  4. Push again up – Drive your ft into the platform and stretch out your legs to their most. As with the traditional hack squat, flex your quads pon full extension to raise the load as excessive as you’ll be able to.
  5. Do extra – Related guidelines relating to reps, units, and relaxation govern machine-assisted and free-weight hack squats. Do what you’re snug with, set targets, and comply with plans to outdo your self the following time you head out to hack.

Each sorts of hack squats promote decrease physique muscle group growth and result in a stronger you. They’re fairly particular within the space they aim, nonetheless, so hack squats may not be the best train to match everybody’s targets.

Regular Squats vs. Free Weight Hack Squats vs. Machine-assisted Hack Squats

Hack squats are a compound train particularly tailor-made to focus on the quadriceps. That stated, no muscle actually works alone. When doing any train, we (inadvertently or not) work a number of elements of our physique without delay.

Completely different workouts can be utilized to isolate particular muscle groups for optimum work and development. To know whether or not or not hack squats will help you obtain your health targets, you’ll be able to take into account what they work vis-a-vis typical squats:

  • Common squats – The standard squat is the steadfast carry of leg day which, based on well-liked recommendation, isn’t to be skipped. It’s actually a go-to for these on the lookout for all-around growth, particularly across the glutes. 

Honestly although, regular squats are multifaceted and have interaction your leg muscle groups, hips, and again. Additionally they enhance knee power and even activate core muscle groups. In case you’re seeking to enhance power generally, it’s onerous to discover a higher motion than the basic squat. 

  • Free weight hack squats – As beforehand famous, hack squats are formulated to isolate the quadriceps and work them as a lot as potential. Utilizing free weights, nonetheless, doesn’t absolutely remove the activation of different muscle teams. The barbell squat requires you to have interaction a lot of your physique in an effort to stabilize and steadiness the load. These muscle groups closest to the quads—your calves, glutes, and decrease again—will come into play, notably when hack squatting with free weights.
  • Hack squats with a machine – Machines can optimally isolate muscle groups by eliminating type breaks and doing the work of stabilizing hundreds for you. Even on a hack squat machine, you received’t solely interact your quadriceps throughout repetitions. The remainder of you received’t should do almost as a lot work throughout a machine hack squat, nonetheless, which implies your quads will take the brunt of the load. 

Now that you’ve got a greater concept of which leg muscle groups, in addition to different muscle teams, totally different squats optimally activate, you’ll be able to resolve which type to execute subsequent time you hit the fitness center. 

Or, you possibly can strive all of them—no matter feels best for you!

Pop Your Excellent Squat at Chuze Health

In case you’re on the lookout for a premier place to present hack squatting a go, come work out with the health professionals at Chuze Health. Whether or not you’re hacking with free weights, a machine, or sticking to the basic squat, Chuze has the house and tools for you.

Not a lot of a squatter? No downside—browse the iChuze app for inspiration for every kind of exercises, from newbie’s yoga to HIIT, to find video collection for each health stage.

Whether or not you be a part of considered one of Chuze’s group health courses or practice 1:1 with an skilled coach, the professionals at Chuze need you to depart feeling impressed (and perspired). Discover a Chuze in your space by trying to find “gyms close to me” and cease by to learn the way our neighborhood will help you obtain your health desires.


Reviewed By:

Ani is the Vice President of Health at Chuze Health and oversees the group health and group coaching departments. She’s had a 25+ yr profession in membership administration, private coaching, group train and teacher coaching. Ani lives along with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves sizzling yoga, snowboarding and all issues wellness.




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