Do You Even Hack Squat Bro??

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When it comes to training legs you need to make sure you're fully prepared for what is about to come, the calm before the storm. Most people will tell you that to complete a legs session properly you must perform some sort of squat to work your leg muscles to their maximum. While I think this has some truth to it, I do also think you can work your legs good enough with other exercises too. If there is one variable of a squat I would recommend performing in your workouts, it would be hack squats. So if you're looking for a new exercise to use in your workouts, this is it....

Hack It Out

Have you seen this piece of equipment in the gym before and haven't used it because other exercises like squats with a barbell are your 'go to' exercise for leg day? Hack squats are a great exercise when wanting to work the whole of your legs, core and butt muscles. The actual hack squat is also rather versatile as you can perform a few different types of workouts that will give you an insane workout. I don't believe in the saying 'shocking the muscles' but I do believe you should keep your workouts fun and enjoyable.

What's It Working...

The hack squat is similar to a regular squat without the extra tension on your lower back which gives it a big thumbs up from me. Lower back pain is a common trend among people who lift and to minimise further impact to this is key. The reason for this reduced tension in the lower back is due to the padding you have supporting you on the machine. In the  picture below you can see what I am talking about...

What To Do...

You can use the hack squat the way it was intended for use which is by stepping onto the platform and resting your back against the padding. Your shoulders will fit underneath the pads and you then squat to the depth you need to go to. You can also alter your foot stance so that you work different parts of your quad muscles just like you would with a regular squat.

You can mix up your squat stance too so that you face into the hack squat and this will increase the load your quads and lower back have to withstand. When you do this you will need to focus on keeping your core muscles tight and pushing back with your butt muscles. You will find 80% of the impact is on your quads and this exercise mimics a front squat.

A final variation of this exercise and to focus more on your hamstrings rather than your quads is to perform this exercise by focusing on the bottom of the squat. If you need to build up your hamstring muscles and reduce the tension placed on your quads, this is a great exercise for you. Basically drop down into your squat on the hack machine to the very bottom and push up only to half way before dropping again to the bottom. When you do this you will find it solely works your hamstrings and a small percentage of your glutes will be engaged too.

About the Author

Job Role Nutritional and Fitness Advisor Qualifications Premier International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy Scott has always been active growing up being involved in different sport teams and individual sports such as boxing and Jiu Jitsu. It wasn't until Scott dislocated his left knee during a Jiu Jitsu Competition when he developed a new passion which was going to the gym. Scott studied an International Diploma in Personal Training, Nutrition and Sports Massage Therapy which he has used for over 8 years in the Fitness Industry. Scott has been successful in his field in the UK and in other countries of the world. He has helped many people achieve their goals in Fat Loss, Weight gain, Hypertrophy and other areas of Health and Fitness. Scott is very passionate and is a big motivator who is going to provide you with expert advice and looks forward to helping you with your goals. There is more to see of Scott as he will be competing in Fitness Modelling competitions this year and next so keep a look out for him.
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