Not all gyms will have a hack squat machine, but if yours does you should definitely use it! Note that this wonderful piece of equipment is excellent for building your glutes and also your quads.
How to perform a hack squat
Start by positioning yourself on the hack squat machine with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed out slightly.
To begin the exercise simply release the handle and squat as low as possible. Then come back up to finish and go again for reps.
If your gym doesn’t have a hack squat machine, all is not lost. Simply use the smith machine with the bar positioned across your shoulders.
Hack squat: Common mistakes to avoid
It is true that ¼ reps have their place in a workout, however you should only be doing them if you know why you’re doing them.
With that in mind, when using the hack squat (or performing any exercise for that matter), you should be sure that you are working through the full range of motion. Unless, as suggested above, you have a specific reason not to.
Also, be sure that you are driving the weight through your heels and not your toes.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your hack squats should be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
As a rule of thumb, beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. Don’t overcomplicate things early on, worry about laying a solid foundation and the rest will come with experience.
And last but not least, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.
Beyond the hack squat...
More leg exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of leg exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.