HomeFITNESSWhat is hack squat? , chuz fitness

What is hack squat? , chuz fitness

What is hack squat?

with the current popularity of life hacks, easy to accept hack squat There is some modern variation to solve the problem with the traditional squat. and though the trick Was Designed to replace normal weighted or simple bodyweight squatsPeople have been squatting since the late 1800s.

The hack squat is generally attributed to wrestler Georg Hackenschmidt (hence the “hack”). by name), who designed the move to eliminate impact on the back and hips while isolating the working quad muscles for targeted development. While some aspects of the workout have evolved over the past century, its thigh-toning nature has remained.

So, what do you need to know in order to safely execute a like? russian lion she herself? Below, we’ll cover why this move is worth rediscovering and how to loop it into your workout routine.

How to do a traditional hack squat

Some variations of the traditional squat are: V squat vs hack squat vs bodyweight vs sumo, and the list goes on. But one of the most popular squat variations is the hack squat. When bodybuilding was in its infancy, Hackenschmidt did not have the type of machinery used for hack squats in modern gyms. However, he had a desire to get stronger and stronger. One day, he decided to combine the two, bending his knees and giving birth to the hack squat.

The types of hack squats Russian lions were doing at the turn of the 20th century require little equipment and are still widely practiced today. Here’s how to prepare for a traditional hack squat:

  1. choose your weight – Your weight for the hack squat is not going to be as heavy as other squat variations. The power needed to pull off a hack squat comes primarily from your quadriceps, so assess your strength before deciding how much to lift. In general, you want to be able to do 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions, so choose a weight that suits these goals.Will it be comfortable? They’re squats, so chances are, you’ll feel the burn—just make sure to maintain form throughout.
  2. to establish Find an area with a mat or other non-slip surface suitable for any type of squat. You shouldn’t drop the load any significant distance, but a cushioned, shock-absorbing floor can’t hurt if you accidentally let go. Place a barbell loaded with plates on the ground behind you and prepare to lift.
  3. hold on For a traditional squat, squat into a starting position and lift the weight behind you with an overhand grip. In this position, you should be sitting on the bar with your arms almost next to your thighs. The soles of your shoes should be flat on the ground.

Bend down on your knees and keep your spine as straight as possible. If you find it too difficult to lift the weight from this angle, you can use a platform or rack to elevate it. Then, just walk forward after securing it to start your set with a downward motion.

  1. drive up To lift the weight, start pushing up with your legs. You should feel most of the force coming from your thighs. As the bar rises higher, extend your hips and straighten your legs as much as possible. As you reach full extension, flex your quads tightly to add an extra bit of weight. Your back should be as straight as an arrow throughout this movement to avoid injury.
  2. ease down Return the weight to the ground in a slow, controlled motion. Essentially, reverse the motions you used to lift the weights. Bend your knees and lower your back until you’re almost on the bar again. Spinal stability is key – at no point throughout the movement should your back arch.
  3. repeat until you reach your goal – Keep pushing until you reach your goal reps and sets. As with any exercise, be sure to take adequate rest between sets, usually about 2 to 3 minutes. Leave at least 48 hours between workouts– although your muscles may welcome a few extra days off!

This tried-and-true method of hack squatting is a favorite for free-weight enthusiasts and those with limited equipment. It has a dozen decades of proven benefits under its weightlifting belt, and as long as you nail the form, it’s an effective exercise.

If the barbell hack squat isn’t your thing, however, there is a more modern method of hack squatting that has become popular in weightlifting communities.

how to use a machine to hack a squat

In truth, there are two correct answers to the question “What are hack squats?” They can be done with or without the aid of a machine, and both types of exercises differ slightly from each other. Barbell hack squat alternatives include machine hack squat workouts. If you’re lucky enough to have a member at a gym with a hack squat machine, you can use modern technology to apply George Hackenschmidt’s age-old fitness ingenuity.

The process for hack squatting with a machine is similar to doing it with free weights, but with a few twists. to start:

  1. set up and load the machine – Set the machine in a position where the support rests comfortably on your shoulders at your full extension. You should be able to handle heavier loads with machine assistance than lifting free weights, just be sure not to stack too high to avoid injury. You can always add, but if you hurt yourself, you can’t lift anything.
  2. climb in Get into the starting position with your back firmly against the back pad with the square support on your shoulders. Your foot placement should be in line with your body, facing forward, and planted flat on the platform. Release the safety handle and…
  3. slide down – The pressure of the weight and the force of gravity should naturally start pushing you down. Lie with your knees bent and slowly lower the weights until your quads are at about a 90° angle to the machine frame. Your back should rest firmly against the pad, and the amount you take shouldn’t feel like it’s crushing you.
  4. push back up Drive your feet into the platform and extend your legs to the maximum. As with a normal hack squat, flex your quads in full extension to lift the load as high as you can.
  5. do more – The same rules regarding reps, sets, and rest govern machine-assisted and free-weight hack squats. Do what you are comfortable with, set goals, and follow plans to propel yourself the next time you go out to hack.

Both types of hack squats promote the development of lower body muscle groups and make you stronger. They tend to be fairly specific in the area they target, so hack squats may not be the right exercise to match everyone’s goals.

Normal Squats vs. Free Weight Hack Squats vs. Machine-Assisted Hack Squats

Hack squats are a compound exercise specifically designed to target the quadriceps. That said, no one muscle really works alone. While doing any exercise, we (consciously or not) work many parts of our body at the same time.

Various exercises can be used to isolate specific muscles for maximum work and development. To understand whether hack squats can help you achieve your fitness goals, you can consider how they work compared to traditional squats:

  • regular squats – The traditional squat is the adamant lift of leg day, which according to popular advice should never be skipped. This is definitely for those looking for all-round development, especially around the glutes.

To be honest, normal squats are multidimensional and engage your leg muscles, hips, and back. They also improve knee strength and activate the core muscles. If you’re looking to improve strength in general, it’s hard to find a better movement than the classic squat.

  • free weight hack squats – As previously mentioned, hack squats are designed to isolate and work the quadriceps as much as possible. However, using free weights does not completely eliminate the activation of other muscle groups. The barbell squat requires you to engage more of your body in order to stabilize and balance the load. The muscles that are closest to the quads—your calves, glutes and lower back—will come into play, especially when squatting with hack free weights.
  • Hack Squats With a Machine – Machines can better isolate muscles by eliminating form break and letting the stabilizing load work for you. Even on the hack squat machine, you’ll engage not only your quadriceps during repetitions. The rest of you won’t have to do nearly as much work during a machine hack squat, which means your quads will take the brunt of the load.

Now that you have a better idea of ​​which leg muscles, as well as other muscle groups, different squats optimally activate, you can decide which style to try the next time you hit the gym. to execute.

Or, you can try them all—whichever works for you!

Get Your Perfect Squat at Choose Fitness

If you’re looking for a prime position to do squatting hacks, work with fitness pros. chuz fitness, Whether you’re hacking away with free weights, a machine, or sticking to the classic squat, Chuze has the room and equipment for you.

Not much of a squatter? No problem—Browse iChuze The app for inspiration for all types of workouts, from beginner yoga to HIIT, to find video series for every fitness level.

Whether you join a select group exercise classes Or train 1:1 with an experienced trainer, the pros at Chuze want you to leave feeling motivated (and sweaty). Find a chick in your area by searching “gym near meAnd stop by to learn how our community can help you achieve your fitness dreams.

reviewed by:

Annie Chuze is the Vice President of Fitness at Fitness and oversees the Group Fitness and Team Training departments. He has a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and coach training. Annie lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and son and enjoys hot yoga, snowboarding, and all things cool.


  1. men’s Health. Want Monster Quads? Time to learn the hack squat. https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a28133625/hack-squat/
  2. Barband. George Hackenschmidt: The Father of the Bench Press and Hack Squat. https://barbend.com/george-hackenschmidt/
  3. Physical Culture Studies. Three old-school squats you’re not doing. https://physicalculturestudy.com/2017/02/02/three-old-school-squats-youre-not-doing/
  4. Stay strong A Hack Squat Vs. A back squat. https://www.livestrong.com/article/538392-a-hack-squat-vs-a-back-squat/
  5. Physical Culture Studies. Three old-school squats you’re not doing. https://physicalculturestudy.com/2017/02/02/three-old-school-squats-youre-not-doing/
  6. Stay strong A Hack Squat Vs. A back squat. https://www.livestrong.com/article/538392-a-hack-squat-vs-a-back-squat/
  7. Muscle and power. Machine Hack Squat Video Exercise Guide. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/hack-squat.html
  8. National Library of Medicine. Differences in the activities of the quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscles when performing different squat exercises. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8783452/
  9. University of Delaware. Free Weight Vs. Machines: How Should You Choose? https://sites.udel.edu/coe-engex/2018/04/03/free-weights-vs-machines-how-should-you-choose/



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