Lowerbody Lowdown: The Hack Squat

Not every gym has one, but if you’re lucky enough to have a well-equipped place to train, don’t overlook the hack squat as a knee-friendly alternative to your traditional squat regimen.

For those looking to pack size onto their thighs, (and who isn’t) the hack squat may be just what you’ve been looking for.

The traditional squat is a tried-and-tested method to stimulate lower body hypertrophy especially for the quads. The hack squat, however, can really accelerate your gains by getting deep into the grooves of the quads and glutes, all in a manner that helps to decrease your risk of injury. Translation: your knees will be thanking you!

It’s all about the concentric movement with this efficacious machine. You begin in a standing position with feet resting against an angled plate. Lean back and position yourself under the shoulder pads. Perform a squat, lowering towards the plate by bending your knees. When you return to the starting position, the weight is pushed away from you. 

The beauty of this effective machine is that is ensures you’re in the correct position, allowing you to go ass to grass, therefore recruiting the glutes in a way that the standard squat can often fall short on. The depth and angle provide a very different stimulus to standard back squatting and can work the entire lower body and core with greater isolation.  Traditional barbell squats involve a movement that’s perpendicular to the ground and can recruit significantly more upper body.

The machine is especially beneficial for those who find squatting painful. You can go lower and heavier, whilst staying safe. The stabilization offered keeps injury risk to a minimum.


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