Hack squats are an exercise mainly for the front thigh, inner thigh and buttocks muscles, or more specifically, the quadriceps, adductor magnus and gluteus maximus, respectively. You can execute the movement using several different pieces of training equipment, such as free weights and machines. Both types of equipment allow you to do the movement in a standing position. If you want to perform the hack squat in a lying position, there are also machines that allow you to do that variation. By performing hack squats on a regular basis as part of your workout routine, you will increase the muscle mass of your thighs and buttocks.
Barbell Hack Squat
Place the barbell on the ground and stand in front of the barbell facing away from it.
Grasp the barbell using an overhand shoulder-width hand grip, with your palms facing toward the back. Stand with your body upright and with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground.
Position the barbell behind your buttocks with your elbows extended.
Flex your hips and knees to lower the barbell until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping a straight-back position during the motion.
Extend your hips and knees to raise the barbell until you return to the beginning position, keeping a straight-back position throughout the motion.
Machine Hack Squat
Stand on the hack squat machine platform with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Position your shoulders under the machine shoulder pads and position your back up against the machine back pad.
Hold the machine handles to support your balance.
Bring your thighs to a parallel position to the machine platform by flexing your hips and knees, maintaining a straight-back position throughout the movement.
Bring your thighs up to the initial point by extending your hips and knees, maintaining a straight-back position during the movement.
- You should perform only one variation of the hack squat during your hip and leg workouts. Do three sets of the movement using the heaviest amount of resistance that allows you to do 10 to 12 repetitions per set. Take a two-minute rest period in between each set to allow your muscles to recover.
- If you have been inactive for a lengthy period of time, or are suffering from a condition, then make sure you first consult with your health care professional prior to engaging in any type of resistance or cardiovascular workout regimen.
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.