How to do a Standing Machine Squat

Beginners should have a spotter on hand when first practicing the squat.
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The squat is a compound, or multi-joint, movement that involves the two largest muscle groups of the body -- quadriceps and gluteus maximus. The former muscle works to extend the knee, the latter muscle works to extend the hip. Beginners often find it difficult to perform squats using free weights, due to the complexity of the movement. These trainees should practice the movement using a machine, such as the Smith machine or the hack front squat machine. When using a Smith machine, you are mimicking the traditional back squat. When using a hack front squat machine, you are mimicking the front squat exercise.

Smith Machine Squat

Step 1

Stand in front of the Smith machine bar, facing away from it.

Step 2

Position your upper back and rear shoulder region under the bar and grasp the bar using a grip a bit wider than shoulder-width.

Step 3

Dismount the bar from the machine rack and stand with your body upright and your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width.

Step 4

Bend your hips and knees to lower the bar until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Step 5

Extend your hips and knees to raise the bar until your body is upright.

Machine Hack Front Squat

Step 1

Stand on the machine platform facing toward the machine.

Step 2

Position your shoulders under the machine pads and grasp the machine handles for support.

Step 3

Dismount the machine leverage and stand with your body upright and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width on the platform.

Step 4

Lower the machine pads by bending your hips and knees until your thighs are parallel to the platform.

Step 5

Raise the machine pads by extending your hips and knees until your body is upright.

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