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Thread: Hack squat

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    Hack squat

    Recently my back has been a bit under the weather, and today I changed me leg routine to accomodate it..... wasn't really much of a change, but normally my main focus on leg days are squats (of course!), which I did not do today...

    I warmed up on some light leg extensions, and followed them with heavier sets of leg presses..... my knees were slighly bugging me, as I know squats loosen them up before hitting un-natural movements such as the leg press...

    Then I went to the hack squat, which I am now VERY fond of...... it felt great, and I could go so low without the worry of just topping over when failure comes about.....
    But the pressure on my knees felt so strong.....
    I've heard how the hack squat can be rather heavy on these joints, and to do the exercise later on in your routine, such as starting with squats, then leg press, then hack squat. But for the next week or two I think I will be staying away from squats. Can I replace it with the hack squat? Or is it one of those exercises that you should sort of cycle, so you don't blow the shit out of your joints.....

    Either way, hack squats are AWESOME.... I'll definetly be doing them every leg day now probably...... I could go so low, like as if my butt was going to hit the floor during a normal squat, and it felt so good..... I'm really down in weight though on it... I've never gone down that far on a squat/leg press...
    Anyone that hasn't tried them, check it out! My back has been bugging me lately, and the hacksquat didn't strain it at all(at least not noticebly)! Keep in mind there still is form with it, albeit its a machine...... I focused on keeping my back (especially lower back) completely on the pad thoughout the whole ROM..... awesome machine!

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    I rambled on a bit there.....
    I do have a question about them to anybody familiar with the exercise...

    Is it bad to do them every leg workout? I felt a signifigant more amount of tension on my joints through the ROM compared to a squat

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    Patrick
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    hack squats can vary depending on make and model. Some are less forgiving on the joints (mostly the knees) then others. If it hurts then dont' do it. I get some bad knee pain from hack squats myself and nothing beats back squats IMO anyway.

    every workout? Well, eventually you will adapt to the movement and stop making progress. I would cycle it into my training if I were going to do it.

    What exactly are your goals? For athletics and strength I would lean more to squats, front squats, deadlifts, etc.....If you are more going for hypertrophy I don't see anything wrong with working on machines from time to time as a change. Nothing is better then free weight IMO.
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    There's nothing wrong with doing hack squats from time to time, particularly if your goal is to gain mass. Of course, if it hurts your knees, then I wouldn't do it. You may consider stopping at parallel. I squat deep, but hack squats never felt really comfortable going that deep for me. They didn't hurt per se, but they didn't feel especially comfortable either.

    I would also consider doing some unilateral squats. That way you don't need much weight to get an overload effect. Doing unilateral squats in place is awesome; it takes some serious balance and practice to get the movement down, but it feels good to do a clean repetition with one. You could also stick your back leg on a bench to aid in balancing. Glute ham raises would be another great movement for your legs that shouldn't cause your back any issues.
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    I definetly hear that.... I agree that machines don't even compare to free weight for strength (which is what I'm going for)

    I hurt my back recently however, and since my squat form still isn't perfect, I'm hesitant to jump back into it before it fully heals..... I'm hoping it will be gone by my next back day where I do deadlifts, coming in about 3 more days

    I will cycle it in I guess then.....
    much appreciated p

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    thanks cowpimp.... I'll try some of those next time I lift with my legs

    Unilateral DB squats are always something I see with people in the gym, yet I have never tried them, at least for a good set I'm pretty sure....

    Definetly will check those out
    thanks

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    I was excited to try hack squats when I changed gyms a while back until I found out how much they hurt my knees... I tried them once, then again a few weeks later and I've officially written them off, they're no good for me.

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    I favor the hack machine as well hlanderr, my current gym doesn't have one (which sucks) so i tend to use front squats. The nice thing about them is that they tend to use the glutes very little if at all, focusing the majority of the stress on the quads which i prefer. But this is mainly from a bodybuilding point of view, if your a strength/powerlifting/athletic type trainer, i'd use it in conjunction with back squats, front squats.

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    are you performing these on a machine or free weight style?
    Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory. -G. Behn

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    Quote Originally Posted by The13ig13adWolf
    are you performing these on a machine or free weight style?

    I think by the way he stated "then I went over to the hack squat" he means he was using a hack squat machine.

    BB hack squats....now there is a lift I haven't seen someone do in a long time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk
    I think by the way he stated "then I went over to the hack squat" he means he was using a hack squat machine.

    BB hack squats....now there is a lift I haven't seen someone do in a long time!
    missed that part. i need to learn to pay more attention to detail, LOL.

    sortof an awkward movement but anything to avoid a machine. i don't think i've ever seen anyone do them in my gym but they rarely do front squats either...or go below parallel. surprising considering it's not a chain and there are a lot of hardcore lifters in there...i digress.
    Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory. -G. Behn

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    I use hack squats as part of my rotation. Knee pain is a reality especially when you go heavy and below parallel. However, wrapping your knees up tight will alleivate all of the pain associated with it (at least for myself). Keep in mind though you will have to use extra weight when wrapping since it gives you some extra spring.

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    Patrick
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    Quote Originally Posted by brogers
    I use hack squats as part of my rotation. Knee pain is a reality especially when you go heavy and below parallel. However, wrapping your knees up tight will alleivate all of the pain associated with it (at least for myself). Keep in mind though you will have to use extra weight when wrapping since it gives you some extra spring.

    wrapping is just about the owrst thing you can do for you knees. It forces the patella to be pushed further into the joint sockeet creating a high amount of shear force. try using a pain free ROM if it is that bad


    sortof an awkward movement but anything to avoid a machine. i don't think i've ever seen anyone do them in my gym but they rarely do front squats either...or go below parallel. surprising considering it's not a chain and there are a lot of hardcore lifters in there...i digress.
    I was never a big fan of doing them myself. Can't seem to get the correct. It is rare to see people in any type of gym squat properly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk
    wrapping is just about the owrst thing you can do for you knees. It forces the patella to be pushed further into the joint sockeet creating a high amount of shear force. try using a pain free ROM if it is that bad
    what he said.

    I was never a big fan of doing them myself. Can't seem to get the correct. It is rare to see people in any type of gym squat properly.
    i know, such a shame.
    Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory. -G. Behn

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk
    wrapping is just about the owrst thing you can do for you knees. It forces the patella to be pushed further into the joint sockeet creating a high amount of shear force. try using a pain free ROM if it is that bad




    I was never a big fan of doing them myself. Can't seem to get the correct. It is rare to see people in any type of gym squat properly.
    I've never heard of this, but it makes sense that it would push the patella in. I always thought they worked because they increase the fluid pressure in your joints. Either way, it's painfree with them, and without them it isn't (for myself). What if I wrapped it in such a way to leave the patella exposed ?

    I don't even like using the hack squat, but because of my training format, I need a leg exercise to do besides free squat (which I already do), and I don't do leg press because the pressure on the low back feels terrible. I might throw in front squats.

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    Why not ditch the knee wraps and use something like a neo-prene wrap, like reband's? They just keep heat on the joint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoadedBats
    I favor the hack machine as well hlanderr, my current gym doesn't have one (which sucks) so i tend to use front squats. The nice thing about them is that they tend to use the glutes very little if at all, focusing the majority of the stress on the quads which i prefer. But this is mainly from a bodybuilding point of view, if your a strength/powerlifting/athletic type trainer, i'd use it in conjunction with back squats, front squats.
    So why is it that you would want to limit the usage of your glutes if you are a bodybuilder? Furthermore, your glutes are used plenty. Hip extension is a large part of doing a hack squat. Also, there is little to no anterior pelvic tilt, so your glutes are going to be working harder than you might think relative to your hamstrings. Do leg extensions if you are trying to isolate your quads.


    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk
    BB hack squats....now there is a lift I haven't seen someone do in a long time!
    I actually used to do these when I worked out at home, before I figured out how to jerry-rig my bench uprights into supporting the weight properly to unrack it and back squat it. They are a little akward, but certainly get the job done.


    Quote Originally Posted by brogers
    I don't even like using the hack squat, but because of my training format, I need a leg exercise to do besides free squat (which I already do), and I don't do leg press because the pressure on the low back feels terrible. I might throw in front squats.
    Do a freeweight hack squat, dumbbell squat, front squat, or unilateral squat. Unilateral squats and front squats are my favorites of the aforementioned exercises.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp
    Unilateral squats and front squats are my favorites of the aforementioned exercises.
    You're sick. I like that.

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    front squats rein supreme IMO.
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    [QUOTE=CowPimp]So why is it that you would want to limit the usage of your glutes if you are a bodybuilder? Furthermore, your glutes are used plenty. Hip extension is a large part of doing a hack squat. Also, there is little to no anterior pelvic tilt, so your glutes are going to be working harder than you might think relative to your hamstrings. Do leg extensions if you are trying to isolate your quads.

    For some, like myself, the glutes tend to develop rather quickly, now i don't know about you, but i'd rather have large muscular legs than larger developed glutes. I agree the glutes to come into play, but to a lesser degree, i gauge this mainly on the fact that after intense training with back squats/leg presses/deads i will feel a large amount of soreness in the glutes more than the quads. Hacks and fronts squats keep the back more veritical for me, so i tend to feel the stress directly on the quads more. As far as leg extensions....well...to be honest, they never really do much unless i tag them on the end of a good leg workout to burn my quads out.

    thanks for the input though

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