Machine Hack Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Beginner
  • Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Quads Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Load the machine with the desired weight and position your shoulders and back against the pads.
  2. Position your feet at shoulder width, extend your legs, and release the safety handles.
  3. Slowly lower the weight by bending your knees until your thighs are approximately at 90 degrees.
  4. Reverse the movement by driving into the platform and extending the knees and hips.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise Tips

  1. To keep tension on the quads, keep the knees just shy of lockout.
  2. In order to emphasize the glutes more, push through the heels.
  3. In order to emphasize the quads more, push through the balls of the feet.
  4. Don’t allow the hips to posteriorly tilt and roll off the pad.
  5. Keep your low back flat against the pad throughout the movement.
  6. Ensure the head does not jut forward excessively.
  7. Self spotting is possible by simply applying pressure to the knees with the hands. Use only when necessary.
  8. Toe angle is individual and will depend upon each individual’s hip anatomy and ankle mobility - experiment and adjust based upon feel.

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17 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 03/10/2016 - 10:30

hey guys, awesome workout!! quick question, can i substitute the hack squat with the leg press? would it have the same benefits?

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Posted Sun, 08/23/2015 - 16:34

can anyone tell me if wall squats are as affective as hack squats?.I workout at home an have no hack squat.

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:21

If you have access to dumbbells then I would recommend dumbbell squats -

MikeWines's picture
Posted Tue, 08/25/2015 - 09:13

Wallsquats can't be loaded much/at all, they don't mimic an actual squat (i.e. you're perfectly upright and no one squats like that due to the average length of a femur), they promote poor motor patterning, they don't load the quads at all, and overall they're just a poor exercise in general in my opinion. If you a variety of equipment then there are loads of better options that should come before wall squats.

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 08/25/2015 - 15:28

that makes sence.thanks.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 08/24/2015 - 23:56

in your oppion why would dumbell squats be better than wallsquats,

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Posted Fri, 05/16/2014 - 08:46

I substitute he hack squat with a front squat. Same issue with lack of the hack machine. Unless your gym has any other sort of machine squat.

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Posted Wed, 04/23/2014 - 10:16

what is a good alternative for reverse hack squat?

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 01/14/2013 - 08:47

can i do barbell hack squats instead? (new to site) thanks

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2012 - 07:43

i don't get it

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Posted Mon, 09/03/2012 - 18:57
Tinoy james

Hi, well I have a question is this the suitable work out for me, today I tried the pyramid style starting with high reps done to 8 and back up again a total of 6 sets. I maxed out a couple of machines and my legs feel fine. I don't not understand why my quads are as sore as I hoped them to be. Although my legs used to be in incredible shape compared to now. My legs have always been in better shaped and out of poportion with my upper body. But previously I worked for endurance so it takes awhile for my legs to get any good work out . After 2 hours I gave up and walked out of the gym irritated finding it useless. The damn machine would not even hold anymore weights on it the machine itself was maxed out and I wasn't

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 06/06/2012 - 12:57

I've heard mixed feelings about doing hack squats utilising the smith machine. I have heard it is bad for the knees. Thoughts Steve?

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Posted Sat, 06/02/2012 - 09:40

hello steve, what will i substitute for a hack squat if exercise before that happens to be squat. many thanks

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2012 - 21:07

My gym doesnt have a hack squat machine either. So should according to to dougs routine for ectomorphs, should i just do more squats?

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Posted Sat, 05/17/2014 - 13:04

Replace it by Smith machine Hack squat if u have one

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 08:50

Hey Steve. What is good alternative for hack squat?

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 08:59

Squats. They are the king of exercises.