How To Do Machine Hack Squat

Machine Hack Squat Exercise

Machine Hack Squat is an isolation exercise that develops the quadriceps with secondary emphasis on the calves.

The angle of the Machine Hack Squat shifts distribution of the work load toward the lower front muscles of the quadriceps which is popularly referred to as the “teardrop”.

Although this is a quadriceps isolation exercise, your core will be activated particularly on the descent in order to keep your lower back tight and supported.

Machine Hack Squat is a good leg exercise to include in your workout if you have lower back and hip problems.

This is also beneficial for sports that require leg and hip strength such as football, rugby, wrestling, basketball and netball.

Machine Hack Squat How To

  • Position yourself on the Hack Squat Machine with your back firmly planted on the padding. Keep a shoulder width to a slightly narrower stance. The back of your heels should be in line with your lower back. Slightly angle your feet outward.
  • Push off with your heels then un-rack the weight by disengaging the catchers on both sides.
  • Inhale then bring the sled down slowly and under control until you reach a level where the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale then press up by driving through your heels and keeping your back pressed against the padding. Do not lock out at the top position. Always maintain a bend in order to reduce shearing forces on your knees.
  • Repeat the movement until you have completed the targeted number of reps.

Form and Technique

While Machine Hack Squat is an effective isolation exercise to build the quadriceps, it’s not advisable to go deep below parallel.

This is because the unique angle of Machine Hack Squat puts tremendous pressure on the knees when pushing off at a lower than parallel position.

Unless you have great hip flexibility, don’t go any lower than parallel to the floor when doing this exercise.

You do not have to use heavy weights on this exercise.

A high rep scheme using light to moderately heavy weights will generate the best results with the Machine Hack Squat.

Regarding hand placement, you can place them on your quadriceps for greater mind- muscle focus or grasp the handles tightly to improve balance and stability.

Variations: Smith Machine Front Squat, Frankenstein Squat

Routine for Strength: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Routine for Muscle Building: 4-5 sets x 6-8 reps

Machine Hack Squat