Hack squats are an amazing lower body exercise that work almost every muscle in your legs. Many people stick to plain old squats, but when you add this technique to your quad workouts you’ll be able to maximize your leg development and strength. The hack squat is a compound or multijoint exercise that exercises several major muscle groups in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals and, to a lesser extent the calves. Let’s look at these muscles in detail.
The hack squat works your:
Hack squats are a type of weight training exercise that works on your lower body such as your legs. They’re also a great alternative to regular barbell back squats and leg presses. Depending on the angle at which you set the bar, hack squats can target different muscles of your legs. Let’s look at these individual muscles in more detail.
The quadriceps muscles are located in the front of your thighs. They’re responsible for extending your knee and are used in many activities such as running, cycling, and jumping. The main muscles that make up the quadriceps are the rectus femoris, the vastus lateralis, the vastus medialis, and the VMO or vastus medialis oblique.
Hack squats work the quadriceps muscles by providing resistance as you extend your legs.
The hamstrings are located at the back of your thighs. They’re responsible for bending your knee and are used in many activities such as running, cycling, and jumping. The main muscles that make up the hamstrings are the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus, and the semimembranosus.
Hack squats work the hamstrings by involuntary recruitment of the hamstrings due to the stretch reflex as the hips are lowered into the squat. Additionally, as the thighs move past parallel to the floor, the hamstrings are further lengthened, which also induces the stretch reflex.
The glutes are the muscles of your buttocks. They’re responsible for extending your hip and are used in many activities such as running, cycling, and jumping. The main muscles that make up the glutes are the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.
Hack squats activate the glutes by working the muscles around the hips and buttocks. When performed correctly, hack squats target the glutes and help to build muscle and strength.
The calves are the muscles of your lower legs. They’re responsible for pointing your toes and are used in many activities such as running, cycling, and jumping. The main muscles that make up the calves are the soleus and the gastrocnemius.
Hack squats work the calves by contracting them as the weight moves from the bottom of the squat to the top. This movement is called a concentric contraction, and it works the muscles in the same way as a standard squat. The difference is that the hack squat allows you to use more weight, which can make the exercise more effective for building muscle.
How To Do The Hack Squat
The hack squat is a healthy and safe way of exercising your legs, gluteals, and lower back. Learning how to do the hack squat takes time, but practice makes perfect. The benefits are proportional to the effort you put into the exercise. So how do you do the hack squat?
- Place a barbell on your upper back, and hold it with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Spread your feet hip-width apart, and point your toes out slightly.
- Bend at your hips and knees and lower your body toward the floor.
- Keep your back straight, and don’t let your knees bow in toward each other.
- When your thighs are parallel to the floor, press back up to the starting position.
The hack squat is a great way to strengthen your quadriceps and glutes. The exercise will also improve balance, reduce the risk of injury, and improve overall athletic performance. Since it can be done from several different positions, it offers a degree of variety that many other quad and glute exercises lack.
When first starting, use a lighter weight than you would for a traditional squat. As you get stronger, add weight incrementally. If you have any lower back problems, avoid this exercise.