How To Do Hack Squats

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How To Do Hack Squats

Sometimes, traditional squats can be problematic for one reason or another. Perhaps your knees aren’t the best, or perhaps you’re not yet at an ideal weight where unsupported squats are that safe for you to perform. Regardless, your quads need exercise, so you need to find a solution. 

One such solution is the hack squat, which does require some equipment to perform. That in mind, unless you have an extensive home gym, you’ll need to go to a fitness center to perform this set. If that’s an option, this is a great solution for squat-like exercises if you can’t perform a traditional squat safely or effectively. 

What You Need 

You need equipment capable of performing weighted squats, a good pair of comfortable gym shoes, and if you have knee or back problems, a back brace or knee braces. You may want someone nearby to help you on and off the machine in some cases, though if you’re in relatively decent shape, this isn’t necessary. 

Hack Squat Muscles Worked

Quadriceps 3D.gif
By BodyParts3D/Anatomography – BodyParts3D/Anatomography, CC BY-SA 2.1 jp, Link

By Anatomography – en:Anatomography (setting page of this image), CC BY-SA 2.1 jp, Link


  • Board the machine, planting your feet firmly on the plate, knees bent at a 90 degree angle, hips bent similarly.
  • Unlock the slide, and grip the handles near your head. These keep you in the ideal poise for the squats, and provide some secondary toning to other parts of your body during the routine.
  • Bending first at the knees and then the hips, press outward until your legs are straight.
  • Gently lower yourself back down, not letting gravity do this for you.


Don’t overdo the weight on this, just enough to account for your reduced (supported) weight will suffice. Be sure the machine is locked before getting on, and lock it before getting off.

Consult your doctor first if you have knee, hip or back problems, as this can exacerbate these problems in some people.

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