This effective compound exercise is probably the best variation (machine equivalent) of the traditional barbell squat. This exercise uses a piece of equipment similar to the Smith machine.  A hack machine also has rails for weight to travel on, but they are angled at 45 to 60 degrees, not vertically. Balance problem is reduced – you don’t have to balance a barbell on your shoulders to do a squatting motion. Easier on the knees compared to regular squats – the machine helps prevent the knee from going farther forward than the foot.


Suitable for beginners who don’t have enough core strength, balance and stability to perform barbell squat.
Hack squat is a tremendous frontal thigh developer, and it shifts the resistance to that too often neglected area of the thigh—the vastus medialis. Hack squat machine can be used as an alternative or in combination to squats for developing the quadriceps. It is a good way for beginners to start doing squats, but only advanced athletes should use much weight. In addition, a hack machine doesn’t use a barbell; instead, you place weights on a platform that moves up and down like a sled.


Your feet are shoulder width apart (toes pointing forward) and slightly forward of your body. Lean into the machine so your back is entirely supported and unlock the weight stack, slowly squatting down until your hips and knees are at, or just below, 90-degree angles (until your thighs are almost or fully parallel to the floor).



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