https://approvedbycoach.com/hack-squat-alternative/Hack Squat Alternative
  • Learn Everything About the Best Hack Squat Alternatives and Train Like a Pro!

    29 Dec 2020
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    LAVERA STEWART

    LAVERA STEWART

    Editor-in-Chief of the Gym Expert

    If your main goal is to have stronger quadriceps, you need to do hack squats. Now, although a hack squat machine is available in a lot of gyms, not all want to invest in this type of equipment, mainly because it is too expensive. Also, some of you maybe don’t have a gym in the neighborhood. It can be hard to visit the one which is an hour away from your home. So what do you do in this case? Fortunately, there are options for hack squat alternatives that you can do both at home or in the gym.

    Before we move on to exercises that are alternatives to hack squat, let’s see what squat is!

    Hack squat is simply that – a squat. The difference is that this time you are doing it on the machine that carries the same name. The machine can look terrifying for some, especially beginners, as it has a lot of weights and resembles a bit the leg press. However, when using a leg press, you’re sitting and pushing the weights away from you. If you want to train on a hack squat machine, you have to stand on a fixed platform under the shoulder pads that carry the load that you choose. Hack squats work the entire lower body, focusing on the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and, of course, the core.

    Hack Squat Benefits

    What is a Hack Squat
    • Increased muscle mass: This exercise is fantastic for building the mass of the leg muscles, especially quads.
    • Increased overall lower body strength: You can change your foot position and, therefore, fitness goals. If your feet are higher, that is better for your glutes. If they are, however, lower, the exercise will target your quads.
    • Good exercise for beginners: That is because the machine supports the weight while you stand in an angled position and manage the movement.

    Why You May Need Hack Squat Alternatives?

    One of the main reasons why you may need a hack squat substitute is the price. This cost of equipment comes with a pretty hefty price tag, and plenty of gyms are reluctant to invest in it. If your gym doesn’t have a machine, and you still want to do the exercise, then you have to look for a hack squat machine alternative. Another possible reason is that you might be a complete beginner and might have difficulty using the machine. In that case, a good alternative for hack squat comes as a splendid solution!

    Hack Squat Alternatives

    Barbell Hack Squat

    It is very similar to the exercise you can do on the machine, which is the reason why a lot of bodybuilders like it and consider it to be the best hack squat replacement. It’s essential to know that it’s no easier than a conventional hack squat. But, the good thing about it is that you can do it at home as well.

    Push Up Handles
    • Starting Position

    Place the barbell behind the legs. With your feet flat on the ground, squat and grab the barbell with both of your hands.

    • How to Do It?

    Extend the knees and hips to a maximum and lift the bar. Go down by bending the hips back and let the knees bend forward. Your back needs to be straight the entire time and knees in the same direction as feet. Squat until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor. The bar should be behind the lower part of the legs.

    • Pro Tip

    If you’re experiencing some problems, use a power rack.

    Dumbbell Hack Squat

    • Starting Position

    Stand with feet flat on the floor and straight back. Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at arm’s length.

    • How to Do It?

    Slowly squat while lowering the weights until they are almost parallel to the floor. Repeat. Aim to do 3 – 4 sets of 8 -12 reps.

    • Pro Tip

    You should always squat with your hips, not knees.

    Leg Press

    Leg Press

    • Starting Position

    Sit or lie on the machine while pressing your back against the backrest. Remember that your feet need to be apart from the platform approximately at the level of your shoulders.

    • How to Do It?

    Take the safety handles with both hands. Slowly start to lift the weights, release the safety, and lower the load until your legs are at 90 degrees angle. Lift again and stop before your legs are completely stretched. Repeat.

    • Pro Tip

    You can increase the weight more often when doing the leg press.

    Barbell Back Squats

    • Starting Position

    Stand up straight with your feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Place the barbell across the back of your shoulder while holding it firmly with both hands.

    • How to Do It?

    Do the squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Stop as you are coming to the end of the squat and then bring your hips upward, going slowly back to the starting position.

    • Pro Tip

    Bear in mind that you will have to use a lighter weight for this alternative.

    Barbell Front Squat

    The front squat alternative to hack squats is an advanced exercise that uses a lot of muscle groups and requires coordinated skills.

    • Starting Position

    The bar should be in the rack at the level of the middle of your chest. Hold the bar with your hands in apart slightly wider than your shoulders. Come closer to the bar and go a bit down, like a quarter of a squat. Your elbows should be as high as possible.

    Barbell Front Squats
    • How to Do It?

    Go a step backward. Take a deep breath and descend into a squat. Remember that your knees should be apart and heels on the floor. Go down until your legs are parallel with the flower and go back up.

    • Pro Tip

    Always keep the elbows as high as possible. Otherwise, you will lose balance.

    Landmine Squat

    It is a reverse hack squat alternative. Let’s see how to do it.

    • Starting Position

    Place yourself under the bar in a way that the bar is close to your chest. Hold it with both hands. Adjust your foot placement.

    • How to Do It?

    In one move, lift the bar from the floor until you reach the level of your chest. Place your feet in a way that your upper body is leaning forward a bit and start to descend.

    • Pro Tip

    Letting your torso lean a bit will lift the weight of your heels.

    Smith Machine Hack Squat

    Smith Machine Hack Squat
    • Starting Position

    Take the bar from the rack on the smith machine and make a step forward. Make sure that your feet are shoulder apart.

    • How to Do It?

    Descend by bending your knees until you come to the point that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight and avoid rounding your lower back. Go back to the standing position.

    • Pro Tip

    It is a compound exercise, and it is good for beginners of all levels.

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    Conclusion

    And that wraps up our article on hack squat alternative. As you can see, there’s a lot of things you can do in the absence of a hack squat machine. You can choose to do any of them to increase the strength of your legs, only make sure that you keep a proper form. If you wish to learn more, feel free to check out the article on the difference between eccentric vs concentric squats and enjoy your exercise!


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