Hack Squat Machine Routines: How to Do Perfect Squats the Pro Way
Hack squat machine routines are a great way to build your leg strength and muscle mass. Discover the secrets of getting maximum results.
The Power of the Hack Squat Machine
The hack squat is fantastic exercise that really help you build up amazing strength in your legs. In particular, your upper leg muscles really benefit from doing this exercise. You can do hack squats using either barbells or specialized machines. Of course, there are some people who will tell you that free weights are always better, so you should go for the barbell.
There is nothing wrong with that advice – barbell hack squats are very effective. But don’t overlook the hack squat machine. When you are doing hack squats, form is extremely important. Get the form wrong, and you are not getting real benefit from the exercise. Unfortunately, many people think they are going gangbusters with barbell hack squats, when in fact they are achieving very little.
One way to fix this problem is to get a personal trainer to correct your form. But a cheaper and easier option is to switch to doing hack squats on a machine.
The Benefits of Using a Hack Squat Machine
The big advantage of using a hack squat machine is that it forces you to get the form more or less right. That means you can concentrate on moving bigger weights, and get real results in a relatively short space of time.
The risk of injury is also reduced, and you can perform the exercises easily without any assistance. And as hack squat machines are available in most gyms, it’s not hard getting access to the equipment.
How to Do Hack Squats on a Machine
It’s not hard to do perfect hack squats if you take the time to position your body correctly, and focus on getting the movements right. This video shows a great example of how to do squats correctly on a hack squat machine:
Start by setting up the machine with the loading that is right for you. It’s better to start with smaller weights and concentrate on getting the form right. Then as your confidence grows, build up to heavier weights. Once you have selected the weights, you are ready to start:
- Position yourself so that your back is leaning flat against the main pad, with your shoulders nestling against the shoulder pads
- Place your feet on the foot platform, spaced a shoulder-width apart
- Push upwards until your body takes the weight off the stack
- Put your arms on the side handles and disengage the safety bars
- Get ready to start the exercise
- Lower the weight slowly until your thighs are at right angles to your calves
- Hold this position for a moment, then push the weight back up
- Continue upwards until you reach the starting position
- Be careful not to lick your knees at the top of the movement
Repeat the above process for the desired number of reps.
Getting the Best Results on the Hack Squat Machine
The most common mistake in doing this type of hack squats is locking your knees out at the top of the rep. Keep your knees slightly bent. When lowering the weight, do so slowly – if the weights slam against the stack, you are doing it wrong.
Ensure that your knees never track out over your toes, or you will be putting your knees under unnecessary stress. Keep your head up throughout the exercise. Look straight ahead and avoid looking down. Keep your back as straight as possible throughout.
Give Them a Try
If you haven’t incorporated hack squats into your routines yet, you should certainly give them a try. This exercise is a superb way to build up your upper leg muscles, and is great for improving overall fitness.
Because your leg muscles are so large, you get many benefits when you build them up. All that extra muscle burns calories all day long, which helps you stay leaner and fitter. Hack squats are perfect for building up that additional muscle strength in your lower body.