Hack Squats – Building Quads, Gaining Strength and Reducing Low Back Pain!
Hack Squats are often an overlooked and poorly executed exercise in commercial gyms. The majority of people end up putting on too much weight and use their passive range of motion to bounce out of the bottom, the exact opposite of proper use and it contributes to higher injury risks!
Below are the key points on incorporating Hack Squats into your training program.
Key Coaching Points
Let’s start with our key coaching points.
- Focus on initiating the movement with a knee break (since the hip pad doesn’t allow you to move at the hip)
- Control the eccentric until you are at the end of your Active Range of Motion
- Initiate by pushing the knee forward to maximally contract the quad in the concentric
- Stop short of lock out to maintain tension on the muscles at all times
Quad Emphasis for Hip Dominant Squatters
In the Hack Squat you’re forced to initiate and drive your knees forward, hence more quad will be recruited. This can be exceptionally good for those who are naturally hip dominate squatters as they can get to lower positions than a regular barbell squat.
Stability & Metabolic Output
The Hack Squat is a great tool for metabolic output in body composition training as you’re locked into a stable environment. Performing high rep or low rest sets of barbell squats can be dangerous, especially to beginners whos form may break down due to fatigue. Using this machine can also help to extend sets if compound setting with squats for more volume or metabolic work.
Improve Low Back Pain and Hip Stability
Taking advantage of pauses with tension in the bottom range of motion help to carry over to the stability of not only hips but core (AB & Erectors). Programming 4-6 second pauses with tension in the active range can help to improve your low back pain.