When it comes to developing the lower-body, the hack squat (or hack squats) performed with the machine is the preferred choice of bodybuilders and weightlifters.It is generally done on a sled, which appears to be similar to a Smith machine, letting you do the squat … The barbell hack squat is a free weight alternative if you don’t have access to a hack squat machine or even if you just want to switch things up a bit. Entire workouts have been created around barbell back squats, including the famous 20-rep squat routine. Here’s how to perform a regular free weight squat: Squatting with free weights is fundamentally simple. Slowly squat down and grab the barbell at the knurls with a pronated (overhand) grip. The hack squat adjusts the squat by stabilizing your back and placing the primary emphasis on the quads. Also, you can move heavier weight while using your entire body for support. The barbell must be positioned just behind your legs. Because of this, if you’re squatting heavy, you should do it in a power rack. It’s a compound movement that poses very little risk of injury or strain to your lower back and knees. While it’s definitely not an exercise for a beginner, the front squat is one of the best substitutes for the hack squat. This exercise is probably the most similar in structure to the leg press machine and many people confuse the 2 of them or use them interchangeably. That’s why we examined brands to come up with this list of the hack squat alternative. They’re a very viable alternative to hack squats. How: Lay on the floor and roll the barbell over your thighs. With drop sets, you do as many reps as you can with your chosen weight, strip 10-15% off, and rep out again. Breath in and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Videos you watch may be added to... #6 – Goblet Squat. It allows you to target your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes while keeping your upper body stable. While bodybuilders and fitness buffs can use the cyclist squat for adding mass and definition to their leg muscles, athletes in particular can benefit from training the VMO regularly. Be warned, sissy squats can be hard on your knees, so proceed with caution, especially if you have a history of knee pain or injuries. Adjustable. Hitting the legs HARD is one of my very favorite things to do in the gym. Wesley Vissers Looks Much Improved 7 Weeks From Olympia Despite ‘Life Altering Experience’ Of Becoming A Father, Evan Singleton Gets Successful Bicep Surgery Following 2020 World’s Strongest Man Withdrawal, David Prowse, Bodybuilder Who Played Darth Vader, Dies At Age 85. A regular dose of this well-known exercise can help you build strength and add size to your entire lower body, especially your quads. Stand with your feet shoulder-wide, flat on the floor. You should be able to rotate the handles to engage the safety at any point during the rep. All you have to do is get into a literal squat position, and begin the regular up and down motion to get pressure on your quads. Some of the best qualities of lunges can be found in their versatility and flexibility. The rods guide your movement, so you’re free to focus on pushing with your legs. You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Good for drop sets– if you want to push your legs to the limit, training systems like drop sets can help. On the downside, front squats can be hard to master because resting and holding a heavy barbell on the front of your shoulders is not easy. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground and the bar is close to your ankle. Don’t get me wrong though, only real men do sissy squats, and you’d be very wrong to underestimate this exercise. It is worth noting, though, that performing safety squats bars requires having a back rack and an actual safety squat bar, and as such may not be as flexible and easily accessible as the other options on our list. Are you facing a similar conundrum? If you maintain an erect torso throughout the movement, it engages the quadriceps, but really fires the VMO. Pages: 1. Unlike most leg exercises, wall squats involve no movement, and that makes them an isometric exercise. The only other exercise that is able to target this muscle equally well is the Cyclist back squat. That said, done with light to moderate weights for moderate to high reps, this is a good hack squat alternative that will challenge your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Leg Presses are the closest that you can get to hack squats without stressing your spine, hips or knees. They’re done in a vertical position, so your … However, the movement is reversed in that, with hack squats, your feet stay stationary, and you lift and lower your body, while in leg presses, your body remains stationary, and your feet move up and down. Adjust the we… « Forum Home. 3. As the name implies, it can be used both as a standard 45-degree leg press machine as well as a hack squat machine, with only a few quick tweaks. In contrast, moving your feet back and using a steeper footrest angle hits your quads more, as does a narrower stance. StreetStrider Vs ElliptiGO: Which Elliptical Bike is Best For You? If you are choosing the barbell, we highly recommend that you do this inside the cage or the power rack, or even use the smith machine if possible. This sounds not so hard, right? The difficulty of this exercise is great for … The main drawbacks of barbell squats are that they’re hard to learn, can be tough on your lower back, and dangerous when performed with very heavy weights. Place both your feet on the foot rest about shoulder width apart. Get into position with your weight(s) in hand, Ensure your stance is flexible in case of adjustments, Drive down until you’re parallel or below, Drive back upwards with your heels to complete the movement, Assume a stance with your feet hip-width apart, Maintain a strong stance and take a step forward, While your front foot stays forward, plant back your knee to the floor, Drive up your forward leg uprightly to complete the squats, Place your head between the two handles with a gentle grip, Step back carefully and plant your feet a little above shoulder width, Ensure you’re flexible with your leg to ensure mobility, Hinge back through your hips and keep your chest up, Thrust back up with your heels to complete the movement. Do this for three to four sets of as many reps as possible. How to Train to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse! Hack squats are an effective way to work your legs in relative safety. The dumbbell hack squat with elevated heels is a squat exercise for your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The front squat is regarded as one of the best exercises for building that, Also, you can choose to do this with a barbell or with kettlebells or, If you are choosing the barbell, we highly recommend that you do this inside the cage or the. But, with practice, this gets easier, and you’ll soon discover how good a quad exercise that front squats can be. Brace your abs. Make sure you keep your weight on your heels and to your best not to round your lower back. Adjust the weight and the seat on the leg press machine. My Personal Strategies & Tips, Best Elliptical Bikes – Top Bang For Buck Outdoor Stand Up Bikes, Shocking Muscle Growth Stories that Will Blow Your Mind, The Best Quiet Ellipticals For Apartments In 2020. It's a decent substitute. The only caveat is that you need a hack squat machine to perform the exercise and not all gyms have one. Raise your heels to increase quads activation, but take care not to over-stress your knees. I've created a huge list of squat exercise alternatives you can substitute in any of the workouts you find in the weight lifting workouts section. Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox. Some people get confused over the Smith machine squat and mistakenly think it requires another machine. The weight is guided so you can focus 100% on training your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, without having to worry too much about your lower back or dropping the weight. Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine, gym owner, and fitness qualifications tutor and assessor. Lower your body by bending your knees forward and leaning backwards. Use a wider stance to increase adductor recruitment or a narrower stance to hit your quads more. Also, you can choose to do this with a barbell or with kettlebells or dumbbells. Use your arms for balance or hold on to a pole with one hand. All you need is a rack and a barbell andyou'll be able to give your entire lower body a sound thrashing with this homemade hack squat machine. Powher Pre-Workout Review – The BEST Pre-Workout For Women? If your gym has a sissy squat machine then you are in luck but if not you can choose to perform sissy squats while holding on to an upright pole, or any other available object, for support. Once you gain more expertise, you can start to add more weight as well as vary your feet position. Try doing 8-12 jump squats immediately after a weighted leg exercise to really pump up your quads. You can either be seated or do it lying down depending on the variation you pick. They can be carried out pretty much anywhere, with as much or as little loading weight as you like. Titan Fitness’ hack squat machine is another one that’s combined with a leg press, and is one of the more affordable… There’s no skipping leg day with leg press and squat machines from Fitness Factory. How to: Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, stand on your left leg with palms towards your thighs. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest and just beneath your chin. You can perform the hack squat the old school way using a barbell behind you. Sissy squats may be the answer! 2. Lift the bar up slowly while you stand up and extend the knees and hips completely. Thigh support. There are 10 benefits of this particular hack squat modification. We sometimes wonder why we don’t see people utilizing it as much as they do leg extensions or leg raises. Stand on a wedge board or even a barbell plate with your heels on the elevated surface. So I'm wondering what I could do to replace the exercise? Some gyms don’t have this particular machine, and if you train at home, you probably won’t have space for one. All Rights Reserved. The hack machine provides you the balance and stability to protect your lower back from injuries, which the freestanding squat rack cannot. Also, you can move a lot more weight on the leg press as compared to a conventional hack squat machine. Below are detailed steps on how to do proper sissy squats: For me, it helps to think of sissy squats and another variation of leg extensions. Slowly lift the load off the rack, disengage the safety and lower the weights until your legs are parallel, at 90-degrees. Depending on the length of the suspension chain and how deep you squat, you may need to stand on platforms, so the weight doesn’t touch the floor at the bottom of each rep. Some use slightly different movement patterns, while others use different training equipment. You are almost trying to extend your legs and by extending them you are forcing yourself to stand up (squat). Hack Squat The back squat, often performed on a machine, is another leg pressing movement to add hypertrophy to the quadriceps and even glutes. For example, if your feet are close together and near the bottom of the footplate, your knees will probably track forward and beyond your toes, which can be very hard on your knee joints, even though it’s an effective way to work your quads. Wall squats are a good bodyweight-only hack squat alternative that’s ideal for home use. This type of workout intensifier is not practical with barbell squats. How to do Reverse Hack Squat – Step by Step Load a comfortable weight on the squat machine. Most free weight lower body exercises, like squats and deadlifts, are much more technically demanding and take longer to learn and master. Best Home Gym Setups – How To Build The Perfect Budget Setup, How Can I Get Bigger Hands? Bend your legs and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. In some ways, front squats are a better hack squat alternative than back squats. Hack squats are a great way to add some variety and also add some isolation to those thigh muscles. The front squat is regarded as one of the best exercises for building that bubble to your butt that everyone craves in these days. They allow you to keep your torso upright, which makes them very quad-centric, just like hack squats. Best Running Shoes For Heavy Men Reviewed For 2020, https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Hackenschmidt, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7126258/, The Best Glute Ham Raise Alternatives For A Stronger Posterior Chain, The Best Lat Pulldown Alternative Exercises for A HUGE Back, The Best T-Bar Row Alternative For a Massive Back, 5 New Hypertrophy Workouts for Packing on Muscle Mass, Bodyweight Exercises To Avoid And What To Do Instead, Eddie Hall Unveils Shredded And Lean 355lb Physique Ahead Of Boxing Match, Hafthor Bjornsson Details Why He Chose To Retire From Strongman, The Top 10 Daily Habits Of Successful Bodybuilders. That said, if you are strong enough, you can also do it with some added weight to make it even more challenging. Squats mimic the movement of leg presses. The step-up is yet another single-leg exercise. Also, you can move a lot more weight on the leg press as compared to a conventional hack squat machine. One of the reasons exercisers love hack squats is that they’re easier on your lower back than most free weight squat exercises. Despite this, they’re still a demanding leg exercise, and the harder and longer you push your back against the wall, the more effective they’ll be. This means you can train to failure in relative safety and without needing spotters. Needless to say, this could cause serious injury. Continue squatting until your knees gently touch the ground. Your muscles will get used to the exercise, and they’ll stop responding to it. Powerlifters call this getting stapled by the weight. Leg Presses are the closest that you can get to hack squats without stressing your spine, hips or knees. Push your back against the wall as hard as you can and for as long as you can. Hack Squats. 8 years ago: Your email address will not be published. Ensure that you do not slouch your back. Unlike machine hack squats, this exercise can be hard on your lower back. Hack squats can build muscle size and strength, but, performed explosively, they’re also useful for developing muscle power. Use an overhand grip with your fingers supporting the. Hang a weight from your hips using a chin-dip belt. Hack squats feel weird to me too, I have a hard time clearing my arse with the bar, and I'm still skinny. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Places ample tension on the entire lower body including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Widen your feet to shoulder-width, straighten your back, and raise your arms straight in front. If a hack squat machine isn’t available to you, or you’re looking for some alternative exercises, try a leg press machine or a traditional squat. Stand on the footpads of the squat machine with your feet shoulder width apart, facing outwards, under your chest. Yes, the most obvious alternative to Smith machine squats is the classic barbell back squat. Position the barbell on your back like a conventional squat and perform the move. You may include it in your leg workout routine if you want to target all the major muscle groups of your legs simultaneously. There is no denying that the hack squat provides your legs with a great workout, but there are bound to be times when you don’t have access to this machine or need a hack squat alternative to add some variety to your workouts. Stand on top of an elevated platform about a few inches high. They are brutally hard, and as such are a fantastic exercise for leg… My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. All of the squat exercise alternatives you can use in the WLC weight lifting workouts will be listed here on this page.. Squats are one of the 7 core weight lifting exercises meaning you must include this movement in your weight lifting program. Goblet squats are similar to front squats but much easier to learn. Definitely the most flexible and easily accessible exercise on the list, free weight squats involve working with any weight kind you can find, be it a dumbbell, kettle bell, or even resistance bands. I can lift far more with a hack squat, zerchers are hard, but good. Emphasize different leg muscles by moving your feet– hack squat work your entire lower body. Benefits of The Modified Barbell Hack Squat. A smith machine squat is a nice alternative to the traditional squat machine. It adds strength and reduces knee problems in the long run. In other words, if you’re looking for a hack squat alternative with maximum result, versatility, and flexibility, lunges are perfect for you. Thoracic Extension. Listed below are the alternative exercises that you can substitute for hack squats. Hold still for one count and then push your body back up by driving the balls of the feet through the platform. Disclosure: FitnessVolt.com has an affiliate relationship with different brands and is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Like the hack squat machine, the Smith machine guides the weight on rods, so you don’t have to worry about balancing the load. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform effective safety bar squats: Your email address will not be published. This old-school bodybuilding exercise is a very useful quad builder, and your bodyweight alone should provide more than enough resistance for most lifters. Your email address will not be published. Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward. Lift it upwards and stop just before your legs lock out completely. Leg presses are similar to hack squats in several ways. Hack squats provide instant exercise gratification. If you work out at home, you are probably wondering how you can train your quads even though you are limited to bodyweight exercises. The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises you can do in place of hack squats to ensure your lower body workouts stay fresh and productive. Because they allow you to keep your torso more upright, which makes them more quad-centric. If you work out at home, you are probably wondering how you can train … Rest the barbell on the top of your pectorals and ensure that it’s stable. A common pitfall in squats, according to Cavaliere, is an inability to maintain proper positioning of the upper body. You don’t need a lot of weight for this to be effective. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-wide and toes pointing outwards at a 45-degree angle. Hack Squats need a distinct hack squat machine. With ten hack squat alternatives to choose from, you now have lots of exercises you can do instead. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. FitnessVolt.com - 1700 Lincoln St. Denver, CO. © Copyright 2010 - 2020 FitnesVolt.com - FitnessVolt IBC. You don’t need to worry about things like balance or coordination. Tuck your feet in towards your butt. Push your butt back, bend your knees, and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. These will require a special hack squat machine, so it depends on if you have access to one or not.