Looking back, George Hackenschmidt, a Russian wrestler, is the one who came up with the hack squat with his adviser, Dr. von Krajewski. It is a perfect exercise for the body builders whose primary focus is to work on the quadriceps, the calves, and the hamstrings. Some may ask who the target group for the hack squat is. The truth is that hack squats are for body builders, athletes as well as beginners.
For the beginners, if you have not done hack squats before, sit on a bench. This will help in ensuring that you get used to the exercises and once you are stable enough, you can start squatting without the bench. The main reason here is that the hack squats put a lot of stress on your knees which could end up hurting majorly. After you have familiarized yourself with the hack squat, then you are ready for the free standing squat rack.
Hack squats are among the most overlooked leg builders. Most bodybuilders don’t work on their legs; they mostly work on their chest and arms as they are more noticeable than the legs. What they forget is that the overall growth of the body is crucial. George Hackenschmidt in his book emphasized that the squats helped develop the leg muscles without a significant development on the hips.
According to Steve Reeves, who has played one of the roles in Hercules, said that he came up with equipment designed to make him perform the squats with less hip development. One amazing thing about hack squats is that they have less resistance to your shoulders. Time is of the essence here, be patient and the results will be amazing with a notably increased muscle mass.
How Exactly do You Perform the Barbell Hack Squats?
- If you have a T-bar, hold onto the T-section as the weights are on the lower ends of the bar.
- Once you hold the T-bar, ensure it is behind your back, as it rises all the way up to the hip.
- Consecutively, keep your toes up and get down for a full squat. Ensure your back is straight as you perform this action.
An alternative to a barbell is getting a hack squat resistance machine which is easier to use.
Hack Squats on a Sled Machine
- Ensure your upper body lies flat against the sled machine and position your shoulders under the pads.
- Your legs should be on the platform as your toes point outwards and your head faces upwards.
- Unlock the safety pin as your arms are on the side handles.
- As you start, straighten your legs periodically for better results.
- You should then go lower through bending your legs as your head still faces upwards.
- Do this repeatedly as you exhale.
What Parts does Hack Squat Target?
Hack squats work on the quadriceps. The quadriceps muscles comprise of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and vastus lateralis. It is through the squats that the focus is mainly on the thighs and knees.
This is one of the muscles of the buttock. The squats emphasize the gluteus maximus as your feet are placed at the front. It is also linked with the thigh.
Benefits of Hack Squats
- When using a squat machine, it provides stability to your lower back and as well as offering support. A well-laid schedule of the squats helps the body to readjust and be in a position of balancing when using a bar.
- Another benefit of the hack squats is that they majorly focus on the thighs and legs without tampering with the hip area. They, in turn, help you increase your muscle mass.
- The grip strength heightens as you have to have a firm grip on the weight that’s behind you during the exercise, which also makes your arms stronger.
- Through these squats, you summarily lose calories as it is also an intense workout.
Some advice is that, before you get onto the squat machine, a few warm up exercises should be incorporated. The exercises will help you get warmed up for the hack squats. The number of squats you do is determined by how long your legs can hold. Once you feel your legs are congested, and you can no longer perform the exercise, it is time to let go. Some people perform the exercise to work the leg muscles. However, note that the leg muscles are stubborn and a rigorous hack squat exercise has to be incorporated for them to respond.
Demmy James, a fitness expert, says that if you are a bodybuilder who wants the squats to be beneficial, then you must have a broad hip structure. The reason for this is that a strict routine of the hack squats may over time put some pressure on the hip section which in turn reduces. Therefore, some other exercises have to be incorporated so that you may not end up having a thin hip section making the body not proportional.
People rarely perform the hack squats. It is quite disappointing because they are one of the most efficient leg muscle builders. For a more balanced body look, don’t only work on the quads; work on the upper body too. The results are amazing as your upper and lower muscles get toned. Work on having a weekly schedule where you can incorporate exercises that work on the whole body for a more gratifying look.