Hack squat exercise

Hack squat

Exercise details

  • Movement pattern: Squat
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Main muscles activated

Muscles activated by hack squat


Starting position

  1. With your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly pointing outward, stand on the hack squat platform with your back against the rest and the shoulder pads on top of your shoulders.
  2. Unlatch the hack squat machine unit from the rail.


  1. Keeping your back and head against the rest, inhale as you slowly lower the unit towards the platform by bending your hips and knees until your thighs are at least parallel with the platform.
  2. Exhale as you push the unit back up and away from the platform by extending your hips and knees, driving through your heels.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  4. After you have finished, latch the unit back on to the rail.

Comments and tips

  • The hack squat is a great exercise for strengthening your lower body and improving your barbell squat.
  • For the safety of your ankles and knees, keep your feet and knees pointing in the same direction.
  • Keep your back and head against the rest throughout the exercise.
  • The difference between a barbell squat and a hack squat is that the core is more involved in the barbell squat. Since the hack squat machine assists and stabilizes your upper body and torso, the muscles of the core do not need to work as hard as they would with the barbell squat.
  • For advanced squat variations that recruit many stabilizer muscles and help to improve balance and coordination, consider the barbell front squat or the dumbbell overhead squat.

Hack squat video


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