Hack Squat

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Quads
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, Hamstrings
Equipment Machine
Emphasis Compound
Type Squat

Hack Squat Instructions

  • Rest your back on the padding and position your feet slightly forward on the foot plate to get adequate depth when squatting.
  • Be in a strong position while in the machine: knees flexed, core and glutes activated, chest up, and shoulders back. 
  • Always keep your knees slightly bent, never locking them out.
  • To create stability in your hips, screw your feet into the floor and subtly push your knees out.
  • Descend into the bottom position. Try to get more range-of-motion than you normally would on a barbell squat variation. 
  • Once you reach the bottom position, accelerate back up driving your feet through the foot plate. 
    • Continue to push your knees out and maintain your core tightness on the ascent.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top position.


  • Keep your eyes fixated straight ahead with your neck in a neutral position. 
  • To improve mind-muscle connection, feel your quads, glutes and hamstrings loading on the eccentric portion of the lift.
  • Don't bounce out of the bottom, control the exercise through the full range-of-motion.
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