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How to Do a Hack Squat Correctly and Effectively


Staff member
Jan 13, 2024
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Hack squats are one of the most effective leg exercises you can do with a machine. This exercise works your glutes, quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings, helping you achieve a fitter and more toned lower body. Like any exercise, if you show commitment, you will see results.

Some people miss out on the benefits of hack squats because they get it wrong. It is always crucial to understand how to use a machine before beginning a routine in fitness training. This guide will help you do hack squats the correct way to get the full benefits of the workout. Exercising is also a great natural antidepressant and it can increase your overall mental and physical strength. If you find you are very tight and tense after exercising, here are some natural muscle relaxers.

How to Do Hack Squats Correctly​

The hack squat machine is designed to have you in a standing position and use your body to facilitate an up-down movement on the unit.

hack squat

Use the steps below:​

  • Place your legs against the back pad of the machine and keep them shoulder-width apart.
  • Align and hook your shoulders under the shoulder pads on the machine.
  • Disengage the safety bars by moving the handles from the sides to a diagonal angle. The positioning and movements for the safety bars are different for each model.
  • As you disengage the safety bars, push your upper body upwards and straighten your frame on the machine.
  • Ensure you do not lock the knees as you straighten your body. This is your starting position.
  • Begin the exercise by lowering your knees while still maintaining a straight posture.
  • Keep your back pressed on the back pad and your head facing up throughout the motion.
  • Continue the downward movement like a regular squat up to a 90-degree angle and pick yourself back up again.
  • To get back up, raise the unit by pushing the floor with the heel of your feet.
  • Inhale as you move down the machine, and exhale as you move up.
  • Straighten your legs and go back to the starting position.
  • Perform as many reps recommended for you.

And that is the correct way to do the hack squat exercise. But that’s not all. You can add additional plates to the unit after getting familiar with the machine and the movements.

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Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Hack Squatting​

You should be wary about making these mistakes because they could ruin the hack squat exercise for you. They include:

Adding More Weight Than You Can Handle​

It’s always better to start small and modify the unit as you become more experienced. Start with the base weight first and get used to the movements before adding more plates.

If you jump right in to add more plates, you might have difficulty reaching the 90-degree angle with your knees. The heavier the weight, the less likely you can do the exercise correctly.

Incorrect Weight Distribution​

There is something called weight offset, which happens when you place different plate sizes on either side of the machine. Don’t experiment with this because it could result in injuries. So, if you choose a 45 pounds plate, ensure it is 45 pounds on the other side.

Wrong Foot Placement​

The correct stance for your feet is to have the toes facing forward, leaving a shoulder-width worth of space between both feet. Don’t get too excited and change this position as it could affect your balance and take from the overall experience.


Hack quotes are great for your lower body, and you should add them to your leg exercise routine. Keep in mind that this exercise is not suitable for people with lower back or knee pain. Also, avoid the pitfalls, and you will get the best results from this exercise.

Originally posted 2022-05-04 14:18:02.
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