Required fields are marked *. It places all the stress on the quadriceps instead of the posterior chain. It’s also a good finisher for use at the end of a gym-based leg workout. Smith machine squats don’t provide any back support, but they do allow you to keep your torso upright, which takes a lot of stress off your lumbar spine. This type of workout intensifier is not practical with barbell squats. 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. 3. How to: Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, stand on your left leg with palms towards your thighs. 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. Keep your left leg slightly bent. 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. Unlike most leg exercises, wall squats involve no movement, and that makes them an isometric exercise. Stand with your back against a smooth, sturdy wall. You don’t need a lot of weight for this to be effective. Hack squats machines are much safer because they have safety catches you can lock in place to stop weight descending if you cannot complete a rep. Moving your feet forward and using a flatter footrest angle is an excellent way to emphasize your glutes and hamstrings. Stand on the footpads of the squat machine with your feet shoulder width apart, facing outwards, under your chest. You can find more on how to perform proper lunges below: We all love exercises that give maximum returns for minimal work done. Unlike regular barbell squats, hack squats are easy on your lower back, and for a lot of lifters, that’s a very welcome benefit. This makes it a great substitute for anyone who’s unable to do hack squats because of upper body injuries. This makes it the ideal leg exercise for beginners. How: Lay on the floor and roll the barbell over your thighs. Building Muscle With 10x3 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. The hack squat machine is one of the most popular leg exercises around. Use your arms for balance or hold on to a pole with one hand. Make this exercise as safe as possible by keeping your lower back arched, and your core braced. With sissy squats, it’s all about the quads. 8 years ago: Squats. Use an overhand grip with your fingers supporting the. The weight is supported on your hips and not on your shoulders, which means significantly less spinal compression (2). The key here is the elevated feet on the wedged surface and the narrow feet position. Sissy Squat 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. The dumbbell hack squat with elevated heels is a squat exercise for your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. 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. Best Power Racks with Lat Pulldown – Reviewed & Rated (2020), Dumbbell Floor Press: How To Exercise Guide (Video Demonstration), Benefits, Muscles Worked, Mistakes, and Alternative Exercises, Kachava vs. Huel: Which is Better? Lower your body by bending your knees forward and leaning backwards. However, it’s also important to know that extreme positions can put a lot of stress on your joints. It is a very stable exercise easy to execute and acts like a self-spotter. Stand with your feet between hip and shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward. You can choose to increase the degree of difficulty by thrusting below parallel, making use of two dumbbells or kettlebells in a front rack position, and making use of a resistance band to heighten muscle activation. It’s called the barbell hack squat, very similar to reverse hack squats and it is an advanced move that will take a fair amount of strength, practice and core stability. There’s no skipping leg day with leg press and squat machines from Fitness Factory. That’s good news if you have a weak back, an old back injury, or just want to train your legs without having to worry about a tired lower back bringing your set to a premature end. Breath in and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. The hack squats is a superb workout if you are faced with unbalanced problem of your leg muscles, thanks to its supportive equipment. 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. Front Squats. However, our reviews are based on well research backed analysis. What are Hack Squats. Grab the safety handles with both the hands. Brace your abs. Hack squats are an effective way to work your legs in relative safety. Emphasize different leg muscles by moving your feet– hack squat work your entire lower body. Trusted brand. We sometimes wonder why we don’t see people utilizing it as much as they do leg extensions or leg raises. Keep your lower back slightly arched; no rounding! The only caveat is that you need a hack squat machine to perform the exercise and not all gyms have one. A lot of fitness coaches call barbell back squats the king of exercises. Tuck your feet in towards your butt. You’ve got to vary and mix things up, don’t you? Squats mimic the movement of leg presses. Below are 5 of the best Smith machine squat alternatives. Before we reveal the best hack squat alternative exercises, let’s examine this exercise and discuss what makes it so popular and effective. #4 – Pistol Squats #5 – Barbell Hack Squat. Easy to load. Hack squats are a great way to add some variety and also add some isolation to those thigh muscles. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest and just beneath your chin. 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. 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. All you have to do to land perfect lunges is load your lunges with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells, place your feet hip-width apart and take a step forward with your back knee dropping to the floor. Videos you watch may be added to the... #7 – Trap Bar Deadlift. It allows you to target your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes while keeping your upper body stable. 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. 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. I wanted to add hack squats into my leg routine and My gym no longer has a hack squat machine.. As such, it is … But, as good as hack squats are, they’re not always practical. With ten hack squat alternatives to choose from, you now have lots of exercises you can do instead. It is probably called a sissy squat because you mostly appear like a sissy bending over backwards and holding on to something. Lift the bar up slowly while you stand up and extend the knees and hips completely. So, whether you are bored with hack squats or just don’t have access to this machine, you can still train your legs in more or less the same way. Hack Squats need a distinct hack squat machine. Required fields are marked *, Hi there! Why It's Sub Worthy: It's still a barbell squat, but the position of the bar on the front of … Adopt a shoulder-to-hip-width stance to more closely replicate hack squats. Hack Squats. Push your back against the wall as hard as you can and for as long as you can. 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. Benefits of The Modified Barbell Hack Squat. It will fire those inner thigh muscles, the outer quads and also your glutes while engaging your core and those stabilizer muscles like never before. 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. Quick and easy to learn– because the weight is guided on rods, and your back is supported, hack squats are quick and easy to learn. Simple to perform– the hack squat machine is something of an exercise no-brainer. Because of this, if you’re squatting heavy, you should do it in a power rack. You can either be seated or do it lying down depending on the variation you pick. 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. Videos you watch may be added to... #6 – Goblet Squat. The hack machine provides you the balance and stability to protect your lower back from injuries, which the freestanding squat rack cannot. Push your butt back, bend your knees, and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. 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. Some gyms don’t have this particular machine, and if you train at home, you probably won’t have space for one. If you’ve ever seen a model whose quadriceps you adore, it’s probably all thanks to the miracle of sissy squats. Alternative: Stiff-legged dumbbell deadlift, dumbbell sumo squat If you do not have the time to hit the gym, then you may do the dumbbell hack squat at home. Shop our huge selection of cable and weight plate resistance leg press machines in a variety of configurations including traditional combination leg press and hack squat sleds, cable leg press machines, vertical leg presses, and leg press machine attachments for universal home gyms. If you maintain an erect torso throughout the movement, it engages the quadriceps, but really fires the VMO. Bend your legs and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. They allow you to keep your torso upright, which makes them very quad-centric, just like hack squats. Some of the advantages of working with a safety squat bar include easiness on the hands and significantly less lower back pressure. 1. You will use the same squat machine, but you will just perform the exercise differently. The front squat is regarded as one of the best exercises for building that bubble to your butt that everyone craves in these days. It allows you to target your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes while keeping your upper body stable. It will fire those inner thigh muscles, the outer quads and also your glutes while engaging your core and those stabilizer muscles like never before. Entire workouts have been created around barbell back squats, including the famous 20-rep squat routine. They are also quite easy to pull off. Increased back support – hack squat machines provide lots of back support. Most free weight lower body exercises, like squats and deadlifts, are much more technically demanding and take longer to learn and master. Places ample tension on the entire lower body including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. But, with practice, this gets easier, and you’ll soon discover how good a quad exercise that front squats can be. Hack squats can build muscle size and strength, but, performed explosively, they’re also useful for developing muscle power. Step-Ups. With drop sets, you do as many reps as you can with your chosen weight, strip 10-15% off, and rep out again. Adjust the we… Also, you can choose to do this with a barbell or with kettlebells or dumbbells. That said, if you are strong enough, you can also do it with some added weight to make it even more challenging. That doesn’t mean you can forget entirely about proper exercise technique, but, with hack squats, there really isn’t too much to think about, and it’s pretty tough to do this exercise incorrectly. That’s why we examined brands to come up with this list of the hack squat alternative. In some ways, front squats are a better hack squat alternative than back squats. We believe you should have the best information at your fingertips to help you reach your fitness goals and to stay up to date on everything happening in the bodybuilding, fitness and strength sports industry... Read more. It’s a compound movement that poses very little risk of injury or strain to your lower back and knees. Stand on top of an elevated platform about a few inches high. He’s not just an armchair fitness expert; Patrick practices what he preaches! This is a variation of the squat, and it is for developing the leg muscles. Instead, you can concentrate on working your legs to the max. Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform effective safety bar squats: Your email address will not be published. However, some exercisers may find this puts too much stress on the knees. Listed below are the alternative exercises that you can substitute for hack squats. Slowly squat down and grab the barbell at the knurls with a pronated (overhand) grip. And while some may argue there is no such thing and you only get what you give, lunges are one of those few exercises that actually give a little more than they get. One thing I want to tell you here is that doing this leg press alternative with the weights is quite tricky as you have to maintain proper balance while doing the reps. Hack Squats. I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. One of the innate qualities of the hack squat is to train the Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO), which is one of the innermost muscle heads of the quadriceps. A smith machine squat is a nice alternative to the traditional squat machine. I have a love-hate relationship with the zercher squat, I hate it when I'm doing them, but they make picking up heavy stuff at work waaay easier. Unlike machine hack squats, this exercise can be hard on your lower back. My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future. 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. 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. Allows the lifter to train both the squat and deadlift pattern at the same time. Hold still for one count and then push your body back up by driving the balls of the feet through the platform. 4. Good for drop sets– if you want to push your legs to the limit, training systems like drop sets can help. Lift it upwards and stop just before your legs lock out completely. Reinforces proper hip hinge mechanics throughout. These differences aside, the leg press is still a good hack squat alternative, especially when done using a hip-width stance with your feet low on the footplate. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. 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. The movement is technically a deadlift behind the back. Safety Bar Squats are a hack squat substitute that are something of a hybrid between front squats and back squats. Here’s how to perform a regular free weight squat: Squatting with free weights is fundamentally simple. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-wide and toes pointing outwards at a 45-degree angle. The feet should not be more than 6-inches apart. Our Review, Zwift vs Sufferfest – There’s One Clear Winner – My Personal Comparison, Schwinn IC2 vs. IC3 – The Differences, Advantages & More, T Bar Row Exercise Guide – How To, Muscles Worked, Alternatives, Mistakes to Avoid, Best Kachava Alternatives – Cheaper, Tastier, & Better Substitutes. 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. Continue squatting until your knees gently touch the ground. Bend your legs and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. While it’s definitely not an exercise for a beginner, the front squat is one of the best substitutes for the hack squat. Stand with your feet shoulder-wide, flat on the floor. Your email address will not be published. Doing squats on a Smith machine are popular in the fitness community, but they might not be the best exercise for muscle size and strength growth. Yes, the most obvious alternative to Smith machine squats is the classic barbell back squat. A regular dose of this well-known exercise can help you build strength and add size to your entire lower body, especially your quads. Thoracic Extension. The hack squat adjusts the squat by stabilizing your back and placing the primary emphasis on the quads. 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. Do this for three to four sets of as many reps as possible. 1. This exercise is named after Estonian weightlifter and wrestler George Hackenschmidt, famed for his huge thighs and immense strength (1). 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. In other words, if you’re looking for a hack squat alternative with maximum result, versatility, and flexibility, lunges are perfect for you. Plus, if you do this exercise too often, your muscles will become accustomed to it, and it will stop being so effective. 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. Position the barbell on your back like a conventional squat and perform the move. Pause for one hold and then return to the starting position. Lunges are another hack squat alternative on our list whose specific targets are the quadriceps. So I'm wondering what I could do to replace the exercise? You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Hack Squats. One of the advantages is that you can use a lot less weight to engage your quads. Use a wider stance to increase adductor recruitment or a narrower stance to hit your quads more. If you work out at home, you are probably wondering how you can train your quads even though you are limited to bodyweight exercises. 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. Stand on a wedge board or even a barbell plate with your heels on the elevated surface. This means you can train to failure in relative safety and without needing spotters. Your email address will not be published. Ensure that you do not slouch your back. If you work out at home, you are probably wondering how you can train … Sissy squats … Very safe– if you fail while doing barbell front or back squats, there is a very real risk of getting crushed under a heavy weight. All Rights Reserved. They’re a very viable alternative to hack squats. Adjustable. Gradually, and despite your best efforts, your progress will stall, and you’ll find yourself stuck in a progress rut, unable to increase muscle size or strength. Squat down slowly pushing the hips back, bending the knees and keeping the back erect the whole time. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device. You should be able to rotate the handles to engage the safety at any point during the rep. Use any of these exercises anytime you don’t have access to a hack squat machine or just need a hack squat alternative. Muscle power is your ability to generate force quickly and is an essential element in most sports. Leg presses are similar to hack squats in several ways. Top 10 Best Hack Squat Alternative available in 2020 Getting the right one in a market with various options is a time-consuming task. You may include it in your leg workout routine if you want to target all the major muscle groups of your legs simultaneously. They are brutally hard, and as such are a fantastic exercise for leg… Like hack squats, the weight is guided on rods, and your back is also supported. For the latest news and updates please follow us on. Some of the best qualities of lunges can be found in their versatility and flexibility. FitnessVolt.com - 1700 Lincoln St. Denver, CO. © Copyright 2010 - 2020 FitnesVolt.com - FitnessVolt IBC. How to Train to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse! Disclosure: FitnessVolt.com has an affiliate relationship with different brands and is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Widen your feet to shoulder-width, straighten your back, and raise your arms straight in front. Pages: 1. Needless to say, this could cause serious injury. Step out and into a shoulder-width stance, with your toes turned slightly outward. 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. Hang a weight from your hips using a chin-dip belt. These will require a special hack squat machine, so it depends on if you have access to one or not. Once you gain more expertise, you can start to add more weight as well as vary your feet position. Hip belt squats are also very lower back-friendly, which is what makes them such a good hack squat alternative. You can perform the hack squat the old school way using a barbell behind you. Sissy squats may be the answer! 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 … Best Home Gym Setups – How To Build The Perfect Budget Setup, How Can I Get Bigger Hands? StreetStrider Vs ElliptiGO: Which Elliptical Bike is Best For You?