Hack Squat – Exercise Guide

Hack Squat (Quads) – Exercise Guide

Muscles worked: Quads

Equipment needed: Hack Squat Machine


1. Place your shoulders under the shoulder pads and your back against the back pad of the hack squat machine.

2. Position your legs on the platform with a shoulder-width stance and your toes pointing out slightly.

3. Place your hands on the side handles of the machine. Keep your back glued to the pad and your head up at all times throughout the exercise.

4. Disengage the safety bars and straighten your legs without locking out your knees completely. This will be your starting position.

5. Take a deep breath and slowly start to lower the unit by squatting. Continue to go down until the angle between your upper legs and calves is less than 90-degrees. Your upper legs should be slightly below parallel to the platform at the bottom of the movement.

6. Reverse the motion by starting to raise the unit by extending at your knees and pushing through your heels.

7. Pause and contract your quads for a couple of seconds at the top of the movement.

8. Repeat for the recommended repetitions.

Variations/How To

Emphasize the Outer Thighs (Abductors)

Narrowing your stance by placing your feet closer than shoulder width will help you in targetting the outer quad sweep.

Emphasize the Inner Thighs (Adductors)

Widening your stance more than the normal foot placement will recruit your inner things or adductors. Having a wider-than-normal stance will also help in recruiting your hamstrings.

Emphasize the Hamstrings

While the shoulder-width foot placement targets the quads, wide foot placements or variations like the sumo squats primarily target the hamstrings.

Alternate Exercises for Hack Squat


Bodyweight Squat

Dumbbell Squat

Front Barbell Squat