Home Health Tips Hack squats work all the weight on your legs, and the quadriceps do the work directly.

Hack squats work all the weight on your legs, and the quadriceps do the work directly.

by John Eshan

The hack squat enhances the development, resistance, and power of the quadriceps and glutes. Additionally, this exercise favors the knee extensor muscle area and the inner thigh.

When training, the lower body is as important as the upper body, which many still need to incorporate into their gym planning. It would help if you didn’t think the same, and that’s why here we bring you one of the main exercises to work your legs and glutes, the hack squat.

One of the peculiarities of a hack squat is that, ideally, it requires a machine to do it, although later, we will give you some tips on how to do it without one. 

Squats: a simple exercise

Good muscle development is synonymous with strength because its structure provides support and mobility. This hypertrophy is achieved with an exercise strategy focusing on a particular body area. Squats are one of the most important exercises to achieve this goal regarding the lower body.

In the case of the hack squat, the work focuses on the vastus medialis, which is located on the inner surface of the thigh. In addition, this work also helps optimize the work of the knee extensor muscle.

This exercise was designed to isolate the quadriceps and work them specifically. One of the variations of the squat, which is well-known among athletes, uses machines or bars, which facilitates the development of the technique.

Squat hack

Not all squats are done with free weights. There are types of squats that are done on machines.

The hack squat is one of them. It is done on a machine used exclusively for this type of squat.

Machines are always a good option for beginners, but they continue to be used when you are already an expert.

The advantage is that we can move much heavier weights than when we do free squats.

How to correctly perform a hack squat

A correct hack squat has some steps the Hack Squat Activation that are important to follow. We tell you:

  • Load the machine. The weight they advise you is the one indicated for your abilities.
  • Place your feet on the platform of the machine, feet width apart.
  • Rest your entire body on the machine pad, with your torso upright and always with tension in your back, thus protecting your spine.
  • With both hands, grab the side handles of the hack machine.
  • To start the exercise, bend your legs until your thighs parallel the platform. Your hips should be below the line of your knees, forming a 90-degree angle.
  • Push your legs up to the starting position. Keep your legs straight, but without blocking the movement, with slight bending, and remain in that position for 30 seconds.
  • Perform the same steps as many times as you want.

In your hack squat exercises, you must prioritize the complete and correct movement, not so much the weight. Training will give you results and the ability to increase your workload.

What muscles are worked in this squat?

Squats work the lower body, but depending on the type we do, we will be activating one area more than another. With the Hack Squat, the position of the legs varies, as does the range of motion and inclination. This translates into different effects than traditional squats, with different activation of the muscles.


In this type of squat, two muscles are mainly targeted. The quadriceps are the front part of the thigh that works more than in classic barbell squats. The four quadriceps muscles attach to the thigh bone and the front of the pelvis and insert via a common tendon into the kneecap, which attaches via the patellar ligament to the front of the shin. They are responsible for straightening the knee. Placing your feet toward the back of the footrest will further emphasize the quadriceps contraction.

gluteus maximus

As we said before, they also work the gluteus maximus, the most significant muscle in the buttocks. The gluteus maximus attaches to the back of the pelvis and sacrum and inserts into the back of the thigh bone and the iliotibial band, a thick tract of connective tissue on the outside of the thigh. The gluteus maximus extends or straightens the hip. More emphasis will be placed on the gluteus Maximus by placing your feet closer to the front of the footplate.

Don’t leave the hack squat out of your training routine

Remember that the hack squat is a multi-joint exercise. It helps you train different muscles with free weight according to your ability. In addition, it adapts perfectly to your goals, depending on the number of repetitions and series, among other things.

And finally, remember that you will achieve the best results by complementing your training with a good diet.