Hack Squat Exercise Guide & Video

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Watch Hack Squat

For over 50 pre-designed workouts you can bring straight to the gym, view EMG’s Workout Routines.


Step 1. Position your shoulders under the pads on the machine and set your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform. Your knees should be slightly bent in the starting position.

Step 2. Press up and remove the safety handles.

Step 3. Lower yourself down until your knees are at about 90 degrees.

Step 4. Press back up until your knees are locked back out.

Step 5. When finished return the safety handles to secure the weight.


The hack squat is the primary exercise for building size and strength in the legs. With a proper and full range of motion, it works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The hack squat is a variation. Similar to the front squat, this exercise shifts the weight so that it is not bearing down directly on the spine. This exercise therefore works the quads more than it works the hamstrings and glutes. The typical stance is slightly wider than shoulder-width. The user may angle their toes outward and use a wider stance if working the inner part of the leg is desired. The user may also move the feet forward in order to work the quad around the knee more.

Hack Squat 4
Hack Squat 3

Updated: March 30th, 2015