Barbell Back Squat. Use the lever to engage the weights— this functionality will vary from machine to machine. Step onto the platform and secure the connected belt around your waist, adjusting the height as needed. With a strong, vertical back, take a step forward. IronMind sells the hip belt squat attachments. As you step forward, allow the back knee to drop toward the floor. Playing next. Key Training Tips: Cross your arms over your chest to build a "shelf" for the bar to rest on. Brace your core and engage your lats, then drive upward through your feet until you reach full extension. Why It's Sub Worthy: Anyone who bashes the Smith machine for not being "functional" hasn't opened up his or her mind to all the function this training tool has to offer. Dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands are must-have implements to take bodyweight squats to the next level. Always make sure to do these exercises with proper form and don’t let your ego get ahead of you. Nikita Ross is a Precision Nutrition Level One certified nutrition coach, ACE-certified personal trainer, and professional fitness writer. Load up an Olympic bar with the desired weight. That’s why the goblet squat is the perfect alternative. Hack Squats - Muscles Targeted. When your thighs reach parallel or the bar touches the floor, drive up to the standing position. How to do it: Hold a barbell behind your back with … I say always leave one on the backburner, to use when it’s time to re-shock your body into adaptation. on the lower back than with barbell back squats. There are several areas that might be causing you pain during squatting. Avoiding squats because of lower-back pain? Grip the handles gently— your hands are for stability. Hack squats are often viewed as one of the best barbell squat alternatives. Alternative Exercises: Weighted sissy squat, hack squat, front barbell squat: Video: How to do the Proper Form of a Barbell Hack Squat. The barbell must be positioned just behind your legs. Here’s how you can do this move. It also allows squatters to change their positioning safely for muscle targeting, as well as incorporating single-leg movements. Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat These are performed with one foot elevated behind you on a bench and the other firmly planted out front. For lifters who can't do traditional squats because of injuries, landmine squats are a good alternative. This change in position puts stress on the quads, rather than distributing it across the glutes and hamstrings. With a front squat, the barbell is loaded anteriorly across the shoulders and chest, with the arms in a front rack position. Hold a pair of dumbbells to your sides, back straight, head up, and lower your body until your front knee forms a 90 degree angle. When you’re in position, you release the weights and squat as you would with a bar or hack squat machine. They’re great for quad development and the core, and present a slightly different challenge than traditional barbell squats. © 2016–2021 TheWorkoutDigest.com - All Rights Reserved TheWorkoutDigest.com is designed for informational purposes only & DOES NOT provide medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. You may feel that same sense of incredulity as I discuss leg exercises that are alternatives to squats. The front rack barbell split squat is a front squat alternative that allows you to practice the “front rack” position. That’s because all you really need are some type of weight (dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, etc.) With traditional back … An alternative that you may wish to try are Hip Belt Squats. For example, placing your feet further forward (something you can't do with a barbell) targets the glutes for those who want to emphasize that area. Key Training Tips: Your palms can either be both facing forward or staggered so that one faces forward and the other backâwhatever you prefer. For some, this can be the most challenging part of a squat. What is a barbell hack squat? Despite the change in weight distribution, there is. Lifting a lot of weight can be exhilarating, but when done improperly it leads to injury and limited muscle growth. Slowly squat down and grab the barbell at the knurls with a pronated (overhand) g… Leg presses are a better choice if you want to avoid spinal loading entirely, remove any trunk and/or upper body musculature from assisting, or you just enjoy this exercise more than hack squats. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Unlike barbell squats, the hack squat machine lets you load up tons of plates. The back squat, often performed on a machine, is another leg pressing movement to add hypertrophy to the quadriceps and even glutes. Let’s be honest – Overloading the bar during a barbell front squat can cause the bar to dig into your shoulders or your wrists to begin aching. Here are some of the most effective hack squat alternatives to add to your training. 01-03-2016, 07:01 AM #6. This move is unique because the weight is behind you, and there's less strain placed on the lower back compared to a standard deadlift because you're not forced to lean so far forward. Plug any one of these moves into your leg routine where "barbell squat" shows up, and you can reap (mostly) the same strength and muscle-building benefits offered by the "king.". The primary reason for needing a hack squat alternative is a lack of equipment. When you reach parallel or below, drive upward through your heels until standing. Brace your core and hinge back through the hips, keeping your chest facing up. Like the hack squat, the leg press takes the stabilizer muscles out of the equation. Or Tim Cook, the guy who followed Steve Jobs at Apple? Â© 2020 Bodybuilding.com. However, it works both ways. Kettlebell Squat Now, this isn’t just a great alternative for when there isn’t a squat rack with the busy queues about. All rights reserved. With this version, you're straddling the bar. I know barbell squats can be tough on your lower back and kneesâtrust me, I've had back issues myself. Keep in mind that one may need to squeeze the scapulae on lockout. But this does not mean that hack squats, barbell squats and leg press should always be in the same weight lifting routine. This is a good at-home leg press alternative. While grasping the barbell behind you, stand up straight. There isn’t any assistance from a machine in terms of stabilization — like there would be with a hack squat — so the barbell squat requires the upper body, hips, and core to do more work. Keep in mind that one may need to squeeze the scapulae on lockout. Below are 5 of the best Smith machine squat alternatives. In weightlifting circles he is perhaps best known for’ his’ version of the squat, I.e. Reach down and grab the bar with a pronated grip, keeping your torso as vertical as possible. While the motion is similar to a conventional deadlift, it takes place behind the legs. Squatting with an SSB is like a hybrid between front and back squats. Hack squats have long been a favored exercise for their quad-building effects. If you're already doing squats and leg press, you really don't need another quad-dominant exercise. Reverse the direction, driving up forcefully through the forward heel to the start position, using the back foot for balance. Barbell hack squats provide an alternative option to those looking for a little variation in their leg workouts. Or the quarterback who will replace Tom Brady when he hangs up his cleats? 3 Back Friendly Barbell Squat Alternatives. Reverse the motion, letting your glutes track backward, to lower back down. Unlike the traditional machine hack squat, the weight always remains below your hips, helping you in reducing the force of impact and stress on your spine. Plant your feet at shoulder width or slightly wider— you may need to adjust based on your body type. Variations to this movement include: walking lunges, curtsy lunges, back lunges, and forward cross lunges. The main difference between the hack squat and barbell squat is that you’ll need to focus on upper body stability and hip engagement. The back squat, often performed on a machine, is another leg pressing movement to add hypertrophy to the quadriceps and even glutes. There are several areas that might be causing you pain during squatting. If you enjoy these lifts, feel free to cycle them in to your barbell routine once you are ready to switch up some exercises. I agree that there’s no substitute for proper footwear when squatting. While no exercise can ever really replace barbell squats, these alternatives will certainly help pack mass on your legs, safely. Which is why they were left out. It’s a better alternative to dumbbell squats in my opinion. elitefitness.ae. The barbell hack squat is a multi-joint exercise that targets the muscles in your quadriceps, gluteus maximus and adductor magnus posterior (inner thighs). Also realize that barbell squat could mean free barbells or Smith machines. Barbell Hack Squat Exercise Information. You can also hold two dumbbells or kettlebells in a front-rack position with the weight resting on your shoulders. The barbell squat is hailed as the king of exercises because it activates more muscles than any other exercise, thus being an effective near-total body workout. By Jill Lee. Additionally, taking the upper body out of the equation lets lifters move through an extended range of motion. Carefully step back and place your feet slightly outside of shoulder width. When you use a machine, the balancing is all handle for you. As a result, you can still push the weights without worrying about your spine and shoulders. Load your bar into a front rack position, with the barbell resting across your upper chest and elbows held high in front of you. Why It's Sub Worthy: At first glance, this exercise may look a bit odd, like you're doing a deadlift the wrong way, because the bar is behind your legs instead of in front. It's this lunge orientation that allows you to keep your torso perpendicular with the floor and clear from the excessive forward lean that often causes lower-back strain. With the leg press, you push the weight away from you while your back rests on the fixed stand. Don’t think that means it’s outdated; the barbell hack squat is still a challenging, effective exercise and a viable leg press alternative. When you use a machine, the balancing is all handle for you. This is superior to the Smith machine option for several reasons. With this movement, you have the option of either putting a barbell on your back or holding dumbbells. By using free weights, you aren’t letting your core strength off easy. Return to the start without locking your knee. The intent of the exercises is to make sure you can continue to maintain or even build your strength, your power, and your musculature when it's become clear that the regular back squat isn't working for you at this time. Report. The goal is to keep the spine neutral, engage the glutes, and refrain from rounded shoulders. Bend your forward knee and hip to lower your body until your same-side thigh is parallel with the floor. As is the case with the BSS, the lunge allows many people with a hip or back injury to perform the exercise pain free. Key Training Tips: If you're holding dumbbells, you may be limited by your grip strength; in that case, use the barbell version. Load the desired weight on the bar of the belt squat machine. The bar sits significantly lower on the body (at the midsection, not up high on the back), which reduces the compressive forces on the spine considerably. I hope that this … The barbell hack squat is done by placing the barbell behind the body as illustrated below. Barbell Hack Squat Technique. The hack squat machine is one of the most popular leg exercises around. Get into a squat stance with feet at shoulder width or slightly wider. Alternative Exercises: Weighted sissy squat, hack squat, front barbell squat: Video: How to do the Proper Form of a Barbell Hack Squat. With the hack squat, you push the weight upward while the feet stay on a fixed platform. It is best to utilize an overhand grip for a traditional hack squat. Like a hack squat, the belt squat machine takes the upper body out of the equation. There are benefits to this which we’ll discuss but it’s hard to go wrong with the hack squat as it’s a viable alternative to the barbell squat. Jim Stoppani holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant to numerous celebrity clients, including... Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! Like the back squat, core engagement is an essential component of the front squat. As a result, there’s significantly less pressure on the lower back than with barbell back squats. It’s important to note that while using an SSB engages the upper back more than a hack squat; it results in 15-17% less hamstring activation and 9% less hamstring activation than a back squat. For this movement to work properly, you’ll want to elevate your heels with lifter shoes or by standing on weight plates. Hack squats are a better choice if you want an exercise that is more specific to the back squat, or you simply prefer this machine to the leg press. Why It's Sub Worthy: This exercise is often referred to as the Jefferson "deadlift," but the upright nature of the torso more resembles a squat than a traditional deadlift, where you're forced to lean further forward because the bar is in front of both legs. Unlike heavily-loaded barbell squats, loading up split squats with kettlebells, dumbbells, and/or weight vests places virtually zero stress on the spine. Load your barbell into a back rack position, resting it across your upper back and traps. This is great for those who struggle placing a barbell in the correct position across the back. It’s significantly more likely that a person already has a dumbbell set at home (as opposed to a barbell and rack), making this the perfect exercise to perform in the comfort of your own home. It allows you to safely overload the lower-body muscles with heavy weight to spark new gains in both size and strength, because you don't have to worry about keeping your balance. Alternative Names: Hack squat without machine Type: Strength Experience Level: Intermediate Equipment: Barbell Muscles Targeted: Thigh, hips, hamstrings, back, neck Mechanics: Compound Average Number of Sets: 3 with 6-10 reps each Variations: Barbell hack squat with heels elevated Alternative: Front barbell squat, weighted sissy squat Bend at the knees and hips, letting your glutes track backward, to lower yourself into a squat. Start with a lighter weight. Keep the barbell at arm’s length, your feet shoulder-width apart, eyes facing forward, head and back straight. If you’re working with limited equipment, there are a variety of free-weight squats that will effectively target your quads. But more important for those with lower-back issues, front squats force the torso to remain more upright than back squats do (otherwise the bar will fall forward and drop to the floor), thus relieving some of the strain on the spine.). Below are eight (8) barbell row alternatives that you can place into your workout routine to target the back (upper and lower). To be successful in the pursuit of your fitness goals, you must be able to adapt to your environment. Alternatives to Barbell Deadlifts; Share on Facebook; The hack squat is an effective exercise for increasing muscle mass and strength in the lower legs and hips. This is a good alternative to working out with a barbell. For example there are hack squat machines which you can use, in this case you have shoulder pads that you climb under and then squat while your feet are at an angle (due to an angled foot plate). To squat with free-weights, hold a single dumbbell or kettlebell in your hands in front of your chest for a goblet squat. Due to the stability and core strength required for a barbell back squat, you’ll likely be forced to use a lighter weight than you would with a hack squat. Ensure that your knees don’t extend over your feet to prevent injuries. Brace your core and hinge your hips back to lower into a squat, keeping your chest and elbows high. The benefit of a hack squat is that the machine takes stability out of the equation. between a belt squat and barbell back squat. Though effective, you may grow weary of performing the same exercise all of the time. Practicing proper form is fundamental with this movement. 8 Barbell Row Alternatives. Despite the change in weight distribution, there is little difference in muscle activation between a belt squat and barbell back squat. They’re great for quad development and the core, and present a slightly different challenge than traditional barbell squats. Alternative: Barbell full squat The hack squat, usually done on a hack squat machine, helps you to train your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes thereby developing your lower body strength. Is the Romanian Deadlift Easy on the Knees? Front squats are an often overlooked alternative to hack squats. However, because you will be using a lighter load than the front squat, your wrists can adapt to being in that position first before loading them with a regular front squat. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hack Squat. The higher the step, the harder this exercise will be. They also involve the hip, knee, and ankle and as such are a perfect alternative to the squat. By going lower you place greater emphasis on the VMO. === Equipment used… They’re also a great option for … Bodybuilding.comâ and BodySpaceÂ® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com. Since your upper body and core muscles are not involved in the movement, all the possible weaknesses that could affect the squat depth are removed. This can be beneficial to … It is an effective strength-gaining exercise for not just improving the flexibility of your thighs and hamstrings but also working your core muscles. Do not fully lock out your knees. 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