Can anyone suggest a good squat machine?
besides a barbell? what specifically are you trying to do/goals?
Find a gym with a hack squat..
Better on the knees, mine any way...
I like using the Cybex V-Squat. Leg presses were my favorite until I started getting groin pulls in my one leg.
Hammer Strength makes a decent one....unlike the old-school hack squat machines (which were basically upright sleds) the newer ones allow for the hips to travel toward the rear, in a somewhat more natural position (as opposed to simple up and down linear travel).
I doubt anyone would recommend any squat machine over a free-weight version, but it's good every now and then for variety or when the rack is being dominated at 6 pm.
If you mean an "at home" version then I'm not sure.
Anyone ever use one of those hip-belt type squat devices? I always wanted to try one of those.
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Have to second what Push said. I saw those Lumberjack squats in a T-Nation article. Started doing them and they are great.
Lot of guys in my gym doing them also. The owner took note and put a little steel bracket in the corner with some angle irons so we stop screwing up his wall:)
If free squats bother your knees, try using the powerlifting squat form with your legs out wide. The stress is taken off your knees and transferred to your glutes, hips, and more core. I've had both knees operated on and both are bone on bone. Wide stance, powerlifting squats put no pressure on my knees and allow me to keep squatting and squatting really heavy.
I agree with those that say to squat with a barbell. Sometimes we just have to re-learn technique or get more flexible. If it's a back issue many use front squat.
All that said...some people use belt squats so the weight is supported by the hips. There are machines for this or you can create one with high boxes and a plate loader to atatch to the belt. I also use Karlsen squats as an assistance movement for powerlifting.
Karlsen squats are performed on a hack squat machine, but facing the "wrong" direction. It is a pretty good imitator of an olympic style squat.