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Frog Hack Squat Alternative?

The frog hack squat is listed as an exercise in the program I’m currently doing, but I don’t have a hack squat machine available to me. Would doing this exercise in a smith machine be sufficient as a replacement?

Hell no. I dont even know what a frog hack squat is. But i bet it sucks. Hack squats put tremendous stress on the knees. Go for the front squat or safety bar squat.

The Smith Machine is not cool for Hack Squats.

Actually I don’t like the Hack Squat Machine either. Just load a barbell on the floor, squat in front of it, grip the BB from behind yourself, and drive yourself up. Think of it like a reverse Dead Lift, in fact Reverse Dead Lift is an alt name for Hacks. Also your grip/forearm strength will go up if you Hack Squat olde tyme way. No straps either. Enjoy one of the most woefully neglected Squat Variations, I always do when I Hack Squat old school.

I’d say experiment with it. work with foot positioning and put a block or a wieght under your heals. If you feel the resistance in your vastus medialus, your golden.

There is nothing wrong with the smith machine, it is just another tool to help reach your goals.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
I’d say experiment with it. work with foot positioning and put a block or a wieght under your heals. If you feel the resistance in your vastus medialus, your golden.

There is nothing wrong with the smith machine, it is just another tool to help reach your goals.
[/quote]

There is plenty wrong with the smith machine. Eric Cressey wrote a whole article about it. Also don’t squat with your heels elevated.

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:
pat36 wrote:
I’d say experiment with it. work with foot positioning and put a block or a wieght under your heals. If you feel the resistance in your vastus medialus, your golden.

There is nothing wrong with the smith machine, it is just another tool to help reach your goals.

There is plenty wrong with the smith machine. Eric Cressey wrote a whole article about it. Also don’t squat with your heels elevated.
[/quote]

Carbon-12 is refering to this article:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794&pageNo=0

This is where Frog Stance Hack-Squats are discussed. It requires your heals are elevated as that is the only way to isolate the vastus medialus, which is what the frog hack is to develope.

There is nothing wrong with using a smith machine to acheive your goals. It should not be the corner stone of any work out routine, but if it helps you improvise when other equipement is not avaiable, I see nothing wrong with it.

The basis of any good routine will center around barbells and dumbbells, but other equipment such as hacksquats, leg press, hammer strength, even swiss balls can be tools to help you achieve goals by using them to bring up weak points.

[quote]bruinsdmb wrote:
Hell no. I dont even know what a frog hack squat is. But i bet it sucks.[/quote]

They’re one of Thib’s favorite quad movements.
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794

As a substitute, I’d agree with LAMF. The barbell hack squat is probably your best bet. Or, if you’re actually doing a Thib program, why not go ask him in his locker room thread?
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1149303

I’d be surprised if he hasn’t answered this question somewhere along the way already, but can’t hurt to double check.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
bruinsdmb wrote:
pat36 wrote:
I’d say experiment with it. work with foot positioning and put a block or a wieght under your heals. If you feel the resistance in your vastus medialus, your golden.

There is nothing wrong with the smith machine, it is just another tool to help reach your goals.

There is plenty wrong with the smith machine. Eric Cressey wrote a whole article about it. Also don’t squat with your heels elevated.

Carbon-12 is refering to this article:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794&pageNo=0

This is where Frog Stance Hack-Squats are discussed. It requires your heals are elevated as that is the only way to isolate the vastus medialus, which is what the frog hack is to develope.

There is nothing wrong with using a smith machine to acheive your goals. It should not be the corner stone of any work out routine, but if it helps you improvise when other equipement is not avaiable, I see nothing wrong with it.

The basis of any good routine will center around barbells and dumbbells, but other equipment such as hacksquats, leg press, hammer strength, even swiss balls can be tools to help you achieve goals by using them to bring up weak points.
[/quote]

Thanks for citing that article, I remember it now. Just because those tools are available doesnt mean they are useful. Obviously CT and other bodybuilders have had success with the hack squat but IMHO there are better and safer squat variations. I wouldnt reccommend that any lifter use the leg press nor the smith machine, although some people like them.

I have to agree with pat36. I’ve used a heels elevated barbell frog stance hack squat (holy shit that’s a long name for an exercise). I used it frequently during TBT in order to vary my squat types and it has definitely helped to bring up my VMO.

The poster who said elevating your heels is not a good idea is correct when referring to MAX effort back squats (and even this rule can be bent, particularly when dealing with overpowering quads and weak hips). However elevating the heels in the OPs situation will be beneficial.

[quote]Carbon-12 wrote:
The frog hack squat is listed as an exercise in the program I’m currently doing, but I don’t have a hack squat machine available to me. Would doing this exercise in a smith machine be sufficient as a replacement?[/quote]

Do the hack squats without a machine. Point your toes out and descend until your glutes touch your raised heels. Keep your torso perpendicular to your feet. That last point makes the exercise really tough. To add resistance hold a db or kettlebell behind your back. Keep the glutes tensed throughout

[quote]jarvis wrote:

The poster who said elevating your heels is not a good idea is correct when referring to MAX effort back squats (and even this rule can be bent, particularly when dealing with overpowering quads and weak hips). However elevating the heels in the OPs situation will be beneficial.

[/quote]

what is your reasoning here?

My reasoning is that elevating the heels has allowed for me to develop a greater ROM in the squat and has helped to strengthen my weak hip flexors and hamstrings.

I did most of my squatting with elevated heels for around 3 months and my squat went up significantly.

Perhaps raising my heels wasn’t the deciding factor, however I believe that it was. This is due to the fact that elevating my heels put put in a more mechanically advantageous position given my weaknesses.

[quote]jarvis wrote:
My reasoning is that elevating the heels has allowed for me to develop a greater ROM in the squat and has helped to strengthen my weak hip flexors and hamstrings.

I did most of my squatting with elevated heels for around 3 months and my squat went up significantly.

Perhaps raising my heels wasn’t the deciding factor, however I believe that it was. This is due to the fact that elevating my heels put put in a more mechanically advantageous position given my weaknesses. [/quote]

If I am correct the hack squat isn’t meant to have a great ROM. There are better ways to strengthen your hamstrings and lengthen your hip flexors. You probably had/have tight calves and poor ankle mobility, and the plates or board under the heels became a crutch to compensate for that. Get some flat shoes and then squat. See the difference.

This is how Vince Gironda(who first advocated this for thighs) answered the question.

The following is the exercise substitute you have asked for
BARBELL HACK SQUATS

This exercise is a substitute for the famous Hack Machine, and primarily develops the muscles just above the knee area; providing the heel block is high enough. To check this, heels must be elevated high enough so that, when in the full squat position, the thighs are parallel or horizontal with the floor.

Another point to remember is, the straighter the back, the more resistance is placed on the thighs.

Also, with a straight back, the hips are not working to help the legs, as in the regular deep knee bend.

Stand erect with barbell hanging behind the thighs, heels elevated and spread about 11 or 12 inches.

The knees are spread 16? or 18? apart. Now, as you squat, let the barbell carry forward under the thighs to insure a deeper squat.

As you stand up, remember to keep a straight back, and at completion of squat, do not lock out, never straighten the thighs out completely at the top position (Unlocked squat.)

I did these about two hours ago actually, 8x8 and hobbled out of the gym very slowly.

I think you mis-read my initial post. I said that heels elevated could be incorporated into MAX effort BACK squats. I have never maxed out on hack squats, I have used them only to target my VMO, not my hams and hip flexors.

Elevating the heels helps to target the VMO during barbell hack squats because this extends your ROM which is usually limited by the barbell hitting the floor. By going lower you place greater emphasis on the VMO.

Also, I squat in Chucks. I agree that there’s no substitute for proper footwear when squatting. Although I hear that Nike Free shoes are pretty good too.

I hope that this post clears up any confusion.

[quote]jarvis wrote:
I think you mis-read my initial post. I said that heels elevated could be incorporated into MAX effort BACK squats. I have never maxed out on hack squats, I have used them only to target my VMO, not my hams and hip flexors.

Elevating the heels helps to target the VMO during barbell hack squats because this extends your ROM which is usually limited by the barbell hitting the floor. By going lower you place greater emphasis on the VMO.

Also, I squat in Chucks. I agree that there’s no substitute for proper footwear when squatting. Although I hear that Nike Free shoes are pretty good too.

I hope that this post clears up any confusion.

[/quote]

Sorry for the confusion…yeah you’re correct about the technical aspects of the heel lift but it is not a good idea from what I know and have heard (i’ve never tried it). If you want to work the VMO so bad then hit a single leg exercise hard like bulgarian split squats. Just my thoughts.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
bruinsdmb wrote:
pat36 wrote:
I’d say experiment with it. work with foot positioning and put a block or a wieght under your heals. If you feel the resistance in your vastus medialus, your golden…

…There is plenty wrong with the smith machine. Eric Cressey wrote a whole article about it. Also don’t squat with your heels elevated.

Carbon-12 is refering to this article:
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794&pageNo=0

This is where Frog Stance Hack-Squats are discussed. It requires your heals are elevated as that is the only way to isolate the vastus medialus, which is what the frog hack is to develope.
[/quote]

Did Frog Squats just as Thib described, with only about 1/3 my usual hack squat weight. My outer quads were sore for days. Felt my calves pretty good too.

To OP: I agree with many that the smith machine is shit for squats (as well as other movements).

Do some old-school sissy squats.

  1. Grab the side of a sturdy machine with one hand and go up on your tippy-toes. The second hand will rest in the middle of your chest.

  2. Lean back and slowly lower your but towards your heels. Pause briefly at the bottom and go back up.

  3. Do NOT bounce out of the bottom position.

  4. When you can do 10-12 of these in good form, it’s time to start holding a DB in the free hand. You might alternate which hand holds the machine from time to time.

Good Luck!
Scott