T Nation

Hack Squat Question

I’ve just completed my fist week of Waterbury’s Big Boy Basics. I love this program and I want to stick to as close as possible. Today I did hack squats for the first time and I’m concerned if my legs actually got a work out. I was lifting 185 8X3 as the prgram reccomends.

I’m sure my legs could have handled more weight, but my grip wouldn’t be able to handle it. Meanwhile this skinny, old dude is on a hack squat machine hammering out 10 reps with the same weight.

So I’m wondering, should I switch to the machine to get a better leg workout or should a stick to the free weights and just wait till my grip improves?

Machine vs free weights apples and oranges bro. yor working your whole biody thats the point in that exercise on this program. Your grip was simply a limiter the weak link

If your just lifting to look pretty try straps.

Stick to the free weights the machines arent the devil but this program and most of CW’;s are based in free weights for the reason of working the WHOLE body


I’d say throw some grip work into your routine.

Ok, thanks for the input guys. I’ll stick to the free weights and work on grip strength.

You could try using the hook grip, too. I went through a few annoying weeks where my grip was limiting how much I could hack squat until I started to use a lot of chalk.

Two other tips which helped me: pull the shoulders back hard and don’t let your ass rise too quickly. This reduces the friction between the bar and the hamstrings and that makes it much easier to keep a firm grip at the top of the lift.

If that guy on the squat sled was doing the same weight than he’d be quite strong. I know 200 lb kids that can’t do one rep with a 45 on each side. Nevermind a 45 and a 25. For hack squats, honestly, I did them for a while and I felt the same way as you. I don’t use the machine either but sticking to lunges and BB squat variations has worked fine.