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Hack Squat vs Squat Technique


Do you guys utilize the same technique barbell squatting as SLED hack squatting? The reason I ask is because hack squatting is basically barbell squatting turned 45 degrees.

Usually, on the eccentric portion of the hack squat, I just shove my knees out during the whole downward movement until my hips reach bottom. But when this happens, as Rippetoe puts it, "the lifter lets his knees move forward at the bottom of the squat.....he has relaxed his hamstrings, because they pull the knee back."

And since the hamstring should act as dynamic stabilizers, am I short-circuting my hamstring out of the movement?

Rippetoe recommends to move the knee forward in the first 1/3- 1/2 of descent and the rest of the movement consist of hips moving back during barbell squats. So would you guys recommend applying the same barbell squat technique on sled hack squats?


Completely different technique. Hack Squat keeps your back in a vertical position in relation to the "floor" you are standing on. During the Barbell Squat you'll have a slight arch in your back and at the bottom position the shoulders will be a bit forward of the hips.

Now, during the Front Squat your are forced to keep and more upright stance by the weight on the front of your shoulders so the Front Squat would more mimic the Hack Squat sled.

The further the knees are from the resistance the more the quads are recruited. As long as you get low enough you should recruit your glutes/hams just fine. But, how are YOU feeling it? With a Hack Squat sled you really can't your hips as low compared to a squat so the glute/hamstring recruitment will be much less.

To the point: The Hack Squat is a very quad dominant exercise...treat is as such.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0eG_urwO2Q just do em like this. Try doing them with a more narrow stance from time to time. also don't lock out fully when using machines. Places that much more tension on the muscles.

Hey is that David Henry in your avatar? He's fuckin' awesome/




Why the hell would you listen to Rippetoe about anything bodybuilding related?


Where do you guys place your feet? Whenever I do sled hack squats, my knees get destroyed. I even play around with the feet positioning, but I still haven't found anything that works.


Here's the deal, you Hack Squat 10 plates per side and your legs will be big no matter what your knees find themselves doing. That's the plain and simple truth.


Do you by any chance have long upper legs?


Could be the particular Hack Squat machine you are using...my gym has 2 of them and on 1 of them I can't get my feet out in front of my far enough and causes my knees to go out way past my feet and absolutely hurts like a motherfucker once I get up around 315+...on the other one where I can get my feet farther I have done as much as 545x8 with no knee pain. The one at my old gym also allowed me to get my feet out a bit farther and I was doing 500+ there as well without any knee pain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hY1LH2fJ2w This is actually an old video of me doing them at my old gym. You can see in the video what I mean about getting my feet out farther on this pad I think. And yes, I realize my first 2 reps aren't very deep - for some reason I can never get myself to go all the way down on the first 1-2 reps. lol


LOL there's some truth in this.


Cool. I'll try moving my feet up as high as possible. Doesn't this start activating the posterior chain? I remember reading something about how putting your feet up really high on the pad for leg presses activates the glutes and post. chain. Don't know if the same thing applies for sled hack squats.

@MeinHerzBrennt: My legs are actually pretty small (I think). I think my tibia/fibula are actually disproportionately smaller than my femur.


You're right about foot placement recruiting different muscles. Just like high and wide feet on a leg press is called a "sumo leg press" and hits the hams more, placing your feet high and wide on a hack should hit your glutes and hams more than it would otherwise.

I may try these again since i'd like to be able to use a hack squat. My problem was always having to put my feet high on the pad which I thought was not hitting my quads enough. Plus I lose a lot of strength that way. After seeing Josh's vid i'm gonna try these out in the future.