T Nation

Hack Squats

This question has been debated in my gym…when performing a hack squat should you press your lower back in the pad or should you try to keep the natural arch in your back which would allow you to keep you butt on the bad but the lower back a way from it…My next question, does anyone know where i can get the “Poliquin Principles”, its out of print and even Amazon is selling it for $165!!

To answer your questions. I know of at least three ways to do hack squats. 1) Always lock your back like you would in regular squating. Why because forcing the back into another position would create unnatural stresses on it. So with the back against the pad hack squat away. 2) By just putting your shoulders into the pads and holding you body away at an angle you can perform sissy squats using the hack machine. I have seen several picture of Tom Platz doing this. 3) Using the hack machine for eccentric sissy squats. Place the shoulders into the pad and assume the sissy squat body angle. Now slowly lower yourself into the bottom position. Once at the bottom, push your back against the pad and push-up. It will take some practice, but it works wonders on quad development. Also a great way to squat during the last phase of HST.
Check out Poliquin’s website, I believe his books are published by Dalton Press. Run by famous strongman Mike Dalton’s sister. Best of Luck.

Forget about doing Hack Squats on the machine. Check out Coach Davies article “Forgotten Squats” on T-mag for a unique, and very effective way to do them with a barbell. I’m back on Renegade Training and did these for the first time last week. You won’t believe how well they work! As for Poliquin Principles, if it’s selling for $165, I’ll sell you mine for $100!

Funny that you should mention it OL but I just changed my HST program to switch to sissy hack squats from box squats during the last 2 weeks for safety reasons. You can grow a heck of a lot more when you are safe than when you are injured. Unfortunately, I see a lot of young, and not so young, lifters practicing dangerous techniques.

You will not injure yourself doing box squats if you perform them correctly. You would also be more likely to injure your knees doing hack squats.

I would suggest you…
Put a bar on the ground with some weight, stand in front of it, grab it behind your ankles, and then basically deadlift it backwards. Problem solved.

I find this way of hack squatting much more effective

Adam Marshall

this is one of the only times that i liek the machine over the free weight equiv. the barbell behind the back feels overall awkward and i cant seem to use appreciable loading.

i love barbell hack squats, they really work well, problem is i need to wait a long time after my regular deadlifting routine to do them since they will also hit your back muscles again. That’s why for quads i mainly stick with narrow stance front squats and back squats. You gotta love the compound excercises though. laters pk

I vote for the barbell hack. I do them and incorporate them in my squat routine–moving them around inside the ‘pyramid’ as I get closer to the strength phase. Also, I do the box squat as well, tossing it in as I hit new PR’s. It helps strengthen the hip flexors (at least for me). It won’t damage knees (I use a power lifter-sumo stance)…

Check out netrition.com they sell books too.