T Nation

Hack Squats

I am getting ready for another round of CW’s TBT and this time around I would like to incorporate hack squats. The problem is that I cannot seem to get the movement correct. It feels like the bar is rolling up my hams and my ass. I was thinking about using the smith machine for this lift at least until I feel like I can perform the lift correctly. Does this sound like a reasonable approach or should I just load the bar with less weight and practice doing them?

I would also like to know if the hack squat leads to better development of the quads than back squats and front squats? I currently do back squats twice a week and front squats once a week.

Whatever you do do not go to the smith machine! I don’t see how this could benifit you in any way expecially if your trying to learn the proper free weight technique.

Like you said just keep the weight resonable, go as heavy as you can and still feel you have good form.

Honestly however I don’t fully understand your issue… The only way to keep the bar from rubbing the back of your legs is grow longer arms, and I don’t think there is any reasonable way to do that :smiley:

[quote]Snoop wrote:
I am getting ready for another round of CW’s TBT and this time around I would like to incorporate hack squats. The problem is that I cannot seem to get the movement correct. It feels like the bar is rolling up my hams and my ass. I was thinking about using the smith machine for this lift at least until I feel like I can perform the lift correctly. Does this sound like a reasonable approach or should I just load the bar with less weight and practice doing them?

I would also like to know if the hack squat leads to better development of the quads than back squats and front squats? I currently do back squats twice a week and front squats once a week. [/quote]

Snoop,
I’d skip the Smith machine and go with less weight on the bar until you get used to the movement. It doesn’t feel like a very natural lift, or at least didn’t to me, until I worked it for a while. I think that you’ll have better long term results by using the bar.

I don’t know which of the three leads to optimal quad development, probably a combination of all of them. BTW, are you really squating three days a week (2 back, 1 front) week-in and week-out? If so, you are probably overtraining the affected musculature.

Hack Squats are a tough one! I usually squat in the 315 and up range, but when I do Hacks I use 135. Keep your upper body as upright as possible and push through your heels. Takes practice!
Dan

I guess when I checked out the form, the bar did not appear to ever touch the guy’s legs. If it has to rub the leg then I can deal with that. I just thought I was doing something wrong. I would ask people in my gym but I am the only one that uses the squat rack, except the “arm” guy who does his fancy boy curls in it.

Doesn’t sound like an issue to me either. The bar will rub on your hams,glutes. I have even left a few times with bloody calves, LOL. Damn shorts.

Just drop the weight and progress as you are more comfortable. Nail the form keeping your core locked and in order. As for better for your quads than either front or back squats, no not really but a different movement and worth doing. More quads than deads for sure and a good way to unload the weight off your back every now and again.

Want to really nail the quads?? A while back coach Davies suggested to me when I first started to incorporate hack squats. Super set back squat follow immediately by hack squat. Do that three sets. Brutal.

Keep up the work and the change will probably give you some great advancement through new stimulus.
Hope that helps,
Phill

Thanks for the responses guys! I am pretty excited about doing these.

if you are afraid of it scraping you etc. use a cambered bar. The “hollow” space in the middle will keep you from creaming yourself. I did these in the beginning because my ass is huge.

I still sometimes use the cambered bar over a regular straight bar. Just have to make sure to keep your chest out and not turn it in to a deadlift.

[quote]Lotus wrote:
if you are afraid of it scraping you etc. use a cambered bar. The “hollow” space in the middle will keep you from creaming yourself. I did these in the beginning because my ass is huge.

I still sometimes use the cambered bar over a regular straight bar. Just have to make sure to keep your chest out and not turn it in to a deadlift.[/quote]

I’m sure people at my old gym wished I could of used a cambered bar! On some reps the bar would catch on my shorts and expose a bit to much of my Casper white bird legs!

Just remember chest out, keep torso upright, and push through the heels, wearing pants instead of shorts helps the bar slide along too.