T Nation

Hip Belt Squats for Leg Development?


this is a hip belt squat... http://www.T-Nation.com/img/photos/201hipbltsqt.gif

has any one had any success in the way of leg size/strength increases doing this exercise? im interested in incorperating this exercise into my new full body routine (consisting of chins, dips, overhead presses and deadlifts) and was wondering if this exercise is worth using in my routine.

btw my primary goal is to increase size and secondarily increase strength, therefore i will be using slightly higher rep ranges.

thanks for any replies as there isn't too much info out there on this particular exercise


Joke rite?

You wont be popular at the gym hogging two benches trying to imitate big swinging ball sack maneuvre.

Cant see how this'd be better than regular squats for development, you're going to be limited by the weight you can use (as your big dangly thang).


i train at home and therefore have the equipment to do these.

i asked if anyone has used them before and what effects have they had on leg development, not what you reckon it'd look like in a gym :slightly_smiling: thanks for the reply though.


  1. Less spinal loading
  2. Easier to stay upright

Dave Tate manages to use them despite being "limited by the weight you can use" - whatever that even means...


I dunno, if someone was looking for less spinal loading, id probably tell them to go 'Sissy Squat,' which Tom Platz did. I mean if you wanted to do THAT particular exercise, why not perform a body weight squat, minus the benches, and just hold a dumbbell between your legs. Probably as effective, minus the ability to slip, fall, and injure yourself.


Man, wtf is that?


Because my back is fucked and I can no longer do any type of squats I bought the Ironmind hip belt squat some time ago. However, I did not find a set up that was comfortable for me and finally ditched the exercise in favor of single leg presses.

Because I train in a commercial gym and also did not buy the Ironmind loading pin, I did not try a set up with two benches. I attached the weight to an EZB curl bar. Because I had trouble keeping my balance, I used the bar in a smith machine to keep my balance. But this irritated my back.

If your back is fine, I see little potential benefit of hip belt squats over front squats. With front squats the stress on the lower back is also quite reduced compared to back squats.


There's a guy at my gym who does these. From the waist up he's got a damn impressive physique. If his lower body was in proportion he would be a force to be reckoned with on stage. But he has some serious back problems that have prevented him from doing any leg work that loads the spine (squats, lunges, even leg presses are out of the question with any appreciable amount of weight).
He uses a dip belt and recently has been strapping on two of the 100 pounders and been doing high rep work from the feet supports at one of the pullup stations. When he gets a longer chain he can probably add a third (though the majority of his routine for any body part is high rep, lower weight).


You dont have to stand on two benches. They use a cable system at eltfs.

If youve got a fkd up spine they rock.


thanks guys anyone else?


I did exactly that when I was experiencing serious lower back problems over the course of 2002-2007, and yes it worked. I use an iron mind hip belt and olympic plate loading pin, and stand on two piles of engineering blocks instead of benches, I start with the weights stacked on a bench in front of me the same height or on a third stack of blocks (I hope that makes sense) it takes a while to get used to setting up but in my opinion this is the best alternative to regular squats.

I've used wide stance wearing converse, and close stance wearing weight lifting shoes. I'd go as far as to say that for me (as I'm 6.2 foot tall with a history of lower back problems as I mentioned) it may even be better than regular squats as I can work my legs harder in the squat position as my individual body structure causes me to have to terminate a set of regular squats due to lower back fatigue, not thigh fatigue.

With an injured lower back it is now irrelevant how beneficial the back squat is, as it is no longer an option, IMHO this is the best alternative and still works well for me now.

I have sought chiropractic treatment and now use front squats which I find to be excellent, though I still use the belt for wide squats, I believe the belt squat, if you can get the hang of it is one of the most underrated leg exercises, most people don't ditch it because it doesn't produce results , they ditch it because they can't find a comfortable set up,

Good luck


Something like this, but instead of fitness steps heavy duty blocks and the weight resting on a third pile of blocks in front of you so you lean forwards and clip the loaded pin onto the belt clip, remember with a very bad back you obviously cant go lifting the load up and moving it around so it needs to a close as possible to your starting position without getting in the way.

I'd recommend any tall /lanky/ long legged fella's who feel their not getting too much out of back squats to try these, I would say they definitely hit places single leg presses and lunges don't, though I do like the bulgarian split squats and did those when I was injured- but there's definitely something satisfying about including squats in your leg routine, at least for me.


Off: Bruno's tube profile is one of my favourites, he's fucking strong, and creative as well.


One other thing, if you sumo dead lift, setting the belt squat up in a wide stance (close to your leg positioning for the sumo pull) and adjusting the depth of the squat so your squatting a couple of inches below the start of your sumo pull (you could put plates on the floor so you can hear the plates on the pin touch them when your at the desired depth, or even pause so your doing a bottom position squat more closely mimic-ing the start of the sumo pull) is great for building starting strength in the thighs and hips for the sumo pull.



Always good to learn a new exercise.

I don't see myself doing it, but I now know enough about it to suggest it if need be.


I have one and it's too damn hard to use. Standing on benches like that is dangerous as hell.


No, what Dave Tate uses is a belt squat machine.


Completely different than weight dangling between your legs.


If you don't want to put a barbell on your back, why not just leg press or hack squat?


I used the belt squat because I couldn't physically put a loaded bar on my back due to lower back problems, personally I've never 'rated' the leg press, though single leg presses I quite liked (preferred split squats) and also found the leg press aggravated my lower back too when it was injured.

I've never used a hack squat machine regularly before as I have never been a member of a gym which has had one and I've never persevered at the barbell version, when I tried it it just didn't feel right and I ended up re injuring my low back, the hack squat was actually one of the first alternatives I did try.

I'm not trying to 'force' the belt squat on anyone, or discredit any leg exercises other people may be using who cannot squat, just for me, this was the 'money' exercise I needed when I couldn't squat with a barbell on my back, and it became my personal preference over other alternatives.