Hack Squats

In making sure that you’re getting an all-around workout, it’s important to make sure that you’re balancing your upper-body workouts with solid lower-body development. 

One great way to do this is by adding the hack squat to your regular exercise routine!

The Hack Squat Through History

The first reports of the hack squat come from Germany. In fact, the exercise was first known as “Hacke”, which means heel in German. 

It’s believed that the hack squat came from the traditional exercise where the heels were joined, something that was typically in much the way Prussian soldiers used to click their heels. 

Of course, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the hack squat became a staple of the weightlifting world. It was popularized by George Hackenschmidt, who adopted the technique and used it for lower-body strength training and stamina improvement. 

What Is The Hack Squat? 

Sometimes called a “rear deadlift”, the hack squat is a variation on the traditional squat in which a barbell is held in the hand behind the legs. 

The squat, a typical strength-training exercise, focuses on the development of core strength, as well as the abdominal muscles. 

With the use of a barbell, this exercise takes the squat to the next level by modifying it to more intensely work the thighs, quads, and other upper-leg muscles. 

Hack Squat Preparations

To prep for the hack squat, you’ll want to: 

  • Make sure that you have the appropriate barbell equipment on hand. 
  • Identify the weights that will most benefit you for this exercise, and adjust your barbell accordingly. Keep in mind that it’s good to start with lighter weights, and then build up as your strength increases. 
  • Ensure your awareness of the space around you, whether in your own home or at the gym. As the barbells will be behind you, it’s important to keep in mind how much space you have. 

Dive In To The Hack Squat

Once you’re ready to go: 

  1. Stand straight while holding your barbell behind you. 
  2. Place your feet at shoulder width apart. 
  3. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your back in mind; make sure to stay as straight as possible. Breathe in slowly. 
  4. Squeeze your thighs and press the heels of your feet into the floor to come back up. Breathe in slowly. 
  5. Repeat numbers 1-4 for your desired number of repetitions. 

The Hack Squat Can Boost Your Workout

This particular exercise is great for several muscle groups: 

  • The lower back 
  • The abdominal muscles 
  • Your upper and lower leg muscles  

This is a great way to get an overall lower-body workout, and can also help strengthen the tendons in your legs to help keep you strong for future workouts. 

Additionally, the correct performance of this exercise can help with overall stability. 

Getting The Most From The Hack Squat

There are a few ways to change up the Hack Squat. 

  • Rather than just using the barbells themselves, you can also use a Smith machine to help keep your squat balanced and steady. 
  • If you don’t have access to barbells, you can still get a great leg workout from performing the motion of the hack squat without weights. 

Strengthen Your Lower Body 

By adding the hack squat to your exercise routine, you’ll see an improvement in your stability and lower-body strength. Keeping a well-rounded and varied regiment that works your legs can both boost your well-being, and get you closer to your weightlifting goals!