Weight and Resistance Training - What do we think about hack squats on a machine?

05-12-2009, 12:01 PM
Hey all, I'm putting together my new lbwo for challenge 2 on BFL. I've done squats, sumo squats, not ready for lunges yet (weight still too high i think), so I'm looking at doing hack squats on my weider. They feel awkward, but maybe so does everything the first time you do it, right? What's our opinion on machine hacks? Is the angle unnatural or any other injury concerns with this move?

05-12-2009, 08:54 PM
Not sure what you mean? I know what real hack squats with a barbell are and I know what hack squat machines are but I don't know what hack squats on a weider are. Can you describe them or post a video?

05-12-2009, 10:22 PM
THanks Depalma. It's like a sled that you are lifting, but instead of at an angle, it's vertical. Here's an image of the machine, it's the thing on the left. You slide your shoulders under it, chest facing the pad, and go up and down.

05-13-2009, 08:30 AM
That's not exactly what I'd call a hack squat. A hack squat machine (which I sorely miss- my gym removed it as "too dangerous":o:o) looks like

What you have looks like a top loaded squat machine. If the angle feels wrong- don't do it :)

A real hack squat is done with a bar behind you or between your legs. It's also called a Jefferson squat and is very difficult. The fact that I can't find a picture of it attests to its popularity!


05-13-2009, 08:47 AM
FreeMotion makes a squat machine (http://www.freemotionfitness.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product__10001_10002_10011_10351) that looks similar but you put your feet way in front of you on the platform so to keep your knees behind your toes when you squat. Looking at your picture, I'm wondering where you put your feet and what happens to your knees if you're facing the pad? It looks like there would be better foot placement if you faced away from the pad and put your feet on the platform. But I may be misinterpreting the whole thing!

Mel, bummer on no hack squat machine! Best butt workout in the world, IMO. I'm puzzled why a hack squat machine would be more dangerous than a squat rack or leg press?

05-13-2009, 09:30 AM
What Mel posted is what I was familiar with as well. Here is the barbell version of the hack squat http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/HACK.htm

The freemotion machine that Meg posted is similar to a power squat machine.(seen used in this video at 2:45 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UV7h9NC0Ag) I don't know if the Weider is trying to replicate one of these or if it is supposed to be used facing away like a real hack squat machine. Either way, I think the foot pad needs to be larger and angled in order to allow you to maintain proper positioning.

However, I could be wrong. If your machine allows you to squat with proper form, chest up, weight on heels, sit back and down with the hips, etc, it would be a good option. If, however, you cannot maintain proper form or if like Mel said, doesn't feel right choose other options.

05-13-2009, 07:58 PM
I'm puzzled why a hack squat machine would be more dangerous than a squat rack or leg press?

Exactly :rolleyes: You should have heard me arguing. By the time I'd pointed out all the equally dangerous equipment in the gym (including benches- I've hurt my back wrestling with benches!) I was afraid the place would be empty and they would replace the only steps with a ramp. They also took away the standing calf machine. Not something I used much, but missed even so. I was told that I was the only person who complained and that hardly anyone ever used the hack machine. The argument was along the lines that anyone who loads a squat bar presumably knows what they are doing. Someone loading the hack squat MACHINE might not. However, the hack squat machine was sitting right there with the leg press in the free weight area where the squat racks are located. Unlikely that a frail or uninformed newbie would be wandering in that area looking for a machine on which to load 300 pounds or so without ever trying it!

Am I ranting?

Back to Fran- I think if you faced forward that would make a lot more sense, tho I have used powersquat machines that can be used facing either direction. If you are facing the machine, you don't put your chest against the pad, tho, and they have long enough "arms" to rest on your shoulders from either direction.