A hack squat is a great machine that can be found in almost any gym and is great for leg training.
The versatility of the tilting platform allows you to position your feet and legs in different ways allowing you to perform squats with emphasis on different parts of the legs.
It makes this an important machine for the muscle development of the legs especially for women’s training for those who may be reluctant to perform the full squat with a barbell.
Performing the Hack Squat
Position yourself on the platform with your back resting well against the backrest, obviously maintaining the normal physiological curves of the rachis of the back must not be totally adherent!
An important note concerns the width and position of the feet.
If you want to do the hack squat giving priority to the hamstrings and glutes, position the footplate so that it is slightly inclined and place your feet near the top end.
In this way, during the descent, you will put less emphasis on the extension of the tibia working more on the extension of the hip at the hamstring and making the hack squat an excellent exercise for the buttocks.
If you want the quadriceps to be the dominant muscle you can place your feet close to the body so that during the execution you go to work as much of the leg as possible.
In this variant make sure you always have your heels always well in contact with the platform without lifting your heels.
Obviously, this variant will also place more stress on your knees so make sure you have both warmed up well and that you are descending according to the signals your body gives you.
Is Better Hack Squat Or Multipower?
During the execution of a squat, the traction force required to the anterior cruciate is decreased thanks to the presence of particular muscles like the hamstring.
The hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles: biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus are biarticular muscles originating from the ischial tuberosity of the pelvis and inserting themselves on the tibia and fibula (hamstring).
Being hip extensors and knee flexors at the same time each time the hip extends they generate consequent traction on the knee which contributes to the traction of the anterior cruciate thus decreasing what the ligament must generate overall the hamstrings decrease the shear forces on the knee.
Let’s think for a moment about the multipower squat as it is often taught to “protect” the back the subject is asked to keep it as “straight” as possible placing the feet far forward.
Maintaining this position is only possible thanks to the friction between the soles and the floor and the fact that the subject “leans” on the multipower balance wheel there is no need for balance!
It follows that:
- The position is that in which the knee is furthest away from the vertical line that passes through the center of the barbell with the maximum stress on the joint because the forces acting on the joint are maximum;
- The hamstrings are minimally involved in movement therefore all shear forces must be compensated for by the anterior cruciate.
If you have to do multipower squats do it in a way that mimics the normal squat as much as possible so that the hip can rotate and the hamstring muscles can act to protect the knee. Or do it at the hack squat.
In fact, most of these machines do not tend to work on a straight line like the multipower but work on an inclined axis, rotating the pelvis and activating the various muscles that protect the knee.
This is why a hack squat performed with feet forward is much healthier than a multipower squat performed in the same position.