If you are looking for an exercise to improve your quadriceps, you might just be looking for a barbell hack squat. It affects the Rectus Femoris and The Vastus Lateralis, Medialis and Intermedius muscles, with the Soleus, Gluteus Maximus and Adductor Magnus as aiding muscles.
It has compound mechanics and a very simple pushing routine, and does not stress your muscles as much as the barbell deadlift or squat, which is great if you are having any lower back problems!
- Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Barbell
How to Perform Barbell Hack Squats
You begin the barbell hack squat by positioning yourself in front of a barbell with feet at shoulder-width and pointing slightly outwards. Bend down fully and secure the barbell in your hands from behind with a simple overhand grip, also known as a pronated grip where your hands are faced away from your body. Stand up with your chest and back straight, lifting the barbell by the back of your leg. Inhale and lift the barbell as instructed while exhaling, driving through your heels. Inhale again as you flex your knees or hips and lower the barbell to the floor or until your thighs are in a horizontal position.
Congratulations, you have done one rep. Time for all the others if you want to spruce up your quadriceps!
It’s very important to remember that your back, chest and arms must be kept straight at all times. Also, simply for mechanical leverage, the barbell should be close to your body.
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However, if this causes the glutes to get in the way, let your knees flex forward as you descend. Finally, in this exercise, the hamstrings and gastrocnemii muscles are completely secondary, acting as dynamic stabilizers, meaning they won’t be affected as much.