Barbell Hack Squats – Quadriceps Exercise Guide with Photos


Muscles Targeted: The barbell hack squat primarily targets the quadriceps muscles along with several secondary muscles which include the hamstrings (back of legs), glutes (butt), calves and lower back. The quadriceps are a group of four muscles located on the front of the thighs and are very important for your overall leg development.


Exercise Instructions: This is an advanced form of the normal squat exercise, so be very careful when performing it. If you’re a beginner, you should probably focus on the normal barbell squat before attempting this movement. Stand in an area just in front of a squat rack. Grab a barbell with both hands using an overhand grip and hold the barbell behind you, just below your butt. Begin this exercise by squatting as though you are going to sit down in a chair. Squat to a point to where your thighs become parallel to the floor and then return to the starting position. It is very important that you keep your back as flat as possible with your shoulders back and your chest high throughout this movement.

Why This Exercise is Important: This exercise helps to build up the quadriceps muscles of the lower body which is very important for adding mass and size to your overall physique. Leg training should always be a paramount concern when your goal is to add maximum muscle mass and the squat movement, in all it’s varieties, is very important.

Things To Avoid: Correct posture and technique is absolutely critical with this movement in order to avoid injuries. Never use too much weight before you get the movement down correctly so start off with a very light weight before increasing it. Your posture is key so avoid rounding your back, slumping your shoulders over and moving your knees inward. Your back should be flat with your shoulders back, chest high and head up while looking forward. If you can perform this exercises in front of a mirror, it will allow you to strictly monitor your technique at all times.

Reps and Sets: Repetitions should be kept on the higher end when warming up and first starting this exercise. Shoot for 15-20 reps with very light weight when beginning. Do 1-2 warm-up sets to get the blood flowing in your legs and to warm-up your knees before moving to heavier sets. Working sets should be 3-4 with a rep range of around 8-12 for each set.

Other Exercises To Use: If you’re new to working out, it’s important to start with the basic barbell squat before moving to a more advanced movement like the barbell hack squats. Also make sure to include an adequate amount of hamstring and calf exercises in your leg workout to hit all of the major muscles in your lower body.

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