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  #1  
Unread 06-03-2019, 08:13 AM
alcahuetej's Avatar
alcahuetej alcahuetej is offline
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Default Machine Hack Squat Technique

I started doing machine hack squats because leg press was giving the right side of my lower back fits. And yes, I tried narrowing my stance, not going as deep...etc., but for the time being I want to stop leg press to let my lower back rest.

Where should you place your feet? I keep my feet as high as I can to keep the knees from going over my toes, as I've heard (and can feel) that this exercise does put a lot of stress on the knees.

Things were going well for awhile but last Friday I strained my right quad somehow. I do find I can't load up the weight on this machine, if I go to parallel or slightly lower it is VERY hard to get out the hole, but it's a good exercise in that regard.

Any additional tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2  
Unread 06-03-2019, 03:13 PM
InsertCleverNameHere InsertCleverNameHere is offline
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I don't know that I have many tips, but I've been using the hack squat machine every once in a while and even used it today, so here are some random thoughts.

Could it be that the quad thing is just a coincidence and has nothing to do with the machine per se? Also, could it be that you were going to heavy or too close to failure?

Another thought that I have is that this movement might not save your back that much. The machine I use is fairly upright because it is a front squat/hack squat combo. Although it doesn't compare to squatting, I definitely feel it in my back afterwards. And I keep the reps fairly high and the weight fairly light.

As for foot placement, I haven't noticed having any problems with my knees pushing out. My shins seem to stay straight no matter what. I've been placing my feet at least three quarters of the way up the platform, and I don't go super low (like you, I definitely have difficulty in the bottom position).

The only other thing I'll say is to be careful on the lock out, but you probably know that already. I feel like it would be really easy to hyperextend my knees with that machine if I were ego lifting.

You probably know this already as well, but you can mimic the same movement on the smith machine and it works pretty well. I don't like doing that when I'm doing regular squats on the same day, though, because my form will be off on one or the other movement.

I'd be interested in tips that others have to share because I do like this movement for quads. I might even like it more than leg press (personal preference, though).
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  #3  
Unread 06-03-2019, 04:06 PM
w1cked w1cked is offline
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High feet placement like you said is the least painful way to do it ime. However over time I found this machine ended up giving me janky knees regardless. I've had the best quad training with doing the free motion leg press. The hammer strength plate loaded is good too.

https://www.freemotionfitness.com/ap...g?v=1557342999
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  #4  
Unread 06-03-2019, 05:23 PM
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alcahuetej alcahuetej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsertCleverNameHere View Post
Could it be that the quad thing is just a coincidence and has nothing to do with the machine per se? Also, could it be that you were going to heavy or too close to failure?
It was probably this. And perhaps I was using muscles in my quads that I wasn't using with other exercises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsertCleverNameHere View Post
Another thought that I have is that this movement might not save your back that much. The machine I use is fairly upright because it is a front squat/hack squat combo. Although it doesn't compare to squatting, I definitely feel it in my back afterwards. And I keep the reps fairly high and the weight fairly light.
Mine is a regular angled hack squat. It's a Cybex. I linked to a picture below.

https://images.app.goo.gl/PkL1pQX1xYsVLt8y7



Quote:
Originally Posted by w1cked View Post
High feet placement like you said is the least painful way to do it ime. However over time I found this machine ended up giving me janky knees regardless. I've had the best quad training with doing the free motion leg press. The hammer strength plate loaded is good too.

https://www.freemotionfitness.com/ap...g?v=1557342999
I have a Cybex leg press that I love, and used to use all the time. But as I said, for some reason it bothers my lower back now.

I've been doing single and two leg leg press on this machine. Doesn't look nearly as nice as the Free Motion one, but beggars can't be choosers I guess...link below.

https://images.app.goo.gl/dkUTv1oUy4pKjz4Z9

Last edited by alcahuetej : 06-03-2019 at 05:25 PM.
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  #5  
Unread 06-04-2019, 04:43 AM
w1cked w1cked is offline
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I've used that one before! Not a bad unit at all, felt quite decent on joints and targeted muscles.
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  #6  
Unread 06-04-2019, 11:08 AM
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alcahuetej alcahuetej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w1cked View Post
I've used that one before! Not a bad unit at all, felt quite decent on joints and targeted muscles.
It's great for one leg leg press. I actually feel it more in this unit for one legged than in the 45 degree ones oddly.

Where this unit fails though is with two leg leg press. You start with your legs flexed, so it's hard to get out that first rep. And I find you can't get great depth with this either.
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  #7  
Unread 06-04-2019, 11:49 AM
loc loc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcahuetej View Post
And I find you can't get great depth with this either.
I've had the same problem when I've used it.
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  #8  
Unread 06-05-2019, 06:31 AM
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alcahuetej alcahuetej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loc View Post
I've had the same problem when I've used it.
I find I can still get decent stimulation with the lack of depth, but it's still not great.

I do love this machine for single leg as I said. Once my lower back calms down I'll probably ease back into the 45 degree leg press for two legged, and still the Life Fitness one for single leg.

I'll see how the hack squats treat my knees over time.
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  #9  
Unread 06-05-2019, 10:29 AM
Twitchy Twitchy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcahuetej View Post
I find I can still get decent stimulation with the lack of depth, but it's still not great.

I do love this machine for single leg as I said. Once my lower back calms down I'll probably ease back into the 45 degree leg press for two legged, and still the Life Fitness one for single leg.

I'll see how the hack squats treat my knees over time.
Try readjusting the seat and leg positioning on the leg press. I remember trying out a high foot placement on the leg press and felt lower back pain. So I placed my feet lower and leaned the seat a bit. So far no more back pain as long as I make sure my lower back and butt stay flat on the seat.
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  #10  
Unread 06-05-2019, 12:29 PM
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alcahuetej alcahuetej is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twitchy View Post
Try readjusting the seat and leg positioning on the leg press. I remember trying out a high foot placement on the leg press and felt lower back pain. So I placed my feet lower and leaned the seat a bit. So far no more back pain as long as I make sure my lower back and butt stay flat on the seat.
If you're talking about the seated one (the Life Fitness) I don't have back pain with this one.

The one that I had back pain on was this one, a Cybex leg press.

https://images.app.goo.gl/ieQ13GKCHcyzyaGs6

In which case, you can't adjust the seat. I keep a narrow stance, midway on the plate. I used this for years with no issues, then switched gym for about four years.

When I went back to this gym I started having back issues. Maybe I'm less flexible in my old age? (entirely possible)
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