If you want to build up really great legs, then squats are a great way to go. Here we compare regular squats with hacks squats to see how they shape up.
Hack squats and regular squats: you know that squats are great for increasing lean mass in your legs, but out of these two contenders, which will be better at helping you build a great set of wheels? This gym showdown will list the benefits of each exercise and then you can determine which one is more appropriate for your exercise routine.
Hack Squats – Muscles Targeted
The barbell hack squat is a multi-joint exercise that targets the muscles in your quadriceps, gluteus maximus and adductor magnus posterior (inner thighs). In addition to these muscles, it targets the forearm muscles and the wrist flexors and extensors.
Hack Squats – The Exercise
The barbell hack squat is performed by standing in front of a barbell placed on the ground, reaching behind you and lifting the weight. This exercise can also be performed using a hack squat resistance machine. It’s slightly easier to do than the barbell squat, and it allows you to target specific muscles depending upon which variation of the exercise you choose.
Hack Squats – Variations
You can change the muscle targeted with the barbell hack squat by varying the position of your stance. The normal stance of the barbell hack squat is with your feet placed at shoulder-width apart. This stance puts the stress on the quadriceps, butt and inner thighs.
A stance with your feet placed wider than shoulder-width apart will make you work your inner thighs more. A narrow stance (less than shoulder-width apart) will put more emphasis on your quadriceps.
Hack Squats – Benefits
If you have an imbalance in your leg muscles and your quads aren’t as strong as your hamstring and calves, the barbell hack squat is the perfect exercise to correct that imbalance. It’s easy to do and with different stances you can work different parts of your quadriceps muscles.
Regular (back) squats are also a multi-joint exercise. Back squats target the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus maximus. This exercise also makes you work muscles in the lower back, abdominals and back muscles to a lesser degree.
Regular Squats – The Exercise
Back squats are performed by placing a barbell on your shoulders and then squatting down with the weight. Careful attention must be paid to the placement of the bar, stance and squat depth. This multi-joint exercise is fantastic for working out all the muscles in your lower body, and some of the muscles in your upper body.
Regular Squats – The Benefits
This multi-joint exercise comes with lots of benefits. It will give you a total body workout, which will help you burn more calories and help you reduce body fat. Your abdominal muscles are incorporated when you perform the back squat, so they can also help develop your abs and help you get a six-pack.
Performing back squats can help you prevent injuries as well. The back squat is an exercise that requires you to balance the weight on your shoulders. Over time, this strengthens stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. This will help you avoid injuries because 90% of most athletic injuries are due to weak stabilizer muscles.
The back squat will also help you increase functional strength. It also helps you maintain mobility as you age. One primary component of mobility is leg strength. Back squats help you build the leg strength that you will need to remain active as you grow older.
The greatest benefit of the back squat is that it helps create an anabolic environment in the body. You will build muscle in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves with this exercise, but you will also build up muscles in your biceps, triceps and chest. The back squat is an exercise that gets the whole body working.
Hack Squats vs Regular Squats – Who Wins?
The barbell hack squat is a great exercise for specifically targeting the front of your legs, inner thighs and glutes. You can use different variations if you want to focus on one of those three muscles. The back squat is a total body workout.
You will target all the muscles in your legs, your back, your abdominals and you can experience growth in other muscles due to the anabolic nature of this exercise.
It looks like regular squats win the showdown, but you could always replace back squats with hack squats when you need to further build up your quads.