A squat is a form of exercise that helps you perform several functions, which generally improve your health. They build your muscles, which in the long run, ensure that you go about your daily activities such as running, walking, dancing, or standing, without an iota of stress.
Through squats, you develop strength and agility, and they are also good for your joints. Squatting also helps you to improve your body’s flexibility. Aside from these functions, some people include squats in their workouts to burn calories. Since squatting requires energy and strength, you end up burning some calories in the process.
However, there are also other alternative exercises that you can perform, instead of squats. These exercises perform as many functions as squats and even more.
There are different kinds of squats that you can perform. There is the dumbbell squat, the split squat, the hack squat, and others. The hack squat’s main focus is on the lower part of your body. The hack squat is beneficial for the parts of your lower body such as your knees and your legs.
The hack squat requires gym equipment, which can be expensive. Some of this equipment includes the Body-Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press and Hack Squat Machine Titan Fitness Leg Press Hack Squat Machine, Rogue Fitness Reflex Hack Squat Machine, and many others.
However, there are other equipment or accessories that can replace the hack squat. These hack squat alternatives perform almost the same functions as the hack squat. This article discusses some of this equipment, namely the V-squat, the leg press, the Hatfield squat, the front squat, and the belt squat.
5 Best Hack Squat Alternatives
1. Leg press
The leg press focuses on your quads and glutes during the exercise. The leg press is a hack squat alternative that is easy to use and does not cause much stress or bodily pain.
It reduces the pressure on the back during exercises. It also develops and strengthens your leg muscles, knees and joints.
- Pick a spot or position on the machine
- Place your head in a comfortable position, alongside your shoulders also.
- Put your feet on the footplate.
- When using the leg press machine, make sure that your bottom is resting flat against the surface, like your head and shoulders.
- Note that your feet should be in a comfortable position. They should not be too high or extremely low.
- Your knees also should not be bent during the exercise. It should be straightforward, like your feet.
- Do not carry more than the plate you should lift during a leg press.
- Finally, do not hold your breath during this exercise. Inhale and exhale.
Like the hack squat, the v-squat also focuses on developing the muscles of the thighs and legs. Hence, it can serve as a perfect replacement for the hack squat.
The v-squat machine is a simple one to use. You can also use this machine on your own, without going to the gym.
- Put your shoulders in contact with the shoulder pads of the machine.
- Put your feet apart. Do not spread it too wide to avoid placing pressure on your thighs.
- Grab the handles
- Drop down and drive back with the machine. You should maintain a ninety degrees angle to ensure that you are not going high or too low.
3. Belt squat
The belt squat is another substitute for the hack squat. It allows you to work out, focusing on your legs, without putting some pressure on your lower back.
It uses a special belt that is attached to the machine. With the belt squat, you can perform your squats without having any barbells on your shoulders. It does not place much pressure on your back.
The belt squat is not so common around, even though it can serve as a perfect replacement for the hack squat. You may have to visit a specialized gym to see one in use.
- It is important that the belt is worn rightly to prevent injuries. The wrong placement of the belt may place unnecessary pressure on your spine.
- The belt should be placed on the top of your glutes and not on your back directly.
- If you do not want to hold the machine, you can just place your arms right in front of you.
- You should consider getting some squat shoes in place of running shoes when performing this exercise.
4. Hatfield squat
The Hatfield squat uses a squat bar, which reduces the pressure you are placing on your back during the exercise. It also rightly helps you to engage the anterior part of your body. It assists you in developing a strong upper back.
Place the squat bar on your back.
- Leave your chest in an upright position
- Go in your usual squat pattern.
- Remember that the bands are useful for support. However, do not rely on this totally. If you do, the band will keep going down than it should during the exercise.
5. Front squats
The front squat is an alternative to the hack squat. It helps you to build bigger quads and other essential muscles in the lower part of your body. The front squats exercise your upper back during the exercise.
- Keep an upright back position throughout the exercise.
- Do not put so many reps on the front squat. About eight to ten reps are enough for you to load the front squat.
- You may rest the bars behind your shoulders and let them make contact with the front of your neck.
- Wear comfortable shoes when performing this exercise. While it is okay to wear running shoes for squats, you will be more comfortable with squat shoes.
- Remember that when using the front squats, your main focus is on your muscular system and not your respiratory system. If you have issues with your respiratory system during the exercise, you reduce the number of reps on your machine.
The alternatives for the hack squat perform similar functions to it. Some of them follow the same pattern of usage as the hack squat. Whatever replacement you choose, remember to use it properly and not place so much stress on your back. The goal is to work the muscles of your lower body without pressuring the spine.