The Hack Squat exercise is normally performed on a large machine at a 45-degree angle to develop lower-body strength. This machine is a staple in most fitness facilities, and it allows you to lift significantly more weight than Back Squats.
However, the safety of the exercise is questioned due to the angle in which the lifter is locked into, which causes your stabilizer muscles to not be properly engaged. Another potential downfall is the excessive load on your knees.
That said, don’t throw away the Hack Squat just yet. Let me introduce you to a better variation.
The Landmine Hack Squat should be considered one of the best lower-body exercise for athletes to build pure strength in the lower body due to the pure load on the backside of the posterior chain. There is no frontal load with this movement, which makes it great for athletes who are looking to increase their strength, power and explosiveness.
The Benefits for Performing The Landmine Hack Squat:
- Reinforces proper squatting technique.
- You’re forced to place your weight on the heels, which causes your lower body to be totally engaged.
- The quadriceps, glutes and lower back are targeted the most, which is important for performing any athletic movement.
- You must maintain core control and stabilize the weight.
Landmine Hack Squat
- Set the bar in a landmine apparatus or in the corner of a wall.
- Grab the end of the bar with an alternated grip.
- Explode the bar up, get underneath it and place it on the shoulder (trap muscles).
- Hold the end of the bar where the weight is at and squat.
- Perform a deep Squat and explode up.
If your desire is to continue to train your body to handle the rigors on the playing field this squat variation will allow you to build the necessary lower-body strength, power and core control to develop explosiveness and resilience when trying to stand your ground against an opponent.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can also try the Landmine Split Stance Hack Squat.