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Barbell-End Hack Squats
For Leg Development

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Looking for a way to do hack squats but don't have a hack squat machine to call your own? This barbell variation gives you pretty much ALL the benefits of a hack squat machine and a couple of others that you get from free weight squats.

I quite like this one - it'll trash your legs VERY effectively.

First, you'll need a barbell. Makes good sense from the name.

Second, you'll need a corner of something to brace the end of the barbell into. It could be a room corner...it could be a machine corner. Doesn't matter what it is as long as it's solid and won't slide on you.

You can also use one of my favorite little pieces of equipment - it's a t-bar bracket. You can get these at New York Barbell - click here to go to their site. I haven't found this thing anywhere else and it is so totally worth the price, it's not even funny.

Barbell Bracket

It basically locks down one end of the barbell - the bracket slides under and attaches to the foot of any machine.

But for this exercise, you don't even need that - you're going to jam the end of the barbell in the corner and load the other end. I'd recommend putting a towel around the jammed end of the bar to keep it from scraping paint off as you do the exercise.

The reason you don't need the lock-down is that you'll be on the other side of the weight plates, which will work to keep the bar down on it's own.

So set the bar up and load a 25, 35 or 45 lb plate on the end. You can increase the weight as you get an idea of how much you can do.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

Bend down and grab the end of the bar.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

Haul it up to shoulder level.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

Now hold it there and turn yourself around, setting the end of the bar on one shoulder (you can alternate sets to the other shoulder as you do this one). Definitely watch the video to see how this is done.

This one-sided thing also hits the core with an uneven torque, which gives you a bit of ab work at the same time as you're squatting.

Get your feet in position a little bit forward so that you're leaning back into the bar.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

Now squat down, keeping your hands on the end of the bar for control.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

That's it! Here's a front view.

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

Barbell-End Hack Squats For Leg Development

This exercise locks you into the movement SORT OF. It's different in that you still have the bar able to move freely around in space except for one dimension. This gives you some degree of stability so you can focus on working the thighs hard but also gives you plenty of freedom of movement so that you're not totally locked into the movement like you are with a machine.

I like this a whole lot better than machine hack squats.

Also, getting the weight into and out of position makes it a bit more fun than just setting yourself under a machine.

This is a nice squat variation you can use at home if you want to really trash your thighs but don't have a rack. It's easy at the end of the set to just rotate around and set the bar back down on the ground. Much nicer than getting stuck at the bottom of a squat.

Give this one a shot in your next leg workout. I think you'll like it!

 


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