What is the BB Hack Squat, and What is it For?

The weightlifting world is replete with several exercises and variations that it is so hard to keep up, even for long-time lifters. This article will demystify a relatively uncommon exercise, the BB hack squat, and …

The weightlifting world is replete with several exercises and variations that it is so hard to keep up, even for long-time lifters. This article will demystify a relatively uncommon exercise, the BB hack squat, and explain its vital uses. 

The BB or Barbell hack squat is a peculiar variation of the deadlift where you put the barbell behind you rather than in front of you as would do in a regular deadlift. The BB hack squat is primarily for developing your quadriceps muscles faster than you would with regular deadlifts and other compound leg exercises. 

Because the barbell squat is a compound exercise, it also helps to develop other secondary muscles, such as the glutes, calves, and hamstrings, as they stabilize your body. Likewise, the squat also develops your erector spinae and trap muscles as they contract to support your back. Additionally, it develops your core muscles as it engages them to provide balance to your mid-section through the exercises.

📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article and want to know more about deadlifts, you may want to also check out: Can you Deadlift Twice a Week or Is It Too Much?

How to perform the BB hack squat

When ready to perform the BB hack squat, stand in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart. After that, grab the barbell while positioning your hands slightly wider than your knees. Ensure your palms face away from your body to form a double overhand grip.

💡 Quick Tip: If you are interested in developing your leg muscles, including your quadriceps, glutes, calves, and hamstrings, getting a dedicated squat rack will benefit your progress. With a squat rack, you can safely perform barbell squats from your home to develop your leg muscles. For this purpose, I recommend the rogue sml-2c squat stand because it is affordable and easy to use.

Rogue sml-2c squat stand

As soon as you nail the start form, contract your quadriceps to push into your heels and raise the barbell to straighten your body into a standing position. While doing this, concentrate on involving your core and maintaining a straight back. Pause for a brief moment after you straighten up before continuing back down. As you descend, contract your glutes while gently lowering the barbell. Doing this will return you to the starting position. You will have completed one set. For optimal experience, you can buy and use the Titan series cerakote Olympic barbell for your deadlifts.

Benefits of performing the BB hack squat

Here are some benefits you enjoy by performing the barbell hack squat: 

Developed quadriceps

The BB hack squat creates enormous stress on your quadriceps, and your body reacts to this stress by developing, strengthening, and enlarging the quads. Quadriceps play a crucial role in sudden and explosive movements like jumping, running, or kicking. Nevertheless, as a fitness newbie, a passionate weightlifter, or a professional athlete, a strong lower body offers a solid base to enable you to accomplish your targets.

Lower risk of injury

Unlike other squat variations where perfect form is necessary to reduce the load on your back or spine, the hack squat places very little weight directly on your spine. As a result, BB hack squats offer a safer route to building your lower body, especially if you are experiencing any discomfort or back pain. This is essential as back injuries can cause chronic pain and keep you sidelined for long. Choosing the barbell hack squat can lower your injury risks without compromising your gains. 

📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article and are interested in how to deal with other workout-induced pain, you may want to also check out: Tricep Pushdown Elbow Pain – How to Fix It?

Better posture

The barbell hack squat engages your back muscles to ensure you remain stabilized as you perform your reps. As a result, the bb hack squat improves your posture, helping you look stronger and bigger, improving your general quality of life outside the gym.

Improve overall squat form

Correctly performing the barbell squat also improves your form for other types of squats. This is because it forces you to hinge your lower body, improving your hip and ankle mobility. As a result, it becomes easier for you to perform other squats with impeccable form.

FAQs about BB hack squats

Here are some frequently asked questions about the barbell hack squat: 

How much weight should I lift during hack squats?

It is advisable to reduce the weight you would carry for conventional deadlifts, as the BB hack squats have you lifting with the weight behind you. As a result, you should start small with lower weights to determine your comfort zone. You can subsequently increase the load as you feel more comfortable.

Furthermore, because the barbell hack squat recruits increased coordination, balance, and stability, many consider it an intermediate exercise. As a result, beginning BB hack squats with higher weights may be challenging, especially if you are a novice.

💡 Quick Tip: As a beginner looking to develop your lower body without worrying about the balance and stabilization necessary with free weights, you can check out the Leverage squat machine for a best-of-both-word experience.

Leverage squat machine

How do barbell hack squats fit into your workout routine?

BB hack squats can easily blend into your leg day program as they target several muscles in your legs and develop general lower body strength. While they primarily work your quads, they also work your glutes, hams, and calves. Because they target the quads, perform the exercise when doing programs that emphasize the fronts of your legs. Likewise, you should alternate the hack squats with other exercises that hit different areas of your leg for a more general leg workout.

What alternative exercise can I do instead of hack squats?

If you cannot use a barbell or simply want to include other exercises that target your quads and similar secondary muscles, here are some alternatives you can incorporate. 

Leg Press: This exercise is a popular alternative to barbell hack squats as it also targets many of the same muscles. For example, the leg press will also develop your quads while secondarily working your glutes and hamstrings. More importantly, the leg press also puts very little weight on your spine. If you are interested in the exercise, we recommend the Rogue iso leg press 35