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           Truly Huge Fitness Tips
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     Fitness Tips For For 10/12/2011

Barbell Hack Squat Benefits

The regular barbell squat demands the entire body, so isolating and
prioritizing your quads is often difficult. If you match the hack 
squat rep for rep with a squat, you'll be on your way to developing 
quads, especially if they're your stubborn body part.

Hack Squats for Leg Mass

Perform this exercise early in your routine, after your main squat 
or leg press exercise by doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps for size. Take
a 90-120 second rest between sets, which is just long enough to 
recover. Powerlifters and strength athletes should load this exercise
maximally and do four sets of five reps as deep and heavy as 
possible. If strength is your goal, give yourself adequate rest on 
this demanding exercise, perhaps 3-4 minutes between each set. 

For a real challenge, get help from your training partner by doing a 
drop set on your last set.  As you begin to fatigue, quickly reduce 
the weight by 25% and continue to rep out, trying to get 30 or more
reps during this extended set for an intense burn.

Primary Muscles Involved:  Quadriceps (vastus lateralis, vastus 
medialis, rectus femoris), Gluteus Maximus, Erector Spinae, 
Hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semmembranosus)

Secondary Muscles Involved:  Gastrocnemius, Soleus.

Starting Position:

Lie back against a hack machine and position yourself so you're 
racked.  Your shoulders should be pressed against the upper pad, 
back squarely pressed against the pad and your knees slightly bent
(about shoulder width apart) in the middle of the rack.

Stand up to unrack the weight and cross your arms in front of your 
chest.  Itís common to want and use your arms for help by pressing 
up against the weight during the movement. Crossing your arms, 
however, will reduce the urge to recruit your arms into the movement.

Keep your chest up and draw your belly in toward your back to 
tighten your torso.

Keep your head neutrally aligned, donít look up, down or to the 
sides, and your eyes should be focusing straight forward.

Execution Phase:

Take a deep breath and slowly begin to descend under control, 
keeping your chest and head up.  Donít look down, as doing so will
pull you out of position and force your lower back to handle more 

Go as deep as you can comfortably, but try to break parallel (the 
point in which your thighs are in the same plane as the footplate).  
Greater depth means greater range and more muscle fiber activation, 
especially in the hamstrings and glutes.  Lighten the load if you 
cannot go deep, but donít sacrifice form and range of motion just 
for the sake of going heavier.
Don't bounce or jerk at the bottom of the movement.  Come to a 
full stop and then quickly reverse direction.

At the bottom, drive as if youíre pushing your feet hard into the 
floor, extending your hips and legs simultaneously. Breathe out 
forcefully to keep your torso tight toward the top of the rep.

Finish your rep with a soft lockout, or just before lockout, to 
keep the tension on the quads (and not on the joint). Some 
individuals prefer to maintain the stress on the thighs by not going
to lockout.  Personally, I like to lift heavy, so a soft lock allows
you to make a slight reposition.  Both approaches are safe and 
equally effective.

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Barbell Hack Squat Benefits | Hack Squats for Leg Mass

Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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