In this video John Meadows is demonstrating how to perform Reverse Band Hack Squats.  The Hack Squat is a great variation to the traditional Barbell Squat.

The squat has to be at the top for best multi-joint exercise you can perform.  This is a closed kinetic chain exercise, therefore your feet are firmly planted on the ground and the muscles of your entire kinetic chain are being worked.  It is essential that you reach a depth to where your thighs become parallel to the ground; one important reason is because your hamstrings are not incorporated in the lift until adequate depth has been reached.  Mark Watts, Director of Education, wrote an article about the importance of reaching a parallel depth when squatting: Squat Progression for College Athletes.

The Hack Squat is the machine version of the free weighted Barbell Squat.  There is less technique and coaching points involved in the Hack Squat because of how the machine is made.  The angle that you are placed at saves compression of your back.  You are completely upright as opposed to bending forward slightly at the waist, which naturally occurs during back squats.  The foot plate also allows it so your shin angle can more easily stay optimal (completely perpendicular to the force applied).  You can see in the video that no matter how much depth John Meadows gets, his shins stay perpendicular to the load.  That optimal orientation allows for maximal force to be produced through his tibia.  Hack Squats are a great teaching progression for a novice lifter who's never performed squats, someone recovering from any posterior kinetic chain injury, or if you just want to load up for squats.

John Meadows implemented a reverse band alteration to the workout.  If you have never tried the reverse band technique in any exercise than it can be compared to performing exercises while using chains or bands (tension against you).  Even though the band resistance is applied in two different directions in these techniques, the basic concept is the same.  The load is always lightest at the bottom of the exercise; that small isometric point where you switch from an eccentric contraction to a concentric contraction.  The load also increases as you ascend.  This is true for all band or chain added resistance exercises i.e. bench and pull-ups.

John Meadows is the coach of Mark Dugdale who performed a leg assault workout containing Reverse Band Hack Squats:

  • Set 1 X 6 reps with 2 plates each side (feeder set)
  • Set 2 X 6 reps with 3 plates each side (feeder set)
  • Set 3 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 4 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 5 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 6 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 7 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 8 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 9 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side
  • Set 10 X 6 reps with 4 plates each side

Try implementing bands or chains into your workouts, no matter the exercise.  Hack Squats can be performed on an elitefts™ Power Squat.

Power Squat