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5 Best Hack Squat Machines [Buying Guide]

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What did the good hack squat machine say to the bad one?

“You’re worthless!”

The bad squat machine spent the rest of its days collecting dust in the corner.

That’s not funny.

I know…but it also cuts to the crux of things.

Bad jokes aside…

I’ve been a personal trainer and a gym owner for 20 years now.

In that time, I’ve used a range of hack squat machines – some awesome, some lousy, some downright dangerous.

Today, I share all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’ll also share my recommendationsa list of today’s 5 best hack squat machines on the home-gym market.

What went into creating this guide

The Top 5 aren’t merely my opinion.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve spent 50+ hours comparing 27 hack squat machines in 19 quality categories (like steel gauge, weight capacity, padding, and proper geometry).

I’ve also talked to industry experts, owners, and manufacturers.

Results at a glance

The top overall pick is the Force USA 45-degree hack squat and leg press combo.

It’s the most well-rounded machine and the best value for money.

Most importantly, the geometry allows you to spare the spine while blasting the quads.

It’s also far from perfect…but we’ll get to all that in a hot minute.

Budget Option

41aKVsWL OL. SL500ir?t=shghacksquatmachine 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07FPS8LSF

TDS 4-way Hip Sled

Best Overall

Force USA Ultimate Press and Hack Squat Combo

Force USA Ultimate 45-Degree Combo

Premium Option

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BodyCraft F760

5 best hack squat machines

NameBest in category (label awarded)Rating (out of 100)PriceDefining feature/characteristic
Ultimate 45-Degree Combo by Force USABest overall83$$$Great value and versatility
BodyCraft F760Money-no-object pick76$$$$Premium build – rated for commercial use
TDS 4-way Hip Sledbest for small spaces70$$$Compact
Titan seated leg sledBest budget alternative69$Seated sled (alternative to hack squat)
Body Solid GLPH1100n/a68$$$Solid warranty terms for the money

1 – Best hack squat machine overall – Ultimate 45-Degree Combo by Force USA

Rating: 83 out of 100

Force USA Ultimate Press and Hack Squat Combo

Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to get a good squat machine without breaking the bank.


  • Robust build – stable and will likely last a lifetime
  • Accurate geometry
  • Quiet, smooth rollers
  • Versatile – hack squat, leg press, front squat, and calf raises


  • Safety stops could be lower
  • Hack squat platform should be wider


Force USA 45-degree combo is the most well-rounded hack squat machine for the money.

It’s not perfect, but all imperfections fall into two groups

  1.  They’re minor
  2.  They affect a small group of people.

Let me start with the good stuff – the well-roundedness (is that a word???)

Anyway, the reasons for it being the top pick are threefold:

  1. Value – the level of build and finishes is premium at a less-than-premium price.
  2. Versatility – i.e., what you can do with it beyond hack squats.
  3. Good geometry – adjustable and biomechanically accurate for most people.

Value – if you had to guess the price, you’d guess higher

This is true for most Force USA machines – they work, look and feel like they should cost more. That’s a great complement as well by the way.

In the case of the hack squat machine, that primarily goes for the padding, rollers, guiding rods, and lockouts.

Simply put – everything works smoothly.

Versatility – for the hack squat and beyond

Versatility for the hack squat comes down to the band pegs – their number and positions.

It’s not just about the extra resistance.

Band pegs do more than add weight. They allow for less tension at the lower part and more at the upper part of the squat.

That means you can blast the quad with less toll on the knees.

You can mix things up by switching stances, but up to a point – you’re limited by the width of the platform…more on that in a moment.

With such a large number of band pegs and positions, it suits multiple users and multiple goals.

Versatility beyond the hack squat

The Force USA combo is both a great hack squat and a leg press machine.

OK, they say it’s a 4-in-1 machine, but the extra two stations aren’t really separate:

  1. The forward thrust – same station as the hack squat.
  2. Calf-raise “machine”  – let’s call a spade a spade; this is just a T-bar that drops into the lower platform. Nice, but no big deal.

Geometry – good for most, but not everyone

You’ll be OK with this machine if you’re over 5’10 and not an advanced lifter.

By “advanced lifter,” I mean you like to squat super deep/ wide.

Height-wise, that can cause an issue… the average height of a man in the US is 5’8

If you do belong to one or both of these groups, consider these two:

  1. The safety stop might be too high.
  2. The platform isn’t very wide.

Not deal-breakers

Those sound like two serious flaws and potential deal-breakers..but hear me out.

They might break the deal if there was ANY machine in the “competition” that gets it just right.

There isn’t one.

At least not until you get to the commercial units that cost two or three times more.

The good news is that you can easily work around both “issues:”

  1. If the safety doesn’t allow for full squat depth, add mats to the platform or pull out the top part of the safety.
  2. I call this stage 1 modification.
  3. If that doesn’t work for you, you’d have to shave a few inches of the safety stop. That’s a stage-2 modification, and 95 % of people won’t need it.
  4. If the footplate isn’t wide enough (around 26 inches) for you, the simplest solution is to have an extra plate made. Not cheap, but it is possible.

Go with a thick slab of strong wood (like oak, maple, or North American elm) or an extra steel plate.

I’d make it at least 38-40 inches wide.

Bottom line – if you’re looking for a premium feel in a hack squat machine but don’t want to spend premium bucks, go with this Force USA.

For most people putting together a home gym on a reasonable budget, this is as good as it gets.

You can see what other owners are saying about it and check the current price by clicking the button below.


Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)94 x 66 x 60
Weight capacity (lbs)1000
Angle (degrees)45
Number of lockout positions5
Number of stations3
Warranty on the frameLifetime

2 – Money-no-object pick – BodyCraft F760 Linear-bearing Leg Press Hack Squat combo

Rating: 76 out of 100

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  • Fully adjustable
  • Compact
  • Premium materials – high-end upholstery and industrial-grade steel parts
  • Rated for commercial use – residential warranty covers everything for a lifetime


  • Price
  • The footplate might not be wide enough for some


Compared to ANY machine in the TOP 5, the F760 is a bit tougher and thicker. It’s also the best machine if you’re looking for a calf-blaster apart from the hack squat. 

Aaaand costs more – about 30% more than the Force USA combo

You can see where the money is going, but you’ll still have to swallow the extra spend…

What it means for you

That means the choice between the F760 and the other machines is more of WANT than NEED.

You don’t need industrial-grade linear bearings, but you might want them.

You don’t need double or triple stitching on the upholstery, but you might want it.

You get the idea…that’s why the BodyCraft is the money-no-object pick.

However, there are two stand-out features – one is a direct benefit for hack squats, and the other is a massive plus for calf raises.

#1 – Adjustability means a comfortable range of motion

Compared to the Force USA, the F760 is a more welcoming machine for the outlier body types.

The reasons for that are threefold:

  1. The safeties are lower, so they’ll never get in the way of proper squat depth.
  2. The footplate is adjustable to 5 angles.
  3. The shoulder pads are adjustable – the difference between the uppermost and lower-most positions is 12 inches.

That means you’ll never have to consider modifications.

Donkey pad for calf raises

I love this one – it shows attention to detail and a customer-oriented approach.

You’ll remember that the “calf raise machine” on the Force USA is an extra T bar.

On the F760, some more thought went into it.

You can do calf raises with the shoulder pads or add the donkey pad and use that.

Adding the donkey pad does three things:

  1. It lowers the compression on the spine.
  2. It hits the calves harder because you work them when they’re stretched.
  3. It activates your abs and hamstrings as support.

In a word – donkey calf raise is the superior exercise to the standing calf raise.

Bottom line – if you like your home gym machines extra brawny and want to detonate your calves, the F760 is the machine for you.

Is it worth the extra buck?

That’s your call. I will say this… it’s not often I’ll praise stitching or upholstery, but I can tell you that it’s almost always the first part to start breaking down on a well-used machine. If they’ve invested in quality here, it’ll improve your user experience significantly.


Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)79 x 39 x 50
Weight capacity (lbs)1000
Angle (degrees)45
Number of lockout positions3
Number of stations3
Warranty on the frameLifetime

Note: Hack squat and forward thrust counts as one station.

3 – Best budget hack squat machine for small spaces – TDS 4-way Hip Sled

Rating: 70 out of 100

41aKVsWL OL. SL500ir?t=shghacksquatmachine 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B07FPS8LSF

Who it’s for: Anyone who liked the Force USA combo but doesn’t have the budget.


  • Compact – less than half the footprint of Force USA
  • Good range of motion
  • Well-made and robust for the money
  • Easy assembly – fairly straightforward with good instructions


  • It’s not the most stable
  • The footplate isn’t great – not grippy or wide enough
  • The frame could use geometry tweaks – wider shoulder pads and bigger handles


For anyone over 5’8, this machine will be of great value. It gets all the basics right, and it’s compact.

If you’re shorter than 5’8 and an ATG squatter, you won’t be a fan of the safety stops.

Compared to the Force USA, it has a much smaller footprint  – 43 vs. 20 square inches. That means it’s easier to tuck into that corner you’re not using.

Compared to the Body Craft F760, it costs some 25% less.

It’s a well-made, old-school hack squat that picks its battles.

If those battles are not stability and perfect handles, it does just fine.

Why stability is not its battle

Because it’s too compact for that.

Force USA’s ample 4-sided base is as stable as it gets.

TDS’ base is one tube with stabilizers at the end.

That is also the case with the F760, but the stabilizers are wider, and the machine is not as high, which makes it plenty stable.

Is that a big deal?

It’s not if you have extra weight plates to load onto the storage horns.

If you don’t, you’ll likely feel some wobble on explosive squats, and that concerns me. You don’t want to ‘hold back’ your workout because of craftsmanship issues.

Why the handles are not its battle

Because they’re awkwardly short and high, which makes them hard to reach on hack squats (especially if you’re under 5).

What are its battles, then?

Value for money and compactness.

In those two, it’s up there with the best.

Bottom line – if you’re on a budget, either money or space-wise, and you’re not looking for an outright performance machine, you should absolutely give this one a closer look.


Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)80 x 37 x 52
Weight capacity (lbs)1000
Angle (degrees)45
Number of lockout positions5
Number of stations3
Warranty on the frameLifetime

4 – Best budget alternative to the traditional hack squat – Titan seated leg sled

Rating: 69 out of 100

Titan Seated Leg Sled Hack Squat Machine

Who it’s for: For anyone looking to minimize spinal compression.

Who it’s not for: For anyone looking to blast the quads with traditional hack squats.


  • Super compact
  • Cheap
  • Minimal spine compression
  • Safe for beginners and convalescents


  • Lower max capacity (700 lbs)
  • Lower muscle activation


Titan calls this hip sled a “linear bearing hack squat machine.”

It’s not that.

At least not in the traditional sense of the word.

It’s a hip sled

The movement is somewhere between a leg press and a hack squat.

To partly mimic the effects of hack squats, you’ll need to consciously push through the heels.

That’s why it’s called a “hack” squat…because the proper form is pushing through the heel (“hacke” is German for heel).

Why include it in the hack-squat guide?

Because a significant % of people looking into hack squat machines want more control over what squatting does to their spine.

For them, a sled like this is a viable alternative. It’s cheap, too.

Bottom line – Consider this seated sled if you’re looking for a squat-like movement that will spare your spine more than a traditional hack squat. If your spine is seriously compromised though, perhaps look into getting a pendulum squat instead.


Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)60.5 x 46.75 x 45.5
Weight capacity (lbs)1000
Angle (degrees)35
Number of lockout positions1
Number of stations1
Warranty on the frame1 year

5 – Body Solid GLPH1100 – Leg Press Hack Squat Combo

Rating: 65 out of 100

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Who it’s for: For the conservative buyer of average height.


  • Cheaper than similar designs
  • Compact
  • Lifetime warranty (not limited to the frame)


  • Unstable on explosive lifts
  • Awkward placement of the pins
  • Limited ROM* and a small plate on the leg press

*ROM – range of motion


This Body Solid is one of the most popular hack squat machines.

It’s in the top 15% of cheapest units out of the 26 machines we looked at.

There’s only a traditional design cheaper than this Body Solid.

It’s made by XMark and, compared to the creatively-named GLPH1100, the cheaper alternative is basic.

My take on this Body Solid – it’s good, but not great.

The good

Overall build and finishes

First of all – the welds and the powder coating are clean. To be fair, this is the entry level of what you’d demand in terms of quality… it’s got to withstand weight on it!

Secondly, everything aligns well, which means three things:

  1. Easy initial setup
  2. Less rattle and wobble in the long run (there will be some, but for different reasons…I’ll get to that in a sec).
  3. There’s some attention to detail and quality control during manufacturing

Compact but loads easily

It’s the smallest out of the 4 traditional designs on the list.

Once you go this small, plate-loading can become an issue.

That’s not the case here.

They made sure of it by going a peg higher – it’s 4 and 3 inches taller than the BodyCraft and TDS, respectively.

The bad

Design-wise, the attention to detail isn’t there

To name a few…

  • The adjustment pins can be hard to reach
  • You won’t get a full range of motion on the leg press if you’re tall
  • The plates for both squatting and pressing should be bigger
  • The tolerances on the rollers could be better (read: closer)

The good news is that the flaws are more of an issue for leg presses than hack squats.

The main issue for hack squats – stability

Compared to our top 5 picks, it’s the least stable machine.

Thicker tubing and an extra stabilizer at the base would change things dramatically (and add maybe 50 bucks to the production and shipping cost).

It works, and the stability issue isn’t a deal-breaker if you’re lifting within what it’s capable of.

Still, the machine can feel unsafe and shaky if you squat explosively, so don’t buy it if you’re looking to put some serious mileage on the machine. It won’t stand up to the hardest of workouts.

I’m always puzzled by this kind of skimping.

Bottom line

If you’re short on space and understand the minor flaws, this Body Solid might be the machine for you.


Dimensions (L x W x H, inches)83 x 34 x 56
Weight capacity (lbs)1000
Angle (degrees)45
Number of lockout positions3
Number of stations3
Warranty on the frameLifetime

Buyer’s guide to choosing a hack squat machine

Below is a complete guide on choosing a hack squat machine.

I’ll aim to make it super direct and practical. I’ll try to keep things simple without oversimplifying…if that makes sense.

Instead of just preaching about machines in general, I’ll explain how to recognize the right machine FOR YOU.

Let’s see if all the “trying” will do any good.

10 primary factors to choosing the right hack squat machine

If I had to put in one sentence, I’d say this – a good squat machine is one that allows for proper form.

A great one helps you find it.

1 – The geometry of hack squat machines

no specific points in our ratings

This is the crucial part – if you’re going to read one out of the ten points, read this one.

To understand what good geometry means here, you’ll need to fully understand what a proper hack squat is (and what it’s not).

Let’s start there with this video from Dr. Mike:

How this translates to the geometry of the machine:

  1. The angle of the footplate is adjustable – this allows you to find that position where you push through the heels without creating tension in your knees.
  2. The safety stops don’t get in the way – for those on the shorter side, this might be an issue even with the best machines.
  3. Safeties exist and are adjustable – once you find the right depth, set the safety. This does two things – it stops you from going too deep and helps you find a standard, uniform range of motion.
  4. The footplate is flat (when the calf-raise bar is out) – this allows you to add mats or a board for extra depth.
  5. The footplate is big enough for proper positioning of the feet (marking the position that feels right is good practice).
  6. The shoulder pads are generously-sized and well-padded.
  7. Ideally, both height and width would be adjustable, which is rarely the case.
  8. Even with the crème-de-la-crème hack squat machines like the BodyCraft F760, only the height is adjustable. The next best thing is proper sizing and generous padding.

All the machines in our Top 5 tick this box, but not all are the same. The F760, for example, is much better than the Body Solid machine (it also costs 50% more…so there’s that).

2 – Overall build of a hack squat machine – gauge and cross-section of the frame

(17 points in our ratings)

The gauge (thickness) of the steel and the cross-section of the frame are the two crucial aspects of how a hack squat machine is built.

If it’s not listed, it’s safe to assume that the gauge is around 13.

Beyond that, there are intricate qualities like precise alignment and tolerances and fine welds and finishes.

We quantify those as “build level” and rate each machine based on our own experiences and that of owners.

The best machines overall are in the higher and lower-medium build range. Once you get to the premium units, the prices get too high for a home gym.

3 – Weight capacity of a hack squat machine

(0 to 18.6 points in our ratings)

All but one machine in our top 5 have a max weight capacity of 1,000 (graph below).

An average hack squat weight for a 20-to-40-year-old intermediate lifter is around 350 lbs. For the advanced lifter, it’s around 500 lbs.

That means the weight capacity won’t be a problem in absolute terms.

However, it tells a story of how well the squat machine is built and put together (especially when paired with the warranty terms).

Maximum weight capacity of the top hack squat machines compared

4 – Size/footprint of a hack squat machine

(0 to 8.7 points in our ratings)

The size/footprint of the 5 top-rated squat machines are in the 19.6-43.08 square feet range (see graph below).

And sure, you should be looking at that and measuring your space to check if it’s a fit.

Important consideration – loading horns and weight-plate storage

When you think of the machine’s size and your space, also consider the position of the horns and the storage of the weight plates.

The most compact designs (like the Body Solid GLPH1100) have weight horns under the carriage and no extra storage.

This saves space but has two trade-offs:

  1. The machines are typically higher to avoid the plates hitting the ground on the way down and limiting ROM
  2. A small footprint paired with no extra plates is not the most stable. This is an important issue if you’re particularly strong or powerful.
Footprint comparison among the top-rated hack squat machines

Bonus tip: In machines with extra storage, the actual footprint is greater than the one listed.

That’s especially true for the machines with angled or top-loading storage – case in point being the TDS 4-Way and the Titan Combo.

As you load plates onto the pins, they “protrude” outside of the footprint.

That’s illustrated in the image below.

Three types of storage pins on hack squat machines

5 – Safety of a hack squat machine

(no specific points in our ratings)

Safety vs. proper form is the eternal struggle here.

That’s because the manufacturers try to cater to different body types (read: position the safety stops).

In that process, those on the short side get…well, the short end of the stick.

Let’s make things simple – if you’re under 5,7, go for a machine:

A. With a flat platform that allows for extra mats (we already mentioned this one) 

B. With height-adjustable and/or removable safety stops

C. Are easily accessible for modification if everything else fails

Let’s explain that using the example of our top pick – the Force USA.

Its safety stop will probably get in the way of prepper hack squatting form (full depth) for anyone 5’8 or under.

But take a look at the platform and the closeup of the safety stop:

  • When the T-bar is removed, the platform is flat and will be stable under a few mats (or an improvised extra platform) – this will be enough to get proper depth for 95% of lifters
  • If you’re not a fan, you can remove the safety stop from the slot
  • In extreme cases, you can even cut it off to the depth that works for your hack squat and leg presses. 
  • I don’t know of anybody who needed to go this far, but it’s possible. With some machines, the safety stops get in the way but aren’t accessible for modification.

Bonus tip: the length of the locking handle is the most commonly overlooked safety aspect. Bulging a disc as you twist to reach for the handles is more probable than getting squashed under the weights.

A good example is the TDS 4-way – the handles on that one are too short for my taste.

6 – Padding – seat, backrest, and the shoulder pads of the machine

(no specific points in our ratings)

Look for a leg machine padded with high-density foam and thick, rigid PU leather. It can be contoured or ergonomic, but that’s optional – a flat surface will do just fine if the padding is good.

I’ve said earlier, this is really important. The materials and padding are the most vulnerable parts of any piece of gym equipment.

They’re also the parts you’re in contact with the most, so if they’re poor quality, it’ll disproportionately affect your enjoyment of the machine.

That’s true for all the units in our top 5.

The shoulder pads are the critical part for hack squats. For leg presses, it’s the seat and the backrest.

7 – Guiding mechanism – linear bearings or rollers

(0 to 3.7 points in our ratings)

Most hack squat machines run on quad-track roller systems. This means there are 4 wheels that guide the sled up and down the rails.

For most people, that is absolutely good enough.

Provided, of course, that the mechanism has precise tolerances – minimal spaces between the wheels and the rails. Poor execution here means you’ll see some rattle in the long run.

Again, all our top picks do a good job with this.

Among the top 5, two machines feature linear bearings within closed housing – the BodyCraft F760 and the Titan sled. Durability, longevity, and smoothness-wise, it’s the superior mechanism but it’s always more expensive than rollers.

Is it worth the extra Benjamins?

Not if that’s the only superior aspect of the machine.

In other words – I think it’s worth it on the F760 and not on the Titan sled.

8 – Is it a combo with a leg press machine?

(0 to x points in our ratings)

Most machines we looked at are a combo of a few leg exercises – the leg press and hack squat being the primary, the calf raises, and the front squat secondary.

You could argue that standalone machines that focus on hack squats alone (like the Hammer or the Panatta) are better.

You’d be right for a commercial gym.

That’s not the case for a home gym – as awesome as they are, they’re too expensive and take up too much space.

Two standalone hack squat machines

9 – Price of a hack squat machine

(0 to 31 points in our ratings)

Expect to pay anywhere from 1.3 to 3K for a good hack squat machine.

The $1,700-2,000 is where the top value machines are.

Almost all of these are combos with a leg press, so if you already have a press and are looking for a hack squat, selling the press and getting a combo machine is the way to go.

If you frowned at that because you love your old leg press, I’ll just mention that the top machine here is also the top-rated in our guide on best leg press machines here.

10 – Warranty on the frame and parts

(0 to 16.1 points in our ratings)

If you’re paying over $1,500 for a hack squat machine, nothing below a Lifetime warranty on the frame is acceptable.

For the upholstery and parts, that red line is 1 year.

The expectations attached to that rule are machines with warranties that cover commercial use.

Warranty comparison among top hack squat machines

Methodology – how we assess and rate hack squat machines

We talk a big talk, but do we walk the walk?

Do we actually do all we promise, or are we just good with words?

That’s probably a question in the back of your mind when you read guides like this.


Yeah…I know.

I can’t eliminate the question or offer hard proof, but I can do the next best thing…lay out our process of testing and rating hack squat machines.

That’s below.

1. Creating the hack squat database (based on 32 sources)

This step aimed to create the most complete database of hack squat machines out there.

2. How is that different than a list?

It’s not that different. It is a list, but it’s massive…and it’s the only one out there*.

It contains every tidbit of information  – from the basics (like size and capacity) to the details (like padding and finishes).

*I say that it’s the only one out there because, when researching for this piece, I’ve seen no proof that anything like it exists.

3. Talking to owners and industry experts about what’s important in a hack squat machine

The purpose of this step is to go beyond individual opinion and create a pool of information/criteria we’ll use in the next step to create a rating formula.

The more proverbial eyeballs and hands on a hack-squat machine, the better.

For example, in this step, I’d figure out the minimum usable length of the rails that won’t limit the squat depth.

What it means for you

It means we’re not just guessing.

When we don’t have the machine to test, we look at what owners are saying and talk to people who do own it.

4. Creating the formula

In this step, we award “gravities” to the factors defined in step #2.

It’s a way to create separation between the factors because they’re not all equally important.

For example, the price point has the highest individual gravity of 25, and something minor like band pegs has a gravity of 3.

Combined, these make the rating of a hack squat machine.

What it means for you

It means that the ratings you’re seeing are not random but are the results of weighted statistical analysis. And believe me, so much of the stuff you read online is random.

5. Tweaking the formula

We rarely get it right on the first go. And that’s a good thing because it shows how much thought goes into it.

Try as we may, describing a hack squat machine with a single number isn’t an exact science.

That’s where my experience comes in.

When a machine I know isn’t good gets into the top 10, it’s a sign that something is off.

This isn’t about “fixing” the results but using what I know to find any blind spots.

What it means for you

This step is useful beyond the final ratings because it gives us (and you) insight into the exact price point where the good machines start.

That’s crucial stuff!

6. Choosing the picks to present

This step is all about creating a versatile list without being unfair to any one product.

For example, I might present two hack squat machines under one pick because they are similar.

What it means for you

It leaves room to make the list more versatile and valuable to you…whether you’re looking for premium or cheap, beefy or compact.

7. Updating the database and re-assessing the picks

To make sure the hack squat machines are actually the best at any given time, we update this guide regularly.

This goes both for new arrivals and any new information we learn along the way.

FAQs about hack squat machines

What does hack squat work?

A hack squat works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and abs.

Compared to the classic back squat, it produces a higher load, both for the 1RM (One Rep Max) and the sub-max loads.

Trunk muscle activation, however, is lower than that of the traditional back squat, as shown in this 2019 study.

What is hack squat good for?

Hack squats are good for strengthening the lower body without taxing the spine as much as in traditional squats.

The fixed path allows you to blast the legs, even when working around a back injury. It’s also an excellent option for beginners because it “forces” you into an angled, standing position.

You can do some really great high rep workouts on a hack squat machine such as the Force USA Ultimate 45-Degree Combo, without the worry of your form breaking down too far.

How much does a hack squat machine weigh?

A hack squat machine weighs 50-100 lbs, with most of them at around 75 lbs (like the BodyCraft F760).

That refers to the starting weight of the carriage, which you can use to calculate how much you’re squatting.

The whole machine can weigh anywhere between 180 and 700 lbs.

What does reverse hack squat work?

A reverse hack squat activates the same primary muscles of the lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes) but to a different degree.

It will hit the hamstrings and glutes more than a regular hack squat, but it will do less for the quads.

Weight-for-weight, it’s the more difficult movement because there’s no back support.

Is a hack squat better than leg press?

No, hack squats are not inherently better than leg presses.

A good machine like the Force USA 45 will activate more muscle than the leg press, but the leg press does a better job of avoiding spinal load entirely.

It’s an unpopular answer, but here goes – it depends.

What’s the difference between a squat machine and a hack squat machine?

The difference between a regular squat machine and a hack squat machine comes down to the positioning of the body and the muscles worked.

The regular squat machine places the weight just in front of the shoulders, emphasizing the effort in the core muscles (read more about squat machines in our in-depth best squat machine buying guide).

The hack squat, on the other hand, places the entire emphasis on the leg muscles – glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Other hack squat machines we analyzed – close-but-no-cigar

In the section below, we list some of the better hack squat machines we looked at.

It’s mostly machines that are good but expensive or cheap for a reason.

  • Titan Fitness Leg Press Hack Squat Machine – similar to 3 of the top 5 picks, this Titan is pretty decent. It’s one of the more popular hack squat and leg press machines and runs on a decent quad-track roller system. Ultimately, it’s too expensive for the warranty (only one year).
  • XMark Leg Press and Hack Squat (XM-7616)  – a basic design that goes out of stock too often. With no reviews on their website, I don’t think it’s a popularity issue.
  • Valor CC-70 – a decent hack squat machine but there are better units for less money.
  • SportArt A989 – an awesome standalone hack squat machine that costs way too much for 99% of home gyms. Still, if you have the money and space and it’s a primary machine for you, opt for a standalone. It’s easier for designers and engineers to get everything right if the purpose is singular.
  • French Fitness Monster P/L – good…very good, in fact. It’s very similar to the Force USA and rated for commercial use. Sadly, we’re missing a few crucial pieces of data to rate it.
  • PANATTA hack squat machine – this one’s a stunner and better than most hack squat machines. The price is a non-starter for 99% of home gym owners.

Resume and key takeaways from the hack-squat machine guide

For most home gym owners, the top overall value among hack squat machines is the Force USA 45-degree ultimate combo. It’s the most complete machine at a mid-range price.

If money is no object, go for the beastly F760 by Body Craft. It costs about 25% more but comes with a Lifetime warranty that covers everything (usually, it’s just the frame).

If you’re OK with a seated position, the Titan sled is a viable alternative to the traditional hack squat machine.

Click here to skip back to the table with the Top 5 picks.

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Steve Hoyles is a certified personal trainer and gym owner. Since graduating with his Sports Science degree in 2004 he's worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. His writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries as he inspires to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle.

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