Hack Squat

In Kettlebell Mastery by admin6 Comments

I wanted to share with you an exercise that is not that popular these days – The Kettlebell Hack Squat.

The hack squat is a great exercise to work predominately with the quads. There are several other versions of this exercise known as the hack squat. There is the machine that makes you do a squat at an angle. Not a big fan of that. There is the barbell hack squat version where the bar is behind you. I just call that a behind the back deadlift. Good exercise too!

Anyway, by watching the video you’ll see the version I’m talking about.

Hack Squat

The majority of the work I do is hamstring dominant, working the opposite side of the thighs. So this exercise is good for me to create balance with all the deadlifts, swings and snatches I do.

If you’re doing the biofeedback method of training, test this exercise out. If you’re anything like me, and do more hamstring work, this may be just what you need.

I include a steady diet of high reps with low weights on some days, and then heavy weights on others. And right now I’m doing this exercise about three times per week!

In the video I talk about staying upright. While you do want to stay mostly upright you will have some lean as you counterbalance the weight. If you stay too upright the weight will pull you off balance as occurred the first time I did the 70 lber. in the video.

Have you used the hack squat before? Give me your thoughts in the comments below.

Oh, and please don’t say I’m going to destroy my knees because they’re extending past the toes. I do believe that myth has been dispelled by now right?

In strength,
Logan Christopher

P.S. I have a special announcement coming later this week. Watch your email…


  1. Hi – I’ve used them in the past, as an alternative to kettlebell front squats with the kettlebells held in the rack position. I found kettlebell front squats worked my shoulders as well as legs, so interfered with pressing done in the same workout.

    I didn’t find a problem with my knees with the KB hack squat, and think this might have been due to the fact that a relatively light weight can work the muscles. If I tried the same knee position with a heavy barbell loaded I know it would have aggravated my knee problems.

    Happy KB hack-squatting!

  2. Love them! But I put my heels together and roll my knees over my toes at 45%. I pick the bell from in front of me and keep it off the floor. Same basic motion but if you can pick it from the floor at the bottom you need a bigger bell. I mostly use a 40kg 0r 48kg. They are vary low rep and will hit your calf’s as well as your quads. Want a challenge, try it with two locked out over head! Mike

  3. Looks cool but doesn’t that hurt your knees because they travel over your toes?
    I have use this exercise successfully in the past to rehabilitate knee extention where all of the physical therapy exercises like leg extentions hurt and failed the hack squat helped me to restore function.

    1. @Tyler:

      Hi – I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own experience was they were OK for my knees. I think its to do with the way the exercise works – in this body alignment even a light weight can put a lot of work into the muscles. I was very careful to keep tension around the joint both going down and coming up from the hack squat (not just flopping down & bouncing up!).

      A medic told me that most squatting movements put force into the joint where the cartilage is thickest (& strongest), whereas the leg extension puts force into the joint where the cartilage is thinner. I don’t know the truth of it myself, but he thought it was because humans as a species had evolved to squat over many many years, but had only been doing leg extensions relatively recently.

  4. what if you hold the kettlebell in front of your body?i did it that way and could stay upright more easily,just like a hindu squat

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