V Squat vs. Hack Squat: What’s The Difference?

V Squat vs. Hack Squat: What’s The Distinction?

In the event you’re searching for an train to isolate your quadriceps and develop sturdy thighs, then take into account squats leg day’s shut, often-visited good friend. And simply as buddies are available all sizes and styles, there are a plethora of the way to remix the usual squat’s sit-down, stand-up movement. 

Other than body weight squats, the V squat and the hack squat are two well-liked variations for gym-goers trying to construct highly effective quadriceps. Whereas the 2 workouts observe the same sample, understanding the important thing to how they evaluate might help you resolve which one is greatest for enhancing your quad sport. 

Right here, we spotlight the similarities and variations between them, together with how to decide on between them the subsequent time you hit the mat space at your well being membership of selection.

V Squat vs Hack Squat: Key Similarities

Leg day consists of many alternative exercise variations for various decrease physique muscle teams: glute, hamstring, quad, and so on. However figuring out the identical method every time can grow to be boring. The subsequent time you’re staring down the machines in your gymnasium’s leg part and considering of attempting one thing new, maybe a V squat machine or hack squat machine will catch your eye. In the event you don’t know a lot about both, they could seem pretty daunting—nevertheless it helps to respect each strikes and the burn they’ll bestow upon you. 

So what’s a hack squat? And what’s a V squat? Each of those conventional squat variations can depart your quads feeling on fireplace. 

Apart from their potential to ignite a burn within the quad muscle group, the V squat and the hack squat have a number of key commonalities:

  • Goal muscle teams – Each V and hack squats successfully isolate the quadricep muscle tissue in an effort to optimally work and develop them. These twists on the standard squat reduce the position of different muscle teams within the raise, such because the again and hips, to pay attention the load onto your quads.1
  • Use of machines – Each V and hack squats may be finished utilizing specially-designed machines to help in the course of the train. Whereas V squats have a machine designed only for them, they will also be finished on a hack squat machine utilizing an altered stance.2 Utilizing machines additionally means much less fear and energy will go into balancing and stabilizing the burden you progress.3 Thus, extra power is exerted from the goal muscle (the quadriceps).
  • Corollary muscle tissue labored – Whereas fashionable equipment does its greatest to remove activating something however the goal muscle tissue, no physique half works out in a vacuum. Anticipate to get your calves, decrease again, and hamstrings going no less than just a little bit with both of those squat variations.4
  • Vary of movement – They don’t observe equivalent motion patterns, however each the V and the hack squat carry your physique via related movement pathways. Commonplace squats ought to adequately put together you for the actions you’ll make throughout these altered variations.
  • Work and relaxation – The quantity of squats to pop is identical for each the V and hack varieties. In the event you’re aiming to each improve muscle dimension and get stronger, intention for 3 to five units of round 10 repetitions, with 1 to 2 minutes of relaxation between them. In the event you’re solely attempting to construct energy, add weight and do a most of 5 reps for a similar units with double the remaining in between.5

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Hack Squat vs V Squat: Primary Variations

Whereas these two squats may look the identical from throughout the gymnasium room flooring, whenever you zoom in and dissect the hack and V squats it’s clear they diverge in additional than simply their names.

A number of formal and technical elements distinguish the V squat and the hack squat, together with:

  • Gear kind – As beforehand talked about, V squats may be carried out on a hack squat machine. Nonetheless, there’s additionally a particular piece of kit fitted to the duty: A hack squat machine is angled at about 45° with a backrest and pads that lay in your shoulders. As you squat on it, weight is pushed up and down the angled observe in a straight line. To not point out that there are additionally the completely different V squat and hack squat variations, such because the barbell squat, which may turn out to be useful if a machine is in use maybe. 

A V squat machine, however, pivots and folds round a middle level. The backrest and pads stay, however you’re pushed outward in additional of a parabolic movement (moderately than shifting your again in a straight line).5 Your backbone ought to stay upright with both piece of kit, whatever the path it takes.

  • Stance – When performing a V squat on a hack squat machine, the important thing distinction comes all the way down to the stance. Throughout an everyday hack squat, your legs ought to largely align together with your shoulders, together with your ft pointed barely outwards.6 

Throughout a V squat, you must widen your stance previous your shoulders, creating an upside-down V form together with your legs. Moreover, you must place your ft at extra of an obtuse angle, creating one other “V” together with your trunk.2

  • Secondary muscle tissue focused – The muscle tissue labored by every squat variation can also be a key distinction between these two. The hack squat is a go-to for getting your quads fired up and your legs quaking. It was crafted with the intent to maximise resistance and exert these highly effective leg muscle tissue. 

The V squat variant, nonetheless, targets the glutes in addition to the quads.5 The V squat’s widened stance lessens the load borne by the quads, distributing weight extra evenly all through the leg muscle tissue than a normal hack squat.2

  • Path of motion – Whereas the hack squat follows a straight line, the V squat leads your physique in the direction of extra of an arc. Variations in muscle employment apart, how every movement feels to execute shall be distinctive to your physique.
  • Weight used – Whereas the 2 motions are related, the precise muscle tissue they interact differ—and so too ought to the load you bear with every train. Experiment with completely different weights to see what feels each snug and difficult for every train individually. Simply you’ll want to go low first and construct as much as cut back the chance of damage. 

Very similar to your legs in correct V squat type, the hack and V squat have an honest quantity of separation between them; actually sufficient variation to categorise them as distinct workouts.

If each are an choice at your gymnasium, then your job is to resolve which might make a good-looking addition to your present health routine.

Tips on how to Select Between a V Squat and Hack Squat

You could have questions when deciding to include new workouts into your routine. Attending health courses or asking private trainers are nice methods to type out any uncertainties about unfamiliar strikes.

In the event you’re attempting to select between V and hack squats, contemplating the next elements might help you make a decision:

  • Health targets – What muscle tissue are you attempting to develop and strengthen essentially the most? Are you solely attempting to focus on your quads and construct them up as a lot as doable? Or do you wish to tone up your legs as a complete?

Hack squats are perfect for isolating your quadriceps and giving them the utmost pressure doable. Alternatively, if you wish to get extra of your decrease physique in on the motion, widen to a V squat to put extra stress in your different leg muscle tissue.

  • Bodily potential – These with joint or mobility points might discover the stance or movement of both variation harder than the opposite. In the event you discover one fits your capabilities greater than the opposite, then it’s the proper selection for you.
  • Muscle fatigue – In the event you’ve simply gotten off a strenuous quad routine a number of days prior, tackling them once more with hack squats is probably not one of the best concept. Alternatively, if the higher thighs are feeling nice however the remainder of your legs are just a little sluggish, maintain these legs at shoulder-width to get the quadriceps firing. Learn your physique, assess how you are feeling on a given day, and resolve which train is best for you. 
  • Private choice – The V squat’s vary of movement may jive together with your physique and the extent of your flexibility. Conversely, maybe the hack squat feels extra pure to you. If one or the opposite is a standout, no-contest winner with reference to the way it makes you are feeling, take into account it your new go-to. 

No matter which squat you’re gravitating in the direction of, you’ll see optimum outcomes whenever you follow your chosen type (or each, for those who’re sport) usually. A dedicated exercise routine guarantees the very best, most observable yields in each energy and hypertrophy—the physiological technique of ramping up muscle progress.1 When you’ve determined upon one (or each) of those efficient squat variations, it’s time to hit the health flooring and put that principle to the check.

Maintain on—your gymnasium doesn’t have a V squat OR a hack squat machine? Perhaps it’s time to go looking “gyms close to me” and Chuze someplace new to coach.

Select Distinctive Squatting Services With High Well being Weblog

It doesn’t matter for those who’re perfecting your grasp of the classics or wish to weave one thing brand-new into your exercise routine. For all of the sweat you place into your gymnasium time, health must be as satisfying as it’s bodily rewarding.

In the event you’re a health fanatic from California, Arizona, Colorado, or New Mexico, High Well being Weblog desires to grant you that gratifying, versatile exercise expertise. Our fully-stocked health amenities are furnished with fashionable, high-quality tools fitted to any type of exercise—and any type of the squat.

Whether or not you’re V squatting, hack squatting, or not squatting in any respect, our professional trainers and iChuze health app provide a broad choice of movies with workouts to reinforce your repertoire. While you’re prepared to enroll, we’ll be right here that can assist you conquer your health targets. 


Reviewed By:

Ani is the Vice President of Health at High Well being Weblog and oversees the group health and crew coaching departments. She’s had a 25+ yr profession in membership administration, private coaching, group train and teacher coaching. Ani lives along with her husband and son in San Diego, CA and loves sizzling yoga, snowboarding and all issues wellness.



  1. Males’s Well being. Need Monster Quads? Time to Study the Hack Squat.
  2. Your Exercise E-book. Hack Squats vs. V Squats: What’s the Distinction?.
  3. College of Delaware. Free Weights Vs. Machines: How do you have to select?.
  4. Muscle and Power. Machine Hack Squat Video Train Information.
  5. Blackridge Health. V Squat Information: How To, Muscle tissue Labored, Alternate options & Extra.
  6. Encourage Us Basis. The Hack Squat: 4 Advantages, Muscle tissue Used, and Extra.

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