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

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

For those who’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 pals are available in all styles and sizes, there are a plethora of the way to remix the usual squat’s sit-down, stand-up movement. 

Aside from 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 comply with an identical sample, understanding the important thing to how they examine might help you determine which one is finest for enhancing your quad recreation. 

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

V Squat vs Hack Squat: Key Similarities

Leg day consists of many various exercise variations for various decrease physique muscle teams: glute, hamstring, quad, and many others. However understanding the identical means every time can develop into boring. The following time you’re staring down the machines in your fitness center’s leg part and considering of attempting one thing new, maybe a V squat machine or hack squat machine will catch your eye. For those who don’t know a lot about both, they may 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 go away your quads feeling on hearth. 

Other than 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 groups in an effort to optimally work and develop them. These twists on the traditional 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 could be carried out utilizing specially-designed machines to help through the train. Whereas V squats have a machine designed only for them, they can be carried out 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 load you progress.3 Thus, extra vitality is exerted from the goal muscle (the quadriceps).
  • Corollary muscle groups labored – Whereas trendy equipment does its finest to remove activating something however the goal muscle groups, no physique half works out in a vacuum. Anticipate to get your calves, decrease again, and hamstrings going not less than slightly bit with both of those squat variations.4
  • Vary of movement – They don’t comply with similar motion patterns, however each the V and the hack squat carry your physique by means of related movement pathways. Normal 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 similar for each the V and hack varieties. For those who’re aiming to each enhance muscle measurement and get stronger, purpose for 3 to five units of round 10 repetitions, with 1 to 2 minutes of relaxation between them. For those who’re solely attempting to construct energy, add weight and do a most of 5 reps for a similar units with double the remainder in between.5

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Hack Squat vs V Squat: Fundamental Variations

Whereas these two squats would possibly look the identical from throughout the fitness center room ground, once 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:

  • Tools kind – As beforehand talked about, V squats could 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 totally different V squat and hack squat variations, such because the barbell squat, which might come in useful if a machine is in use maybe. 

A V squat machine, then again, pivots and folds round a middle level. The backrest and pads stay, however you’re pushed outward in additional of a parabolic movement (somewhat 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 right down to the stance. Throughout a daily hack squat, your legs ought to principally align along with your shoulders, along with your ft pointed barely outwards.6 

Throughout a V squat, it’s best to widen your stance previous your shoulders, creating an upside-down V form along with your legs. Moreover, it’s best to place your ft at extra of an obtuse angle, creating one other “V” along with your trunk.2

  • Secondary muscle groups focused – The muscle groups 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 groups. 

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 groups than an ordinary 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 groups they interact differ—and so too ought to the load you bear with every train. Experiment with totally different weights to see what feels each snug and difficult for every train individually. Simply remember to go low first and construct as much as cut back the chance of harm. 

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

If each are an possibility at your fitness center, then your job is to determine which might make a good-looking addition to your present health routine.

Select Between a V Squat and Hack Squat

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

For those who’re attempting to choose between V and hack squats, contemplating the next elements might help you decide:

  • Health targets – What muscle groups 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 potential? Or do you wish to tone up your legs as an entire?

Hack squats are perfect for isolating your quadriceps and giving them the utmost pressure potential. 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 groups.

  • Bodily capacity – These with joint or mobility points could discover the stance or movement of both variation harder than the opposite. For those who discover one fits your capabilities greater than the opposite, then it’s the precise alternative for you.
  • Muscle fatigue – For those who’ve simply gotten off a strenuous quad routine a couple of days prior, tackling them once more with hack squats will not be one of the best concept. Alternatively, if the higher thighs are feeling nice however the remainder of your legs are slightly sluggish, hold these legs at shoulder-width to get the quadriceps firing. Learn your physique, assess how you are feeling on a given day, and determine which train is best for you. 
  • Private desire – The V squat’s vary of movement would possibly jive along 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 once you apply your chosen model (or each, when you’re recreation) often. A dedicated exercise routine guarantees the very best, most observable yields in each energy and hypertrophy—the physiological strategy of ramping up muscle development.1 When you’ve determined upon one (or each) of those efficient squat variations, it’s time to hit the health ground and put that idea to the check.

Maintain on—your fitness center 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 Chuze Health

It doesn’t matter when you’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 fitness center time, health needs to be as pleasant as it’s bodily rewarding.

For those who’re a health fanatic from California, Arizona, Colorado, or New Mexico, Chuze Health needs to grant you that gratifying, versatile exercise expertise. Our fully-stocked health services are furnished with trendy, high-quality gear fitted to any model of exercise—and any model of the squat.

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


Reviewed By:

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



  1. Males’s Well being. Need Monster Quads? Time to Study the Hack Squat.  https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a28133625/hack-squat/
  2. Your Exercise E book. Hack Squats vs. V Squats: What’s the Distinction?. https://www.yourworkoutbook.com/hack-squats-vs-v-squats/
  3. College of Delaware. Free Weights Vs. Machines: How do you have to select?. https://sites.udel.edu/coe-engex/2018/04/03/free-weights-vs-machines-how-should-you-choose/
  4. Muscle and Power. Machine Hack Squat Video Train Information. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/hack-squat.html
  5. Blackridge Health. V Squat Information: How To, Muscle groups Labored, Alternate options & Extra. https://www.blackridgefitness.com/v-squat-guide/
  6. Encourage Us Basis. The Hack Squat: 4 Advantages, Muscle groups Used, and Extra. https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/the-hack-squat/