Hack Squat Vs. Leg Press: Should You Do Both Exercises?

The second you hit the gym, the main focus for most people tends to be the back and arm muscles, and then come the legs. However, legs hold out the entire body and weight and they should never be neglected. For those who are aware of the productivity and effect of doing leg workouts and wish to upscale leg muscles, we offer you the elaboration of two most beneficial exercises: hack squat and leg press. The big question now lies in whether you should be doing only one exercise to gain progress or utilize both to build stronger and bigger legs.

Here you have all the secrets unrivaled for the most common questions about these exercises, so read on to find out. 

Hack Squat 

Unlike with traditional squat, the hack squat exercise solely aims to strengthen the lower body and tends to hit many different crucial muscle groups than the ordinary squat. If you do hack squat exercises on a gym machine for hack squat, use barbell weight, or on a Smith machine you can effectively enhance your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. To cut a long story short, traditional squats train a significant area of your body in terms that the entire body can feel the burn, but with a hack squat, you need to use a piece of equipment to complete the exercise where the focus is solely on the legs.

With hack squats the weight load is mainly added on your shoulders and places a huge emphasis on your quads and needs, making the legs work more. 

The Advantages:

The hack squat machines do offer a diverse range of motion which gives the user a feeling they are doing traditional squat reps with additional weight. Also, more upper body muscles are included in the hack squat due to the fact that the full weight is placed on the shoulders. Therefore, a hack squat machine could be the ideal exercise for people who need to work on a variety of muscle groups rather than only on the legs.

The Disadvantages:

The hack squat machine can place more strain on the back than the leg press machine. Also, it helps you work on various groups of muscles simultaneously by adding more weight and strength, on the contrary, if your fitness aim is to enhance your leg muscles, then using only a hack squat may not fulfill your expectations. Lastly, some gyms may not be equipped with this machine and you may need to get creative. 

Leg Press 

The leg press machine, at first glance, may appear like hack squat’s machine baby sister, but the usage and productivity are completely different. If you were to use or buy a quality leg press machine for your home gym, you would significantly upscale your quads in the first place and then boost up your glutes and lastly the hamstrings. Some experts claim that the leg press machine is a progression of the above-mentioned hack squat machine, but most beg to differ. With the leg press machine emphasis is mainly on the quads, hence if you wish to level up your legs, this is the machine for you.

The Advantages:

Doing exercises with the leg press machine is simple, easy to learn, and effective. Anyone aiming to strengthen and build up their leg muscles utterly benefits from leg press. Next, the leg press doesn’t place pressure on the legs nor does it require balance, allowing the user to effectively isolate the quads, glutes, and hamstrings for great results at lower injury risk. In the end, there is minimal to scarce risk of back injuries and it even alleviates the pain of certain back injuries making the leg press machine perfect for people who suffer from back or shoulder problems.

The Disadvantages:

One of the biggest cons of using this machine is its limited usage and fixed position. Also, people who are of normal height won’t have any problems using this machine for exercising, however, if you are above or below the average height, you won’t have the chance to use this machine. Solely using a leg press machine can even lead to making legs look too pumped up which is not always advisable health-wise. Plus, the upper torso tends to remain totally stationary which is not perfect for overall progress. 

By and large, the answer is simple: both machines target the quads and glutes, but the head press requires extra power on the shoulders whereas the leg press requires additional power on the legs. All in all, the difference is in the weight used how muscle worked, and the equipment itself, so you should be using them both for better “leg” results.