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

In case you’re searching for an train to isolate your quadriceps and develop robust thighs, then think about squats leg day’s shut, often-visited good friend. And simply as mates are available all styles and sizes, there are a plethora of how to remix the usual squat’s sit-down, stand-up movement. 

Other than bodyweight squats, the V squat and the hack squat are two well-liked variations for gym-goers seeking to construct highly effective quadriceps. Whereas the 2 workout routines comply with an identical sample, understanding the important thing to how they evaluate may help you determine which one is greatest for enhancing your quad recreation. 

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 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 so forth. However understanding the identical manner every time can develop into boring. The subsequent time you’re staring down the machines in your gymnasium’s leg part and pondering of attempting one thing new, maybe a V squat machine or hack squat machine will catch your eye. In case you don’t know a lot about both, they may seem pretty daunting—but it surely helps to respect each strikes and the burn they will bestow upon you. 

So what is a hack squat? And what’s a V squat? Each of those conventional squat variations can go away your quads feeling on hearth. 

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 groups in an effort to optimally work and develop them. These twists on the standard squat reduce the position of different muscle teams within the elevate, 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 achieved utilizing specially-designed machines to help throughout the train. Whereas V squats have a machine designed only for them, they may also be achieved 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 groups labored – Whereas fashionable equipment does its greatest to eradicate activating something however the goal muscle groups, no physique half works out in a vacuum. Count on to get your calves, decrease again, and hamstrings going not less than a bit of bit with both of those squat variations.4
  • Vary of movement – They don’t comply with an identical motion patterns, however each the V and the hack squat carry your physique by way of comparable movement pathways. Customary 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. In case you’re aiming to each enhance muscle measurement and get stronger, intention for 3 to five units of round 10 repetitions, with 1 to 2 minutes of relaxation between them. In case you’re solely attempting to construct power, add weight and do a most of 5 reps for a similar units with double the remaining in between.5

Hack Squat vs V Squat: Fundamental Variations

Whereas these two squats would possibly look the identical from throughout the gymnasium room ground, if 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 components 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 selected 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 might come in 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 (quite than transferring 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 largely align along with your shoulders, along with your ft pointed barely outwards.6 

Throughout a V squat, you need to widen your stance previous your shoulders, creating an upside-down V form along with your legs. Moreover, you need 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 a regular 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 will probably be distinctive to your physique.
  • Weight used – Whereas the 2 motions are comparable, the precise muscle groups 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 make sure you go low first and construct as much as cut back the chance of damage. 

Very like 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 workout routines.

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

Methods to Select Between a V Squat and Hack Squat

You will have questions when deciding to include new workout routines into your routine. Attending fitness classes or asking private trainers are nice methods to type out any uncertainties about unfamiliar strikes.

In case you’re attempting to choose between V and hack squats, contemplating the next components may 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 attainable? 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 attainable. 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 skill – These with joint or mobility points might discover the stance or movement of both variation harder than the opposite. In case you discover one fits your capabilities greater than the opposite, then it’s the fitting alternative for you.
  • Muscle fatigue – In case you’ve simply gotten off a strenuous quad routine a couple of days prior, tackling them once more with hack squats is probably not the most effective concept. Alternatively, if the higher thighs are feeling nice however the remainder of your legs are a bit of sluggish, hold these legs at shoulder-width to get the quadriceps firing. Learn your physique, assess how you’re feeling on a given day, and determine which train is best for you. 
  • Private choice – 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 regard to the way it makes you’re feeling, think about it your new go-to. 

No matter which squat you’re gravitating in the direction of, you’ll see optimum outcomes if you follow your chosen fashion (or each, should you’re recreation) repeatedly. A dedicated exercise routine guarantees the best, most observable yields in each power 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 principle to the check.

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

Select Distinctive Squatting Amenities With Chuze Health

It doesn’t matter should 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 set into your gymnasium time, health ought to be as satisfying as it’s bodily rewarding.

In case you’re a health fanatic from California, Arizona, Colorado, or New Mexico, Chuze Fitness desires to grant you that gratifying, versatile exercise expertise. Our fully-stocked health amenities are furnished with fashionable, high-quality gear fitted to any fashion of exercise—and any fashion of the squat.

Whether or not you’re V squatting, hack squatting, or not squatting in any respect, our skilled trainers and iChuze health app provide a broad collection of movies with workout routines to boost your repertoire. Once 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 Chuze Health and oversees the group health and staff coaching departments. She’s had a 25+ 12 months 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 scorching yoga, snowboarding and all issues wellness.



  1. Males’s Well being. Need Monster Quads? Time to Be taught the Hack Squat.  https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a28133625/hack-squat/
  2. Your Exercise Guide. 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 must you 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 tissues Labored, Options & Extra. https://www.blackridgefitness.com/v-squat-guide/
  6. Encourage Us Basis. The Hack Squat: 4 Advantages, Muscle tissues Used, and Extra. https://www.inspireusafoundation.org/the-hack-squat/