Ordinary hack squats can be hit or a miss for some lifters. In my case, after a double knee surgery, they're a huge miss. Enter landmine hack squats, where the foot-angle alone makes a world of difference for gimpy-kneed lifters.

Landmine Hack Squat

Instead of having to endure the compressive forces imposed by having your feet on a platform that's exactly perpendicular to the direction of force (as you do with any conventional hack squat), the landmine hack gives the ankles a more open angle, and that means happier knees.

This creates a feeling similar to squatting with a Smith machine, without the confines of a completely fixed path. Having the weight on a fulcrum also allows you to make minor lateral adjustments to find the perfect groove.

Turning around allows you to find the perfect "lean" (and right foot position) to get a great pump.

How to Do It

  • Place the bar on your upper traps and hold it steady with the other hand. It doesn't matter what shoulder you use, but it never hurts to switch to the other side between sets.
  • Remember to fully lean against the plates themselves, so much so that if they weren't actually there, you'd fall backwards on your butt. It's a trust game. Sorry.
  • To place more emphasis on getting a brutal quad pump, get deep and don't come all the way up – it'll amplify the time under tension and you'll feel the burn.
  • Focus on sets of 15-20. A few sets of this serves as a terrific finisher on leg day, but you can also add them into a superset or compound set.

Related:  19 Squat & Deadlift Variations

Related:  The Best Squat You're Not Doing