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Hack Squat question


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I'm not sure if this is technically a "form check" but a 12 week program I'm following lists the Hack Squat and I'm seeing two slightly different forms and trying them they felt vastly different.  I was wondering if someone could explain the difference between the two forms.  Why is the hack squat with raised heels so much harder to perform?

 

To perform a hack squat hold the barbell behind your back, squat down, then back up.  The difference comes in either performing the squat flat footed (like this picture) or with plates under your heels (like so). 

 

I originally started by doing them flat footed since that is what was shown in the youtube video accompanying my 12 week program, but I kept scraping the barbell along my calves at the bottom of the lift and my hamstrings at the top so I thought raising my heels might solve the problem.  It did, but now my legs felt instantly exhausted and I couldn't pinpoint where I wore out.  I should point out that I was supersetting my hack squats with walking lunges so I was going from 20 walking lunges straight into doing 15 hack squats.  Well, I was supposed to anyways.  If you look at the below the first two columns are flat footed and the second two columns are with a raised heel.  reps X lbs

 

SS1: Walking Lunges 20x35 20x35 20x35 20x35
SS1: Barbell Hack Squats 15x50 15x70 5x70 10x50

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Putting plates under your heels allows you to squat deeper. Squatting deeper with the same weight as you would have squatted higher works your muscles harder. I.e. same weight causes more muscle activation at lower depth than at higher depth. More muscle activation equals more tired legs. 


This is the same reason why someone can squat more weight if they don't do a true squat (half squat) than if they squat below parallel. 

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Jǫrð, Delvian Nomad - Level 12 { Battle Log }

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