What Is A V Squat?
A V squat is a type of exercise that is done with the help of plate-loadable gym equipment such as the V squat machine or a hack squat machine. The V squat is done with a natural squatting motion but without putting too much pressure on the lower back, as a barbell squat would.
Unlike doing a barbell squat, the V squat works the lower body more and less of the core and upper back muscles as they are being assisted by the machine. Since the V squat is an assisted type of lower body exercise, this is good for people who are experiencing knee issues or lower back pain.
A V squat position is done by having the toes pointed out in a v-shape and in a slightly wider stance than the hips.
What Is A V Squat Machine?
Typically seen in most commercial gyms or fitness centers, a V squat machine is a large piece of equipment that is used to perform a V squat. The V squat machine has a more vertical angle rather than the inclined angle that a hack squat machine has. A V squat can be done in a hack squat machine but with a different stance. The V squat machine has a platform on its base leg where you will stand and a pad for the upper body to give you support as you do a V squat on a V squat machine. A V squat machine also allows the user to perform deep squats with additional support. One of the V squat machines in the market is the Hammer Strength machine.
How To Use A V Squat Machine
Using any piece of gym equipment can be intimidating but, they can be easy to operate once you get the hang of it. If you are using the machine for the first time, make sure to ask for help when using any of your local gym’s machines.
But, here is how to use a V squat machine:
1. Load the peg on both sides of the V squat machine with your preferred weight plates. The heavier the weights are, the more resistance the machine will give you.
2. Step on the platform of the V squat machine and place your shoulders under the machine’s shoulder pads. This will put you in a squatting position. Keep your back against the pad of the machine and place the legs and feet apart slightly wider than the hips. Keeps the toes facing outwards in a slight V position. Keep the feet towards the upper end of the machine’s platform to keep the heels from lifting off of the platform. This will create an almost 90-degree bend and make sure that the knees are tracking right over the toes.
3. Disengage the safety bar. This will allow you to straighten your legs and use the machine.
4. To come back down in a squatting position, bend your legs by flexing at the hips and at the knees.
5. Make sure to keep the back against the pad and do not arch the back as you straighten or bend the legs as it can lead to a back injury.
6. Do as many reps as you need then return to the squatting position and engage the safety bar again to lock the machine.
Benefits Of Using A V Squat Machine
Like any other type of exercise, there are benefits to using a V squat machine. As we said earlier, using the V squat machine targets the lower body. Using the V squat machine also keeps the pressure off of the knee joints which is good for people who are coming back from a knee injury.
Since the focus of this machine is more on the lower body, the legs will become stronger which will help with balance and stability. Using a V squat machine will also lessen the strain on the lower back pain as the upper body is pressed on the pad of the machine.
Muscles Targeted By The V Squat Machine
With more focus on the lower body, the V squat machine will target the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Since the V squat machine works the lower body, you will be targeting all these muscles all at once without having to change to exercises that target these specific leg muscles.
The quads and hamstrings are the primary muscles that are used when doing a V squat as these muscles are responsible for extending and bending the knees.
But, the glutes also work as you extend the hip and the calves help with stability.
Drawbacks Of Using A V Squat Machine
Since the V squat is focused more on the lower body, the movement on the machine is harder when you go down and it gets easier as you come up. This can make you feel an imbalance in the strength of the upper body in relation to the lower body. With a barbell squat, the entire body is challenged and the upper body also gets stronger. If you want to get upper body strength, you will have to do separate exercises for it if you choose to use a V squat machine.
Alternative Exercises To The V Squat
Some commercial gyms might not have a V squat or hack squat machine and you want to keep up with some lower body exercises. There are alternative exercises you can do aside from the V squat. Here are two of them:
Leg press machines are also commonly found in commercial gyms and are great for lower-body workouts. Leg presses are great for all fitness levels and for those who are coming back to the gym after an injury or a gym hiatus.
For those who want a whole-body workout, barbell squats are great to do to tone your entire body and almost all gyms will have a barbell on hand. The downside is, most gym goers prefer doing barbell squats over using machines so you might have to wait to get your turn in using a barbell, especially if there are a lot of people in the gym.
V Squat Vs Hack Squat
Both exercises are similar and the difference between them lies in the machine and stance. Hack squat machines are typically on a 45-degree incline while a V squat machine is almost vertical to the floor.
The same squatting motion is used but with the hack squat, the legs and feet are hip-width apart and the toes are facing forward. The V squat has a slightly wider stance with the toes pointing out in a slight V shape.
The same muscles are being targeted by both the V squat and the hack squat: hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves.
Gym machines are great to supplement your strength training needs. They are also good for people who are coming back from an injury as most gym machines can be used as additional support when doing exercises.
The V squat machine is used for doing V squats which is a squat exercise that targets the lower body. A V squat may look similar to a hack squat but they do differ in machine and foot placement.
This article covered pieces of information that are relevant if you want to know more about the V squat machine and how it can benefit your fitness journey. If you have any more questions, do let us know and we’ll get back to you!