types of squat machines

Types of Squat Machines for Toned Quads and Glutes

There are numerous types of squats machines that enable athletes to do different types of squats. In this article, we’ll cover the most common types. So, read on if you are looking for the best squat machines for your workouts. 

What equipment do you need for your squats? I guess this is the question on your mind. When a product has multiple designs, it’s difficult to choose the right one. This actionable guide is here to help you to understand the different types of squat machines fully.

To better understand squat machines and why we should squat with machines; it’s important to understand the different squat variations that influence the design of squat machines. Let’s get started…

Squats Variations Performed On Squat Machine

What are the different types of squats? In a nutshell, there are over 10 types of squats which you can add to your workout plan. Everyone creates a name of a variation depending on the style or tool they are using to perform squats. 

However, the common denominator in naming squats is all based on the muscle groups targeted by a variation and the equipment used. 

1. Hack squats: This variation is done on a squat hack machine. Hack squat recruit muscles of your entire lower body like the quads, glutes, calves and hamstring.

It significantly isolates the quads and does engage your core to a fair extent. While on the machine, you push your way up with resistance weight padded on your shoulders.

You can either be at an angle position or upright. You can adjust the weight plates to match your level. 

2. Smith machine squat: This can be simply described as “mechanized barbell squat”. A smith machine is designed with a loader bar that you adjust to your shoulder level.

You then load the weights and perform the squat as you would a do the barbell variation.

It recruits both lower and upper body muscles groups.

3. Leg press: This is an inverted hack squat. Just as the name suggests, you use your legs to push the weights.

You lie with back flat or at an angle, and you push the weight on the leg press machine at an almost upward angle. 

4. Sissy squat: Sissy squats can only be performed on a Sissy squat machine. This variation effectively isolates your quads than any other variety. You will mainly use your body weight as resistance, but it can also be done with added weights for an extra challenge. 

5. Belt Squat is performed with a squat machine specially made with a belt you tie around your waist. This belt is attached to the resistance weight. This variation mainly works the lower body without exerting much pressure to your back, spine or shoulders. 

6. A barbell squat is performed with the barbell across your shoulder. It is a free weight variation and one of the most extreme variations of squats. It slowly calls almost all muscle groups to action. With a barbell, you can further have changes like overhead, front squat, Zercher squat, Bulgarian split squats and many others

This is a representation of the different types of squat variations and how they perform on different squat machines. As you may have observed, the squat variations match the name of the squat machine. 

Now that we have an idea of squats variations and the muscles they recruit, you must be curious to know how the different types of squat machines. 

Read Next: Best weight bench with squats rack for your home gym

Types of Squat Machines 

  • Sissy Squat Machine 

sissy squat machine

Don’t underestimate the power of this small and compact machine. A Sissy squat machine is one of the smallest training machines you can find in a gym. It’s a simple machine made of padded metal and a bar at the bottom that helps to hold your feet flat on the ground.

This compact machine will take you through a series of challenging exercises that will work your core, quads and glutes than you never imagined. 

Sissy squat machine majorly recruits your quads to create a balance between the posterior and anterior muscles. It isolates the quads without exerting too much pressure on your knees. The nature of a sissy set of exercises improves your entire body balance and strengthens the core.

This machine firmly holds your legs in position to allow your body weight to create the desired challenge. Some of the best Sissy squat machines in 2021 in the market are:

1. CFF Pro Series GHD Sissy Squat Training Bench: This highly rated machine has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds and has a remarkable firm padding. Its distinct design enables it to execute precise reps without cheating. It’s a choice to consider. 

2. Pro Sissy Squat from TDS: This high-end brand from TDS. It features non-slippery footsteps, adjustable and firmly padded cushion and white powder coating to prevent rusting. It is a general craft that gives you a sense of comfort as you work out.  

3. Yukon SSQ-100Fitness Sissy Squat: Constructed of commercial 4×6″ gauge steel makes its durability unquestionable. Other features include a wide 19 inches footplate and the whole machine weighs only 60 pounds. It is a minimal design that will require minimal space to exercise. 

Yukon SSQ-100Fitness Sissy Squat machine helps isolate muscles of your lower body effectively. 

4. GYMAX Sissy Squat Machine: This amazing 8-in-one short workout machine not only helps you do sissy squats but more than eight other exercises.

It features rope exercises, pushes ups, variety of sissy squats and other workouts. It has adjustable height and padding that holds you comfortably in position as you exercise.

Being a multi exercise tool makes it a convenient choice for your home gym.

5. Conquer 3-in-1 Workout Home Gym Machine: It provides for deep sissy squats, sit Ups and Push-Ups. This is yet equipment that’s designed to help you train and isolate your muscle at home with very minimal space required.

It is small in size and very simple to assemble. The calf pad is large enough and adjustable while rollers have a comfortable form to lock your feet

  • Hack Squat Machines 

hack squat machine

Hack squats can either be performed with a barbell, or you can use a squat hack machine. However, performing hack squats on a squat hack machine is more efficient and gives phenomenal results. 

Hack squats work your gluteus maximus and your quads slowly. With this machine, you can perform both the hack squats and leg press. 

Like any other product, hack squat machines come in different design and sizes to fit your personal need. A squat machine is designed to make your workouts much effective and enjoyable. 

By design, the machine will help you maintain a proper form throughout your exercise. Maintaining adequate way is one of the biggest challenges for most, if not all, people. Not anymore with a squat hack machine. Here is a list of 5 select models: 

1. Body-Solid EXM3000LPS Light Commercial Gym This is the ultimate full commercial hack squat machine. It allows up to three people to train at the same time. 

It features a non-slip footplate and firmly padded parts for extra comfort. It has weights, bars and other specifications meant to enable you to perform more than just squat their diverse nature makes them suitable for commercial proposes. 

2.  Body-Solid Leg Press: This is a relatively smaller size of the squat hack machine that you can have in your garage. It can be used for both hack squats and leg press exercises. 

It has smooth weight motions and a three-point weight lockout positions. The firm padding provides steady and comfortable back support as you press weights with your legs. 

3.  Inflight Fitness Seated Leg Press W/Shrouds: This artistically inspired design is a perfect combination of comfort and workout. You no longer have to stand to do squats. 

This noteworthy hack squat machine comes with eight different sitting positions of doing hack squats. Its medium size makes it perfect for home gyms. Sit your way to fitness with this captivating machine. 

4. Power Home Gym with Leg Press: Train on this superb fat crusher that gives you incredible sitting comfort as you power your way to a great body. It is equipped with 160 lbs weight but allows you to upgrade to 210 lbs. It is an all-round machine that can allow you to work out all body muscles

5. TDS Calf and Squat System:Simple in design but the results are tremendous. TDS Calf and Squat System are suitable for your lower body workouts and calves. It allows a load of up to 1000 lbs and has a dense duty padding to offer comfort and minimize injury risks. 

To ensure you have a proper form, this machine is has a non-slippery extra full footplate. Quick tip, a calf raise machine will help you tone your calves better than any squat machine. 

  • Smith Squat Machine

smith machine

A smith machine is one of the best types of squat machines. It comes with a barbell fixed vertically on rails. It has locking points along the up-down tracks that will instantly stop the movement of the weights wherever the wrist is abruptly twisted.

This feature replaces the spotters found in other types of equipment. It is an assurance of safety and gives you a lot of independence. Using the smith machine for squats is effective.  

Smith machine is an all in one equipment that allows you to perform a variety of compound exercises, including squats. It is one of the types of equipment that was designed with your safety in mind.

 It is very stable, and it guides the barbell on its path. Having control over the weight is a quality that allows you to lift heavier weight than while using any other machines. 

However, different companies may have various features and the signature design that identifies them in the market. The different brands will all together deliver a machine that will help you perform your squats correctly. 

Squatting with smith machine enables you to perform squats with safety, efficiency and support which allow you to lift heavier. 

1. Body-Solid Powerline: While many other types of smith machines may come with weight, bench an assortment of features, Body-Solid Powerline it a basic solid frame. 

You will have to separately buy a bench and some weights if you need to challenge your muscles more. However, its price is suitable for a low budget shopper. 

2. Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010: Marcy is an industry-leading brand in fitness equipment manufacturing. Marcy Diamond Elite MD-9010 Smith Machine is a high caliber product that can be used to perform more than 100 exercises without stepping away from it. 

When it comes to squats, the adjustable catches helps to increase safety as you dip in your squats. They allow you to adjust and control weights. 

3. Force USA Monster G3: This is one of the most advanced workout machines available in the market. It comes with an array of functionalities to make it deliver its promise. 

From the solid, sturdy frame to the dual pulley system among other collection of deluxe features, Force USA Monster G3 is a cut above the rest. However, its price and size make it only suitable for commercial gyms. 

4. Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer and Smith Station: A superior assembly of a grand full workout machine. You can purchase this machine with or without a bench. It comes with a ball bearing track system that makes barbell movements very smooth. 

The outstanding feature about it is the independent weight tracks which make it possible for you to personalize every exercise. This feature packed equipment makes squatting with smith machine an exceptional experience. 

  • Belt Squat Machines 

These squat machines offer you a fantastic way of working your lower body. Unfortunately, not many gyms have this machine. It is designed with a belt that is tied around your waist and attached to a weight. It mainly recruits your leg and glutes muscles

Among the brands of belt squats machine includes: 

1. D8X Belt Squat Machine This machine provides a perfect setup to work your legs with lots of weights. It isolates the glutes and leg muscles without putting much pressure on your upper body.

This means that even with an injury on the upper body, you can still work your legs. It has a maximum load weight of 350 lbs. Its can fit both commercial and home gyms. 

2. KEISER A300 Belt Squat Machine model 1550: This electric equipment is best for helping you work your hip and legs explosively without straining your spine or shoulder.

It comes with up to 800 lbs of resistance weight is further enhanced by a digital display to let you know the accurate number of reps and other training parameters

Other features include pivoting handles that enable it to be used by athletes of varying heights. This state of winsome equipment is pneumatic (air-powered), and this makes it a silent training partner. 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Squat Machine 

  • You’re Fitness Goals

This is the most critical consideration as you shop for a squat machine. We all have different fitness goals. 

You may be training to lose weight, shape your physique, enhancing performance or maybe to gain muscles and strength. Even though all squat machines may achieve all the mentioned goals, it is essential to be more specific. 

  • Available Space 

Since these machines come in different shapes and sizes, you have to shop for an ideal choice that corresponds with the open space in your home gym. Consider both the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the equipment and how it can fit in the area.

Vertical space comes in handy when performing chin-ups and pull ups on the squat machine. 

  • Budget

While a top of the range machine may cost up to $4,000, simple squats rack can only cost $200. The difference between the two lies in their functionality, quality and purpose.

You have to juggle all the elements involved and finally decide on how much you are able and willing to spend on a squat machine. Is it worth the price? Will it give values for your money?

Can your budget allow you to pay that much? You should answer these questions before you make the purchase. 

  • Ease to Assemble and Portability

No one wants to purchase a product that challenges them during assembly. You may also have to consider if the squats rack is potable or it is the type that is mount in one fixed location.

The seller should provide you with precise assembly instructions so that you are not inconvenienced in any way. You should not go to extra costs seeking professional help to assemble and mount your rack. 

  • Safety

Before you get in that squat cage, be sure of the safety features of the equipment. I repeat, be sure. Your security should not in any way be compromised by any other considerations when shopping. 

If 200 lb weight plates exert uncontrolled pressure on you, we all know it can be fatal. Many athletes have been seriously injured, and others even lost lives due to unsafe types of equipment. Counter check the safety features. 

  • Squats Variations

You should understand the squat variations that you would be able to perform on specific squat machines before you purchase. For example, if you want to go heavy, a sissy squat machine is not your equipment of choice.

You may have to consider the hack or smith machines. Study the machine and know all its exercise capabilities and limitations.

  • Adjustability and Ease to Use

Can you adjust the height, weights or any other features easily? If the answer is no, then you have to rethink. A good machine should give provisions to adjust the elements easily to fit your ability and height.

Failure to set things right will make you not to achieve a proper form of a particular exercise. This may lead to injuries or altogether, not achieving your fitness goals. 

Benefits of Squats Machines: Why Use Squat Machines?

  • Improved Safety

Squats machines are built to create a safe training environment for you. All types of equipment come with a host of safety features that are intended to keep you save from avoidable accidents that may result in injury. All machines are tested for safety before being released to the market.  

  • Help to Maintain Squat Proper Form 

Machines help us maintain squats proper form. Since the weight moves along a specifically designed path, it will ensure that you keep your body correctly aligned.

The correct way helps to prevent postural problems that are common when you are training with free weights. 

  • Improves Efficiency 

Machines will make it possible for you to work out properly and therefore work with more weights or train for a more extended period. You will consequently achieve your fitness faster than if you trained without equipment. 

  • Saves Time 

The equipment is already set. All you need to do is to sit in and start your exercises.

No much-required preparations. Having your equipment saves the time you would have to spend to and from the gym.

Still, on time, a machine makes you achieve your goals in less time, and this makes it possible for you to progress to the next level faster. 

10 Benefits of squats

benefits of squat machines
  • Build muscles:

When it comes to muscle recruitment, squats do it better than any other exercises.

According to this study, squats work your quads, hamstring, and calve, glutes abs core and lower back in almost equal measures. This compound nature of squats makes them be the best simultaneous muscle builders.  

  • Perfect Calories Crusher

Building more muscles on your body translates into burning more calories. The intense involvement of muscles during squats makes it one of the fastest way to burn calories and pack more tissues.

It is for this reason that squats go a long way to trim the fats in your belly and leave you with flat abs. In short, squats burn calories just like other exercises. 

  • Makes You More Flexible

When our tendons, ligaments and connector muscles and not exercised, they make our bodies more rigid as the days go. This is especially so to older people.

A squat exercises tendons and ligaments in every joint on our body, keeping them healthy and flexible. 

  • Improves your balance and mobility 

Feeble legs are not suitable for walking or even running. Squats work our legs and make them healthy for movement.

We also need a strong core to enhance our general body balance as we move around. Squats work the heart and even activate the brain to balancing acts. 

  • Exercises the heart and lung 

As you perform squats, your muscles will require more oxygen supply. This will, therefore, make the heart work much harder to pump more blood to the muscles.

This is good for the improvement of your cardiac muscles. The deep breaths on the other will help to increase your lung capacity. 

  • Improves Posture and Help Prevent Injuries

Many injuries are a result of weak bodies that fail to maintain proper posture and weak joints and stabilizer muscles.

As squats work all the ligaments, joints and the stabilizer muscles on our body, we gradually gain strength that helps us avoid several related injuries. 

  • Strengthens Our Joints 

Just like muscles, our Joints too need to be exercised. This is what squats do. Squats work your knees, hip, ankles and to some extent the wrist joints. Engaging the joints in frequent exercises keeps them healthy and strong. 

  • Stronger Bones 

Exercises like squats don’t only work muscles and joints, and they work you’re skeletal too. As you descend into a squat with weights on your shoulder, your bones complement the muscles by working hard to help resist the force. Repeated exercises leave you with stronger bones. 

  • Improves performance

This is especially so in the case of athletes. Doing squats will regularly enhance your running speed, gives you more strength and balance in any sporting activity you are involved. It also improves your daily activities like walking, sitting and many physical abilities. 

  • Shapes your body

His is the ultimate goal of every athlete. Having a well-toned body and in great shape. Squats will not disappoint in this. This King of all exercises tones your body from head to toe. Performing  


1. Is a squat machine capable?

Yes, they are handy. Machines are designed to increase efficiency, and the different types of squats machines are no exception. When you squat with squat machines, you improve form, reps and you even work with more weight. This will result in more effective workout sessions. 

2. Will 100 squats a day do anything? 

A squat is a compound exercise that intensely recruits your quads, hamstring, glutes, calves, abs and core, muscle groups.

Therefore, performing 100 squats every day will gradually leave you with a great body—a body with well-toned and isolated muscles. You will experience increased strength and flexibility because squats also work your joints and bones. 

3. Do squats make your butt bigger?

Yes, squats will make your butts bigger. Squats work your glutes Maximus muscles (buttocks) massively. This will result in bigger and firm butts. 

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