A great exercise to tone and develop the lower body, that is present in many gyms, is the hack-squat machine (also known as a V-Squat). The advantages of this exercise among new individuals trying out a gym facility are that it is:
– Easy to use
– Safe to use without a spotter
– Works on the legs as a whole

This exercise is also great for more advanced individuals (as seen in the video), especially when used along with other lower-body exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts and the leg press. The fact that this exercise doesn’t require a spotter means the individual can go heavy on the lift, maximizing it’s benefits, with little fear of injury from a failed rep (as long as they are using correct form of course)!

 

The client in the video is doing a final, heavy set on the hack squat machine, halfway through a lower-body workout. As you can see she is using a lot of weight for her size. Many times women who are just beginning a new workout routine are afraid they will “bulk-up” if they go heavy, this however, is not the case! Heavier weights force the muscle groups being used to work in greater coordination with each other. This results in greater gains in strength, calories burned, increased metabolic rate, and lead to more developed and toned muscles, when compared to lighter weights.

*Remember: Always warm up and make sure you are using correct form before slowing adding weight to get to a maximum weight which you can perform correctly for a set number of reps!