V Squat - What is it and how do I do it?

What is a V Squat? Header image

What is the V Squat?

The V-squat is a powerful compound movement performed on a V Squat machine that targets different muscle groups in the lower body simultaneously. It has many benefits such as improving balance and core strength, increasing strength in the quads and hamstrings, improving posture, burning calories and building muscle mass.

Many lifters choose to perform V Squats over regular squats as it puts less pressure on the knee joints but still allows you to train the legs with heavy loads. This is ideal for people with weak knees or previous knee injuries. 

If you are looking for the safest way to build up your legs and glutes, read this article to learn all about the V Squat and how it can benefit you.

Which Muscles are Worked with a V Squat?

V Squats are compound movements that activate multiple muscles at the same time. Not only does this save you time in the gym but, as with all heavy compound movements, it also encourages the central nervous system to temporarily release testosterone and HGF-1 growth hormones. This makes it great for overall hypertrophy. 

Muscles worked with V Squats

The main target muscles with the V squat are the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. The core muscles and calves are activated as assisters and support the target muscles with the squatting motion. 

The Benefits of Using the V Squat

The major advantage of using the V squat over hack squats, front squats and regular squats is that it puts much less stress on the knee joints. This is due to the foot position and the 'arch' nature of the movement. 

In addition to this, there are many other benefits to adding V Squats to your weight training routine:

1. Improves balance. Strong legs and calves help with balance and stability.

2. Builds muscle mass. Bodybuilders will find no better way of adding mass to the quads and glutes.

3. Strengthens your core. Although the movement is supported, the abs, obliques and spinal erectors are all activated to assist with the 'squat' movement. 

4. Improves posture. Stronger glutes and core help to improve posture and help to avoid back injury later in life

5. Strengthens your hips, quads and glutes. In addition to the hypertrophy gains, Regular squatting is great for adding strength to the muscles and joints in the lower body. 

6. Saves time in the gym. By performing compound movements instead of isolation exercises, you can drastically cut down your time in the gym. A good routine will have a mixture of both but make sure you do the heavy compound exercises first as they will fatigue you quickly. 

How do I do a V Squat?

To perform a V Squat, You will need access to a V Squat machine in a commercial gymnasium. It is similar to a hack squat machine but more upright and arches as it moves up and down. 

  1. Step onto the V Squat machine and stand on the footplate with your feet at shoulder width. Place your shoulders underneath the shoulder pads and adjust the machine so that you just have a small bend in the knee. 
  2. Load your weight plates for the desired resistance. Grab the handles that are by the shoulder pads and steady your stance. You are now in the starting position and ready to squat. 
  3. Take a deep breath, upon exhale, straighten your legs and release the safety bar. 
  4. Slowly squat down by hinging at the hips and pushing the glutes backwards. Bend at the knees and keep squatting until your hips are in line with them. As you lower the body. slowly breath in. 
  5. When fully squatted, breathe out, drive through the heels and thrust the body up to the starting position with an explosive movement. Try not to fully extend the leg at the top by keeping a slight bend in the knee. 
  6. Repeat the movement for the required number of reps and sets. 

Tips for a better V Squat. 

Focus on breathing throughout the movement. Inhale as you sat down and exhale as you push up. This will harness power in the body for the explosive part of the movement and keep oxygen levels high. 

Don't use cushioned trainers for any type of squatting. Ideally, use lifting shoes. If you do not have any, just go barefoot or in socks. This allows you to drive through your heels when pushing upwards with full stability. 

If you are new to squatting, don't go too heavy too soon. Start light, perfect the form and make sure that you have sufficient mobility on your knees and hips to perform the exercise safely. 

Even if you are an experienced lifter, make sure that you fully warm up before squatting. Not only do you need to get blood into the target muscles to prepare them for load, you also need to make sure that the knees, hips and spine are ready for flexion. 

What is a V Squat Machine?

A V-squat machine is a piece of equipment that allows you to perform the V-squat exercise. This machine is typically found in modern fitness centres and gyms.

The V-Squat Machine helps people achieve a deeper squat than they could with just their own body weight. It provides support for the lower back and hips while also allowing them to focus on their form during the exercise. 

V Squat Machine Example

V-Squat Machines are used for both rehabilitation and general fitness purposes. They are also used by people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or other bone-related diseases as well as those who want to strengthen their glutes and core muscles without having to perform traditional squats. 

The machine is designed to provide a professional and controlled environment for strengthening the lower body. The machine gives additional support to the lower back and hips that you do not get from traditional barbell squats. 

The base leg of the machine has a platform that allows users to stand on in order to work their thighs and glutes or place their foot on for plantar flexion work, which helps build stability and strength in the muscles that support the foot and ankle.

The V-Squat is also similar to other squat machines, but it allows for unique leg positioning and body motion during the execution of a squat, which makes it beneficial to those with knee and hip issues.

Can You Put a V Squat Machine in a Home Gym?

Hammer strength V Squat machines are big and very expensive. If you have a lot of room and a big budget, you can purchase these machines for a home gym but, for the majority of home gyms, they are not a viable option. 

How Much Does a V Squat Machine Cost?

V Squat machines start at around $900 for a basic model and can go up to over $10000 for a custom machine. In addition to the machine, you will usually need Olympic weight plates for the resistance so this is another cost that you will need to consider. 

The cost and the large footprint make it suited more to commercial gyms rather than home gyms but if you have the space and the budget, they are great for lower body development. 

Where can I buy a V Squat Machine?

You can buy V Squat machines for your home gym or commercial gym from the following suppliers:

Alternatives Exercises to the V Squat

The V squat is an effective exercise for strengthening the quadriceps. However, it still does put some demand on the knee joint, it should not be performed by people with patellofemoral pain syndrome, and those who have recent injuries to the knee joint. 

It has also been shown to be less effective for those who have not been physically active.


Lunges are a great way to target the quads, hamstrings and glutes. They do still put a strain on the knee joints but you can easily perform them with just your body weight and add resistance as you get stronger. The other advantage of lunges is that you do not need any equipment. This makes it ideal for home workouts. 

Leg Press

If you are new to the gym or returning after a hiatus, the leg press is a great way to ease yourself back in. You can go really light on a leg press, lighter than your own body weight, making it great for rehabilitation, warming up or easing yourself back into training. 

Advanced lifters can also benefit from using the leg press as an alternative to the V squat machine. You can press heavy loads without engaging the core and back muscles. You can also adjust your foot position to target different parts of the quads and hamstrings. 

Leg presses are readily available in nearly all gyms and are great for building mass and strength in the upper legs. 

Leg Extensions

If you want to isolate and directly target the quadriceps muscles, there is no better exercise than the leg extension. By using a moderate weight with a slow, controlled motion, you can really connect with the muscle and encourage growth. 

Stiff Leg Deadlift

The stiff leg deadlift is great for developing the hamstrings, glutes and lower back without putting the strain on your knees that a traditional deadlift would. 

You can not go as heavy as your lower back will be responsible for lifting the barbell from the ground, but with good form and a slow movement, you can get the same benefits that you would get from a regular deadlift. 

Bulgarian Split Squat

We have listed the Bulgarian split squat as an alternative as it is a great alternative if you have little or no equipment. 

This is not one to try if you are looking to train the legs without engaging the knee joint, as it puts a lot of stress on the knees. But it is a fantastic exercise for training the upper legs and glutes from home. 

Pendulum Squat

You are only going to be able to do a pendulum squat if your gym has a pendulum squat machine. They are not that common in commercial gymnasiums but if yours has one, you should take full advantage. It allows you to train your quads with a heavy load without putting too much pressure on the lower back or knees. 


The V Squat is an incredible exercise for developing strength and mass in the quads, glutes and hamstrings without overloading the knee joint.  

Not all gyms have a V Squat machine making it impossible for some but if you suffer from weak knees or have previous knee injuries, it may be worth checking around your area for a gym that does have one. 

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Can I improvise with other equipment to perform a V-Squat?
There is no safe and effective way to replcate the movement of a v-squat. However, there are other exercises that will allow you to target the same muscle groups.

Are v-sqaut machines expensive?
A commercial v squat machine is going to set you back a few thousand. As far as we are aware, there are no dedicated, effective v-sqaut machines for a home gym on the market. The room that they would take up in a garage gym means that there is not a really a demand for them. Home gym space would be better dedicated to a squat rack or hack squat machine. 

Are v-squats essential for bodybuilding?
They are not an essential exercise for bodybuilders or strength trainers but are a good option for mixing your training up and targeting specific muscle groups in the legs. For overall growth and strength, you can not go too far wrong with regular back squats and hack squats. 

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