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Best Squat Machines 2024: Ultimate Buyers Guide

Are you ready to transform your workout with the best squat machine? Dive into a world where each piece of equipment is more than just an upgrade—it's a leap forward in your fitness journey. This guide strips away the fluff, spotlighting machines that blends with your personal fitness goals and budget.

Your quest for strength is deeply personal, and the equipment you choose should reflect that. Whether your battleground is the cozy corner of a home gym or the energetic expanse of a commercial setup, the right squat machine is the silent ally in your pursuit of excellence.

Choosing the perfect squat machine is a tactical decision in your fitness journey, turning every addition to your gym into a powerful declaration of your commitment to peak performance. Let's dive in!

best squat machine

Table of Contents: 

Our Top Picks for the Best Squat Machines

  1. Best Hack Squat Machine: Bodykore Adjustable Hack Squat FL1811
  2. Best Belt Squat Machine: Bells Of Steel Belt Squat Machine 2.0
  3. Best V Squat Machine: York Barbell STS Power Front Squat Machine
  4. Best Leverage Squat Machine: Body Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine
  5. Best Pendulum Squat Machine: Pendulum Total Leg Press
  6. Best Sissy Squat Machine: BodyKore Sissy Squat Machine FL1213
  7. Best Leg Press Hack Squat Combo: Body Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press And Hack Squat Machine

Our Recommended Squat Machines for Targeted Workouts

  1. Best Squat Machine for Glutes
  2. Best Squat Machine for Bad Knees
  3. Best Squat Machine for Quads

This segment covers it all, from the intense hack squat machines that challenge your limits to innovative belt squat machines that let you intensify leg workouts while protecting your spine. We're here to steer you to the squat machine that resonates with your workout style and fitness goals. Plus, we'll share our top picks for the best machine across each squat machine type, ensuring you find your ideal match.

Best Hack Squat Machine: BodyKore FL811

If you're aiming to elevate your leg training, the best hack squat machine is a game-changer. The ideal choice should boast a versatile, adjustable build, ensuring it fits a wide array of body types and delivers a comprehensive leg workout that hits all the right spots.

One excellent choice in this regard is the Bodykore Adjustable Hack Squat FL1811

Bodykore Adjustable Hack Squat FL1811

Price: $3,600.00

Machine Weight and Dimension: 606lbs, 78" x 62" x 52"

Key features that set it apart from the competition:

  • 6-Position Adjustable Footplate: This feature provides users with a variety of options for adjusting their foot placement during exercise, ensuring optimal comfort and safety.

  • Integrated Rubber Handles: These handles make it easier for users to enter and exit the machine safely.

  • Safety Locking Points: Two easy-to-reach and operate safety stops make the machine secure during use.

  • Linear Bearing Guide Rods: These rods have a rust-resistant design, ensuring smooth carriage operation and a long-lasting performance.

  • Plate Storage: The machine comes equipped with four weight horns for plate storage and two plate loading weight horns, making it easy to keep your gym organized.

This machine is specifically designed to facilitate a natural squat movement, targeting your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Whether you're a hardcore athlete or a beginner, the Bodykore Adjustable Hack Squat provides an exceptional workout experience.

Best Belt Squat Machine: Bells of Steel Machine 2.0

When it comes to improving leg performance and executing pain-free squats, we recommend the Bells of Steel Belt Squat Machine 2.0 as the best belt squat machine. This gear offers peak comfort and effectiveness in your workouts, all while providing great value for your investment.

Bells Of Steel Belt Squat Machine 2.0

Price: $999.00

Machine Weight : 264lbs

Maximum Weight Capacity: 700lbs

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • 13 adjustable unracking heights (plate peg diameter of 1.89"/48mm) making it suitable for gym-goers of all levels and sizes.
  • Side or top-mounted weight pegs - can easily adapt to your preferences and workout style
  • 11-gauge steel with a black powder coat finishguarantees durability and sturdiness for even the most intense workouts.

Additional Details: 

  • Offers zero spinal loading, allowing you to experience squats like never before without risking back injuries.
  • Perfect for building your quads and nailing the perfect squat depth every time, targeting your quadriceps to their maximum potential.
  • You can diversify your workout routine with lunges, calf raises, bicep curls, single-arm rows, and sumo squats, among other exercises.

Best V Squat / Front Squat Machine: York Barbell STS

Get ready to meet the ultimate leg day champion - the York Barbell STS Power Front Squat Machine. This machine merges the advantages of front and hack squats into one robust package. It's the go-to choice for anyone serious about upgrading their fitness routine with top-notch quality and results.

York Barbell STS Power Front Squat Machine

Price: $1,949.00

Machine Weight and Dimension: 385 lbs, 78-3/4" L x 52" W x 64" H

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • Large adjustable, non-skid footplate - accommodate multiple foot positions for users of different sizes, ensuring a secure and comfortable workout experience.
  • Built-in weight storage - keep your weights organized and easily accessible during your workout sessions, this handy addition saves time and energy while maintaining a clutter-free gym space.
  • Two-tier safety catch system - provides an extra layer of protection, preventing possible injuries during use, and ensuring that your leg day sessions are both effective and safe.
  • Dual front squat and hack squat functionality - combined in one unit, you can maximize your workout efficiency while targeting various muscle groups in your legs.

Best Leverage Squat Machine: Body Solid GSCL360

In the hunt for the best leverage squat machine, it's important to find a balance between performance, longevity, and comfort. We've discovered a standout that not only hits these marks but also enhances your lower body strength and optimizes muscle growth, making it an exceptional choice for those looking to elevate their training.

Our top pick is the Body Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine. Designed to remove the risks associated with traditional squats, it stands out in the realm of leverage squat machines, offering sturdy construction and intuitive design. This makes it an unrivaled option for both dedicated fitness buffs and seasoned pros seeking to enhance their workout efficacy.

Body Solid GSCL360 Leverage Squat Calf Machine

Price: $995.00

Machine Weight and Dimension: 170lbs, 62"L x 47"W x 56"H

Weight Capacity: 300 to 800lbs and beyond

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • Heavy-gauge diamond plate foot platform at a perfect 20° pitch for optimal quadriceps and glute development.
  • An innovative round calf raise block that removes sharp edges and gives a deep pre-stretch for maximum calf workouts.
  • Extra-large 3"x 3" high tensile strength 12-gauge steel mainframe with all-4-side welded construction.
  • Extra-thick, contoured DuraFirm™ shoulder and back pads specifically designed for your comfort.
  • Spring-loaded lockout handle positioned within reach for added safety.

Best Pendulum Squat Machine: Total Leg Press

The Pendulum Total Leg Press shines as the go-to gear for maximizing leg day gains. It's thoughtfully crafted to deliver a potent, secure workout that zeroes in on crucial leg muscles. What sets it apart is its ability to mimic the natural mechanics of squatting coupled with direct resistance application, ensuring a smooth, impactful session. This machine's tailored motion range specifically engages the lower body's powerhouses—glutes, hamstrings, and quads—making every rep count.

Pendulum Total Leg Press

Image from fettlefitness.com

For pricing, please contact us

Machine Weight and Dimension: 363lbs, 79 x 36 x 58 in

Weight Capacity: 1,000lbs

Starting Resistance: 55lbs

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • A precision-welded steel frame made of 8-11 gauge steel provides maximum structural integrity and stability during workouts.
  • Offer an adjustable resistance that caters to users of all levels.
  • Each weight horn can hold 5-7 standard 2" Olympic plates, allowing for a customizable workout experience.
  • Adjustable seats that ensures comfort and proper form during exercise.
  • Designed for premium durability and usability.
  • Made of wear-and-tear resistant extruded thermo rubber compound, catering to a secure and comfortable grip.
  • Built-in safety stop to prevent knee injuries, and a large footplate for a secure stance

Investing in this machine means you're providing yourself  with a top-tier leg workout experience that is safe, comfortable, and effective.

Best Sissy Squat Machine: BodyKore FL1213

Our exploration led us to the BodyKore Sissy Squat Machine FL1213 a standout choice for anyone in pursuit of the best sissy squat machine. This piece of equipment excels in quality, reliability, and comfort, enabling you to effectively focus on leg muscle development. It's designed to enrich your gym sessions, making every workout not just productive but also enjoyable

BodyKore Sissy Squat Machine FL1213

Price: $600

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • 11 Gauge steel construction ensures maximum structural integrity, adhesion and durability
  • 3 position adjustable heavily padded adjustable calf pad
  • Foam rollers fix your legs firmly and keeps you in safe condition during the workout
  • Non-slip footplates keep the machine stable and ensuring your safety when in use
  • Lightweight and portable design for easy carrying and storage

Best Leg Press Hack Squat Combo: Body Solid GLPH1100

For those aiming to elevate their leg training, the Body Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press And Hack Squat Machine is a standout choice. This combo equipment is recognized for its ability to precisely engage quads, glutes, and calves, all while providing a workout that's both safe and comfortable. It's an investment in top-tier leg workout gear, making it a favorite among discerning fitness enthusiasts.

Body Solid GLPH1100 Leg Press And Hack Squat Machine

Price: $1,495

Machine Weight and Dimensions: 340lbs, 83"L x 34"W x 56"H

Key features that set it apart from the competition

  • 3-in-1 functionality: hack squats, leg presses, and calf raises
  • 1,000 lb capacity
  • Quad track roller system that operates smoothly and distributes weight evenly.
  • Extra-heavy gauge diamond plate foot platforms for durability
  • Three lockout positions for user safety and convenience
  • Easy-access under-carriage plate load system
  • With ultra-tough, double-stitched DuraFirm back and shoulder pads are 4" thick and contoured for maximum support of the lower back and shoulder areas.
  • heavy-duty 2"x 4" 11-gauge steel mainframe that makes it perfect for home gym and commercial settings.

Recommended Squat Machines for Targeted Workouts

When it comes to enhancing your workout routine, particularly for targeting specific areas like glutes, accommodating bad knees, and focusing on quads, the right squat machine can make a significant difference.

Here are some recommendations tailored to meet these specific needs:

Best Squat Machine for Glutes

For zeroing in on glute development, the belt squat machine stands out with its ability to accommodate wide stance squats, adding a layer of versatility with exercises like Romanian deadlifts.

Among the best options, the Bells of Steel Belt Squat Machine and the BodyKore Belt Squat machineemerge as top contenders, offering both functionality and flexibility for a comprehensive lower body workout.

Squat Machines for glutes

 

 

The belt squat machine is best for glute activation because it places the load directly on the hips, allowing for a natural squat motion without straining the back or knees. Its design enables you to adjust your stance for targeted muscle engagement and ensures a stable, upright position, isolating the lower body for effective glute workout without upper body fatigue. 

Best Squat Machine for Bad Knees

For those navigating knee sensitivities, choosing the right squat machine can make all the difference. A front squat machine or a leverage squat machine stands out as a wise choice, with their design aimed at reducing knee strain.

The York Barbell STS Power Front Squat is a notable option, engineered to support a natural squat posture that elevates the heels above the toes, effectively diminishing knee joint stress. It's crucial, though, to seek professional medical advice if you're dealing with prior injuries or health concerns, to ensure your workout remains safe and beneficial.

York Barbell STS Power Front Squat Machine

    Our goal is to ensure your gym journey is both enjoyable and safe, especially if you're managing knee concerns. It's important to tune into your body's signals and be willing to adapt your routine to protect your joints. Embracing this flexible approach allows you to reap the full rewards of a holistic fitness journey, keeping you on the path to wellness while respecting your body's limits.

    Best Squat Machine for Quads

    On the hunt for the ultimate quad-focused squat machine, we've narrowed it down to two top performers. These standout choices are specifically designed to hone in on your quadriceps, ensuring each session leaves you with that satisfying quad pump. Whether you're aiming for strength or definition, these machines are your allies in sculpting powerful, well-defined quads.

    Bells Of Steel Belt Squat Machine 2.0

    Bells of Steel Belt Squat Machine

    The Belt Squat Machine excels in quad development by enabling deep squats without spinal load, reducing back and shoulder stress, and allowing a focus on intense quad activation with the possibility of a wider stance for enhanced engagement.

    Power Front Squat Machine

    The Power Front Squat Machine boosts quad development by mimicking the front squat, focusing the effort on the quads with a front-loaded weight position and an upright torso, thus reducing posterior chain involvement and ensuring proper form for effective, safe quad strengthening.

    Best Squat Machines for Home Use and Commercial Gyms

    Whether outfitting a personal home gym or upgrading a commercial fitness center, choosing the right squat machine can dramatically enhance the training experience. Balancing space constraints, safety, and workout versatility is key in selecting the perfect equipment to meet your demands ensuring that you can achieve your fitness goals efficiently.

    Home Use

    For home gym setups, we recommend either a belt squat machine or a dual leg press hack squat. Both of these options offer incredible versatility in terms of leg training.

    • Belt Squat Machine - The belt squat machine shines in home gyms, offering a spine-friendly way to target the lower body without the bulk of traditional setups. Its compact design is a boon for space-saving, while built-in versatility supports a range of exercises, making every square foot count. It's especially appealing for solo workouts, providing a safe, easy-to-use option for all fitness levels. This makes it not just equipment, but a smart, multifunctional ally in your home fitness journey.

    dual leg press hack squat machine

    • Dual Leg Press and Hack Squat Machine: The dual leg press and hack squat machine is a powerhouse for home gyms, blending the benefits of two essential lower-body workouts in one compact unit. This versatile equipment allows you to switch between leg pressing and hack squats, maximizing your workout variety without needing additional space.

    Commercial Settings

    In commercial settings, our top suggestions are a power front squat machine and a hack squat machine. Both of these machines are popular among gym-goers and perfectly complement other leg-focused exercises like barbell work and leg press usage.

    • Power Front Squat Machine - The power front squat machine is a powerhouse in commercial gyms, built tough to handle the constant hustle and bustle. It guides users towards proper form, keeping workouts safe and effective, a perfect fit for the diverse crowd that comes through the doors.
    • Hack Squat Machine - The hack squat machine is a hit in commercial gyms, offering a user-friendly way to nail the perfect squat without the learning curve. Its solid build stands up to the non-stop action of a busy gym, making it a go-to for members eager to amp up their leg days safely and efficiently.

    Mastering the Squat Machine

    Embrace the squat machine as your ally in sculpting strong quads, hamstrings, and glutes, all without the hassle of balancing a heavy barbell or fretting over safety.

    Grip the handles throughout your session to enhance stability. This not only ensures your safety but also engages your core, intensifying the workout's benefits.

    For those using a sissy squat machine, remember, it doesn't support your upper body. Start with lighter weights and gradually deepen your squats within a comfortable range to build confidence and strength.

    The secret to a successful squat lies in the execution: a slow, deliberate movement. Keep your feet firmly planted, resisting the urge to lift your heels. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips back, which helps maintain focus on your leg muscles, sparing your back any undue strain.

    Your legs and glutes should bear the brunt of the effort. If your lower back starts to complain, it's a sign to readjust and refocus on your lower body.

    Squat machines can vary, so take a moment to acquaint yourself with your specific model's guidelines for a safe and effective workout.

    Benefits of Using a Squat Machine

    Squat machines offer a blend of safety and ease that greatly appeals to many fitness enthusiasts.

    The challenge of executing traditional squats with a barbell—balancing the weight, maintaining form, and the potential discomfort of heavy loads—can be intimidating for many. There's also the risk of injury from improper technique or accidents with free weights.

    In contrast, a squat machine removes the burden from your shoulders, literally. It guides your movements, ensuring correct form and reducing the risk of injury. This guidance allows for a deeper squat range of motion, often difficult to achieve with a barbell squat due to the weight's pressure.

    Additionally, squat machines are designed with home workouts in mind, offering a comprehensive leg exercise solution in the convenience of your own space. Unlike traditional squat setups that require a variety of heavy, costly, and space-consuming weights, a squat machine is a singular, more accessible piece of equipment.

    With a squat machine ready at home, you're set for an effective lower body workout session anytime, minus the hassle of managing heavy barbells and weights.

     What To Consider In Choosing A Squat Machine

    When scouting for a squat machine, the first aspect to consider is the support level it offers. There's a range to choose from—machines that provide full-body support ensuring every part of you is snug and safe, to those focusing on your legs alone, offering a bit more freedom but less stability.

    The kind of support you opt for can greatly affect your workout. Machines that lock you into place are fantastic for safety and support, but they might limit your movement and ability to tweak the machine to your liking. 

    Your choice might also hinge on how much you value safety and stability versus a willingness to embrace a bit of a challenge with a machine that tests your balance.

    Consider how portable you need your machine to be. While many squat machines are designed to be light and easy to move, some can be a tad more cumbersome. If you're someone who likes to tuck their equipment away after a workout, look for a machine that's not just lightweight but also designed with portability in mind—think foldable and easy to store.

    And then there's the matter of cost. While budgeting is important, it's comforting to know that you can snag a quality squat machine without having to dig too deep into your pockets. Whether you're eyeing a premium model or something more wallet-friendly, there's a range of options to fit your budget.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are hack squats more effective than belt squats?

    Hack squats and belt squats each have unique benefits, but hack squats are often considered more effective for targeting quads due to their fixed path, which emphasizes leg drive and minimizes involvement of the lower back.

    Which is better hack squats or V squats?

    Both hack squats and V squats are effective, but your choice depends on your goals. Hack squats focus more on the quads with a fixed path, while V squats, with their slightly angled platform, offer a more natural squatting motion, potentially engaging a broader range of leg muscles.

    Are squat machines as good as barbell squats?

    Squat machines and barbell squats serve different purposes and can both be effective. Barbell squats engage more stabilizing muscles and offer functional strength benefits due to their free-range motion. Squat machines provide targeted muscle engagement and reduce the risk of injury by supporting proper form. The best choice depends on your fitness goals, experience, and any physical limitations.

    Which Squat Machine is Best Overall?

    Finding the best squat machine is like uncovering your gym soulmate—it's about matching your fitness vibe with a piece of gear that gets it.

    The best pick? It's the one that feels right in the heart of your workout routine, whether you're sweating it out in a bustling commercial gym or pushing limits in the sanctuary of your home gym.

    Squat machines aren't just another weight to lift; it's a testament to your fitness journey, a partner that's as committed to your goals as you are. In the end, the champion squat machine is the one that seamlessly blends into your workout narrative, making every squat count.

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    About The Author

    Matt Gemkow, the author of this content section at Select Fitness USA, boasts more than 15 years of fitness experience. He started out in sports and athletic training for many years and has since 2014 transitioned into heavy-weight training and bodybuilding. As a result, he has become one of the most experienced fitness equipment experts out there, and a valuable source of information.