What Is Hunter Labrada’s Favorite Exercise for Huge Quads?

American bodybuilder and four-time Mr. Olympia competitor Hunter Labrada has shared his favorite exercises for building massive quads. His preferred quad-building exercises emphasize available gym equipment and one’s safety. However, one exercise is at the top of his Mt. Rushmore of quad lifts: the hack squat.

“If I had to pick one quad exercise, probably hack squats,” said Labrada. “As long as you have a good hack squat that’s biomechanically acceptable to your body and not hurting you.

Check out the video below, wherein Labrada breaks down his quad-building strategies, how to hack squat and some hack squat alternatives, courtesy of Labrada’s YouTube channel:

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Hunter Labrada’s Quad Building Strategy

Labrada’s quad-building strategy involves performing compound exercises in which he can load heavily and safely and extend his knee over his toe.

Get as much knee flexion as possible.

Labrada prefers the hack squat over all other quad exercises for hypertrophy. More specifically, the massive bodybuilder prefers the hack squat machine. As mentioned above, as long as the hack squat machine does not hurt and works with your biomechanics.

Labrada believes the hack squat is the most effective compound exercise because you can “load the quad in addition to getting your knee out over your toe and get your quad into full flexion.”

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The Hack Squat Machine

The hack squat machine allows you to load a heavy squat in a controlled and safe manner. The machine positions to a 45-degree angle, with the weight rear-loaded and above your shoulders, in a back squat position.

While performing the squat, Labrada locks his scapula down and back, drives up with his hands, and depresses his lats to lock in his upper body. Combining this upper body positioning with a tight core and deep breaths is what Labrada refers to as being in a cast braced from the waist up.

Hack Squat Alternatives For Building Huge Quads

The 32-year-old bodybuilder believes quad compound exercises are interchangeable because they essentially do the same thing. “Squatting and putting as much knee flexion in your knee, getting the quad as long, and having as much load on it as possible.”

With that in mind, Labrada lists the following quad exercises as great alternative options to the hack squat:

Pendulum Squat

 Leg Press (with feet low on the platform)

Heel Elevated Safety Bar Squat

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Featured image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram

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