What’s so great about hip belt squats? They allow you to perform a loaded squat without loading the spine. This is especially perfect for those working around upper body injuries or for back pain sufferers. It’s also perfect for those trying to target the lower body more directly. In my powerlifting training, I’ve discovered that nothing exposes weaknesses more than training for strength...I’ve learned that my back is stronger than my legs and it will take over the lion’s share of the load given the opportunity. My squat lags way behind my deadlift as a result. In looking for supplemental accessory exercises to improve this, I discovered hip belt squats. Hip belt squats take my back and upper body completely out of the equation so that all of the work must be done by my hips and legs. It’s a quad killer! Hip belt squats are a perfect supplemental accessory exercise for your leg day! I recommend performing them after your heavier primary exercise, either 3-5 sets of 12-20 reps to increase overall volume, or doing one all-out set of 15-30 reps to failure to finish off the legs. The cable version works great for this which I’ll explain below.
No belt squat machine, no problem. Hip belt squat machines are rarer than rare and the common way of performing them (standing on boxes or benches with weights hanging between your legs from a dip belt) can be cumbersome to perform. The cable hip belt squat is the perfect variation: you only need a cable station and a hip belt. Wear your hip belt low around your hips. Secure your belt to a low cable pulley, walk back far enough to lift the weights off the stack and squat. Grip the floor with your feet and push back throughout the set to keep from getting pulled back in by the cable...this will keep constant tension on the quads.