Element Fitness Sissy Squat

Sissy Squat Machine Review

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Sissy Squat Machine Review

In this article, we will review two different sissy squat machines. They are:

If you're looking for a space-saving machine that will help you work your glutes, quads, and core, look no further than the sissy squat machine. Don't let the cowardly name fool you, this challenging machine is a fundamental tool for improving lower body muscle mass. While standing squats are one of the most underrated and easily neglected exercises, this machine helps athletes to achieve the greatest possible results by performing them regularly.

 glutes, quads, and core

What is a sissy squat machine?

The sissy squat machine features a compact steel frame that sits on the floor. It typically features foot-locking foam rollers, a rear calf support pad, and a nonslip footplate or foot holders. It locks an athlete’s lower legs in the vertical position and holds down their feet so that they can accurately perform standing squats. While simple in design, the sissy squat machine helps athletes better perform this difficult exercise.

For years, old school bodybuilders have built homemade sissy squat platforms out of scrap metal and wood. However, commercial versions of this gym staple provide a safer, more stable environment with ergonomic design features that will give you legendary calf strength. What's more they typically only require the assembly of a few parts and take up minimal floor space.

Which muscles does it work?


Sissy squats work a variety of muscles, but none get more attention than the quadriceps. Accordingly, this exercise helps to balance your anterior and posterior chain muscles. In fact, unlike barbell or dumbbell exercises, the sissy squat machine helps to create an isolated environment where you can work the large muscles at the front of the thigh without overexerting your knees.

It also helps to promote full body balance and improve your core strength. Still, you’ll run into a number of athletes who fear this simplistic exercise will put a damaging amount of strain on their knees. While this may be true for individuals with patella problems, the sissy squat machine helps to dictate your range of motion and may even provide a solution to your unrelenting knee problems.

How do you use it?

To use a sissy squat machine, set your feet on the footpad and aligning them with your shoulders (about 12 inches apart). Point your toes forward and lean back so that the backs of your calves are pushed up against the padded support panel behind you. If necessary, adjust the pad so that the top falls directly below the folds of your knees. Take a look at your kneecaps to assure they are forwardly aligned.

Now, slowly lower your torso till your rear aligns with your knees. All the while, keep your hips and torso as straight as possible. Even as your knees begin to slant backward, your body should maintain its alignment. As you allow your body to slowly embrace a bending motion, the pressure of your body weight will pull your heels away from the footpad. At which point, the reinforced foam rollers should catch the tops of your feet and secure you firmly in place.

As your body descends, you will feel the muscles in your upper thigh tighten. Push your knees forward without breaking the straight line created by the alignment of your shoulders, back, and hips.

For a more intense workout, you can wear a weighted vest or hold a weighted plate up against your chest. This workout relies on the pressure created by your body weight; adding extra pounds can help you achieve better balance and strengthen your core. Each rep helps fill the legs with blood while eliminating the use of your glutes or hamstrings. Ultimately, regular use the sissy squat should give you thicker, more stable legs.

Element Fitness Sissy Squat

Element's version of the sissy squat machine features an 11 gauge steel frame with a durable powder coating. Affordable but commercial grade, the framework is embellished with an adjustable padded calf pad, foam rollers, and steel non-skid foot pads. The entire unit only weighs 45 pounds and fits into compact spaces without issue. Nevertheless, it features a heavy-duty foundation for dedicated athletes to perform a variety of leg exercises.

The machine easily adjusts to accommodate athletes of varying sizes. What's more, it allows them to easily perform free-standing squats by keeping the lower legs verticle while locking in the feet. While there are very few pieces of equipment that allow you to work your quads from every angle, but this is one of them. What's more, it provides just the right amount of padding and grip.

TDS Pro Sissy Squat

TDS's sissy squat machine features a four-inch by two-inch steel tube frame with a white powder finish. There is also an adjustable padded cushion, padded foot restraints, and a wide slip-resistant footpad. This durable machine supports perfect standing squats and promotes thicker, more developed quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, and glutes.

The equipment ships in just a few pieces and is quick and easy to assemble. In addition, it is easy to adjust the foot restraints to accommodate varying heights. Add additional weight or use it as is. However you prefer to use this machine, the wide steel plates will prevent the padding from slipping and the ergonomic framework will provide you with ceaseless comfort.


Sissy squats are a great way to add width to your thighs. In fact, sissy squat machines are great for helping seasoned athletes to perform the popular quad “burning” exercise while helping maintaining their balance and lifting superficial strain of the anterior leg muscles. Curiously enough, sissy squats were named after a mythological king by the name of Sisphyus. Banished from his kingdom and forced to lift a massive boulder up a hill for all of eternity, we can see how this maverick became the ambassador of massive quads.

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