Using the Smith machine regularly can put you on a fast track to achieving your strength-training goals.
It’s perfect for novices and individuals with injuries. However, this equipment has generated more controversy than its worth. So, if you find yourself a part of the anti-Smith machine army, keep reading to learn about the uses of the equipment and what exercises you can do to target specific muscle groups.
Here’s a look at five such workouts:
It’s a good idea to do free weight bench presses, but you could also mix in some Smith machine bench presses.
The bench press throw exercise is another great option if you’re doing the bench press alone. Although free weight will yield greater muscle activation, the Smith machine allows you to concentrate on the chest muscles.
How to do it?
Traditional squats on the Smith machine do not work as many muscles as squat variations.
However, you can focus on specific leg muscles when you do front squats or hack squats with the Smith machine. Hack squats engage the quadriceps more because of the placement of your feet.
To do this exercise:
When you’re fatigued, you can do front squat with the Smith machine, and focus on your larger leg muscles instead of your smaller stabilizer muscles and core. You can also take stress off your wrists, as the bar is stabilized.
Here’s how you do this exercise:
If you want to build bigger traps, shrugs are a must-do exercise. You can do shrugs on the Smith machine to allow you to load up heavier weight than you’d with dumbbells.
You can also do other Smith shrug variations, including one arm shrug, where you stand on the side of the bar, and perform shrugs one arm at a time.
Here’s how you do it:
Bent over rows are one of the best exercises to build a strong back. You can go heavier on the Smith machine, as you aren’t engaging your stabilizing muscles like you would with free weights. Do all the heavy lifting with your traps, lats, and rhomboids.
How to do it?
Smith machines are very versatile and can provide many benefits, but they’re not perfect. Ideally, you would want to stick with compound lifts, like squats, deadlifts, and bench press.
Nevertheless, there’s no denying that this machine does have its place if you want to incorporate it into your routine. The biggest benefit is that it doesn’t require complete stability, letting you get more practice with your technique without worrying much about falling over.
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