What is the Smith Machine?
Smith machine is a machine on which barbells move along guide rails. The barbell is a machine that moves up and down along a guide rail provided in the rack part of the machine.
It is a popular machine that one can set up in most training gyms as it can be trained with feeling close to free weight training and because the machine supports the grip even beginners and ladies can handle it.
Since there is a guide rail, it is also safe and popular among women and beginners, but in fact it is a machine that is very advantageous depending on how it is used for training advanced users.
In other words, because the machine supports the gravel of the track, you can focus on just lifting the barbell, so you can drive the muscle with higher weight and higher load than the barbell training.
On the other hand, it is best to combine it well with free weight training, as there is a disadvantage that trunk inner muscle that suppresses glittering is difficult to grow if you are doing barbell training only with Smith machine.
Reverse grip smith machine row
It is possible to train almost whole body such as large pectoralis muscle, wide dorsi muscle, trapezius muscle, deltoid biceps , upper arm triceps, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris and triceps.
Training using the Smith machine is really abundant, such as the large pectoralis muscle, wide dorsi muscle, trapezius muscle, biceps brachii muscle, triceps brachii muscle, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris, triceps etc. It is possible to train whole body muscles.
How to exercise
1. According to their height, adjust the barbell on the Smith machine and select a rising platform just below the bar.
2. Standing on the platform, the heel is firmly attached to the platform, and the forefoot metacarpals stretch. Keep your feet wide apart and shoulders pointing forward.
3. Now place your shoulders under the barbell, keep your feet in position, lift the bar up, stretch your hips and knees until your torso is fully upright. The knee should be slightly bent; do not lock the knee.
Tip: The barbell on your back just serves as a balance.
4. While exhaling, lift the forefoot metatarsal and lift the toes as high as possible to tighten the calf muscles. Keep your knees fixed. When doing this action, do not bend anything from beginning to end. Before you start to lower your toes, keep this muscle tight for 1 second.
5. While breathing in, slowly return to the starting position and relax the forefoot bones and toes.
6. Repeat the action to the recommended number of repetitions.
Change: You can also put a dumbbell between your feet. Or you can use the doorstep to practice and use the doorframe to maintain balance.
- When the weight is comparatively light, breathing is performed according to the movement of the chest. I will breathe in when the chest opens and exhale when the chest is closed.
- In case of using heavy weight, breathe in the starting posture, lower the breath while you stop breathing, lower the bar to the chest, breathe out beyond the sticking point (lifting point, the point where weight is heaviest most, stuck point).
- The angle of the ink line varies depending on the person. Incidentally, as the angle of inclination of the bench becomes higher (closer to the vertical), the involvement of the chest decreases and the involvement of the shoulder increases.
- Always keep the elbow beneath the bar during exercise.
If this is not done successfully, there is a possibility that it will not be orbit, causing an unexpected accident.
How to grip
It is mainly used when grabbing wider than shoulder width. Pull the barbell so that it will be attached to the epigastria.
In addition to the dorsiflexial muscles, irritations are placed in the middle part and the lower part of the trapezius muscle, and the rhomboid muscle.
It is used when grasping narrower than the shoulder width. Pull up the barbell so that it sticks to the navel. Stimulation is focused on the dorsal muscles. Strong stimulus is also strongly entered to the oval and muscle arms.
When undoing your arms stretch your arms, it will be impossible for the biceps bracelet so that the elbow will be extended to a slightly bent state one step before it stretches out.
Used when doing dumbbell low, cable rowing, T barlow.
The width of the grip can be narrow or wide.
Widespread muscles, great oval muscles, brachialis muscles are trained. It is easy to concentrate and the burden is less on the waist.
It is a grip that is often used in the debut lift, but it is absolutely prohibited in rowing.
If you do an action to pull your arm to do with each different grip (over and under), a considerable imbalance will occur.
Other exercises on a smith machine
1). Learn to do squats correctly
Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for the lower part of your body, focusing on the buttocks, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Doing squats on the Smith machine helps maintain balance and posture. This allows you a good posture and avoids injuries.
With the bar placed on the upper back and the lower region of the neck, lift the bar from the hooks. Slowly bend your hips and knees to lower your body, then push with your heels.
2). Work your shoulders
The shoulder press is a great exercise to work your shoulders, but movement can be difficult to control.
The Smith machine makes the exercise easier to control because the bar is locked in the machine.
Sit on a bench and hold the bar with your hands a little more than the width of your shoulders.
Press up until the arms are fully extended, and then slowly lower the bar back to the front of the shoulders.
3). Banking press observer
The Smith machine acts as an observer for a bench press, so it is a good option for when you work alone and need help.
Lie on your back and hold the bar with a wide pronation grip. Lower the bar slowly until it almost touches your upper chest and then push it back up.
This machine looks like a power rack, the only difference being that the bar is fixed, or attached on either side with sliding bars, and has hooks at various points to rest the load as well as an adjustable safety mechanism to catch up the bar if you let it go.
The strong point of a Smith machine is to be able to do everything a power rack can, but without having to move the safety bars on either side or at the height of the bar rack.
Another benefit is that you do not need a spotter when you are on a near failure load because you can rest the bar at the bottom and/or top of the movement.
The problem with the Smith machine
Now, you may be wondering, why do hardcore sports fans around the world opt out of using this machine in favor of free weights and consider it a useless machine?
The main flaw of the Smith machines is that it does not need to have balance for the exercises because the bar is fixed on two ends.
Without activation of small stabilizing muscles that bar training effectively stimulates, they in turn become underdeveloped. An underdeveloped muscle can lead to imbalances and can eventually cause injury.
This is not always the case though, if your use of the Smith machine is not constant, namely that you alternate between free weights and fixed bar workouts, you do not have to worry about this question.
The other problem is that most athletes do not realize when they use a Smith machine that they lean back to about a 5-degree incline, nine times out of ten (there are older models that go vertically without a slope , but they are gradually replaced by the oblique version).
In short, this minimal slope does not seem to be a big problem, until you try to do heavy compound exercises on a fixed bar.
For example, when looking at a person’s profile performing a squat at the free bar, the path of the bar over the entire movement time should be straight up and down.
When you squat on a Smith machine, the tilt pushes your body slightly forward, which is not the path of the natural bar if you want to keep a good shape.
This is not really a problem when a Smith machine is used sparingly and you mainly use dumbbells to make compound movements.
But when this is your default movement on free weights, you will not only develop muscle imbalances because of the lack of activation of the stabilizing muscles, but you will also develop a poor bar trajectory and be unable to comfortably do a true squat if you ever stop using the Smith machine (without having to learn the correct form one more time).
This concept can be applied to most exercises, reason being the majority of weightlifters have a general rule not to use the Smith machine and to classify it with other useless equipment such as adductor machines and abs.
How to use the Smith Machine correctly
All that said, there are some limited exercises that you can actually do on the Smith machine.
Most of the exercises that require you to load the weight on the machine and/or need to be done standing should be done with your body leaning with the vertical bars to give the feel of a vertical bar path.
These exercises are exclusively isolation, and only target a certain group of muscles to limit the amount of muscle stabilizer that would be needed to perform the movement.
The first is to work the calves, where the Smith machine is actually preferred by many bodybuilders due to the fact that taking the balance while standing can create a better isolation movement.
Anyone who has tried doing an exercise with a free standing bar knows that it is extremely difficult and difficult to focus on the contraction of your calves.
With the Smith machine, you can put a height under the bar (be it a wooden box or a plate) that is a few inches off the ground, letting your heels hang down, to get a complete contraction by going down the motion, hold on for a second and feel the stretch, then make all the way on your toes and feel the full contraction of your calves.guided machine
Of course, there are machines that can do the same movement, but anyone who does not have access to this machine can replace the Smith machine with little difference for hypertrophy of the calves.
Another exercise that can be done on a Smith machine with little impact is the heavy draws.
When done with a bar, most people find that they will tear their hands before they reach a weight that is heavy enough to stimulate their trapezius.
Without resorting to straps or lifting gloves, the easiest to grasp is the Smith machine as it can be loaded heavily and has a safety mechanism for your forearms and can save you from a possible injury.
And like the work of the calves, be sure to lean back slightly to mimic a straight bar path.
Some exercises that do not require you to move the bar at all include: body weight lines, where you are hooked to the bar a few inches off the ground with your feet in front of you, and you pull the bar towards you (in trying to touch the bar with your chest) and lower yourself slowly.
Another is the inclined shoot for beginners who can not do a proper push, and as your strength improves you can lower the bar closer to the ground until you get to the point where you can ground them.
And the last exercise is more difficult to perform, which is a variant of the skull crusher.
In this exercise, you are in a push-up hold position with the bar just a few feet off the ground, you bend your elbows to bring your head under the bar until you feel a stretch at your triceps, then reverse move until you are back in the starting position (you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by taking a few steps to become more parallel to the ground, the same as you would with the body weight line).
Message to remember
As you can see, there is a lot of movement of isolation and body weight that can be done better with a Smith machine than with a free bar.
But keep in mind that most exercises will have better results if they are done with free weights, especially compound exercises that recruit many large muscle groups and small stabilizing muscles.
If your gym has manual racks and various bar stations, I strongly recommend using them for bench or squat.
If you get heavy and you’re scared of not doing all your rehearsals, the Smith machine could become your best friend!
And for unhappy people whose gyms are not equipped with bars (and may or may not serve pizzas on Mondays, not to mention names), do not be afraid to use dumbbells for your primary compound movements. This can make a bench or squat session even more difficult!
Then once you start getting used to the heavier dumbbells they have to offer, this could be a sign that you need to move on to a different gym.