Smith Machine Addiction

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2012 12:58 AM GMT
    Howdy

    I'd be interested to know if anyone else has a Smith Machine addiction like me?

    I find old Smithy to be a very versatile piece of equipment which, to me, is under-utilised by most.

    Do you guys use it?

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    Nov 21, 2012 2:11 AM GMT
    I use the Smith machine every 4th time I work on chest. I can do incline, flat & decline bench press all together. I love it.
  • AMoonHawk

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    Nov 21, 2012 2:12 AM GMT
    I use to use one at the gym, I thought they were great if you didn't have a spotter. Great for squats and presses and calf raises.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    I avoid it honestly. I find it useful for shrugs and one or two other strictly isolation movements, but it's far too limiting for presses in my opinion. There are lots of important supporting muscles that get left out with the Smith Machine.
  • Medjai

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    Nov 21, 2012 2:19 AM GMT
    I've been using it while dealing with my shoulder injury, but they do not support development of support muscles, so I generally steer clear.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    I use one for pushups. I shattered my wrist last year and putting my hand flat on the floor hurts before I am finished doing pushups. So I put the smith machine bar down low and grip that for pushups. It's great. In addition to sparing my wrist, I can grip the bar and get the added force of radiation up the arm.

    I have also raised the bar and done incline pull ups on it.
  • daveindenver

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    Nov 21, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    It may not be for everyone..... but it works great for me!
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    I avoid using them whenever possible. There has always been too much friction on my exercises; when doing presses it feels like I have to pull the bar back down to me.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:26 AM GMT
    I was using dumbbells for chest presses but I found that when I finished each set, lowering the weights back to the floor was hurting my shoulders and lower back too much.

    The Smith Machine allows me to press without injury. I figure its better than nothing.

    I also use it for triceps work and occasionally for upright rows and squats if the barbells are all in use.



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    Nov 21, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    "It's better than nothing". But barely.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:28 AM GMT
    I should also mention that my gym does not have benches which can be used for barbell chest presses. Its either dumbbells, Smith Machine or chest press machine...

  • Kipstrdl

    Posts: 162

    Nov 21, 2012 2:28 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI avoid it honestly. I find it useful for shrugs and one or two other strictly isolation movements, but it's far too limiting for presses in my opinion. There are lots of important supporting muscles that get left out with the Smith Machine.


    I agree. I was addicted to the smith machine for a while because that was the only barbell in the gym at work. I loved feeling like I could squat and press alot of weight. But alot of stabilizer muscles are neglected when your possible plane of motion goes from 3 dimensions to 1 (you don't have to control side to side or back and forth motion of the bar, just up and down). However, when I went back to a free barbell, I was able to lift more than I did before switching to Smith. So I would suggest alternating your Smith machine exercises with the same exercises on a free barbell.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:37 AM GMT
    WestAussieGuy saidI should also mention that my gym does not have benches which can be used for barbell chest presses. Its either dumbbells, Smith Machine or chest press machine...




    Hmmm. If those are your only choices, I suppose I'd choose the Smith over the Chest Press. But honestly, they're both so limiting, there's not that much difference between them. But I would definitely continue with the dumbbells also, as they will give you a more well rounded pressing movement.
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    Nov 21, 2012 2:54 AM GMT
    WestAussieGuy saidI should also mention that my gym does not have benches which can be used for barbell chest presses. Its either dumbbells, Smith Machine or chest press machine...

    You'll get a much better range of motion doing chest presses with dumbbells.

    I use it once in a while. But for nothing serious. Like pump sets with light weights at the end of my workout.

    Smith Machine is fine for isolating certain muscle groups. But it's no substitute for free weights. Like other machines, it doesn't properly stimulate the ancillary muscles. If you're only using the Smith Machine, then you're cheating your body out of a good workout.
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    Nov 21, 2012 3:53 AM GMT
    I occasionally use it for the flat bench press at the end of my workout, but I usually go with dumbbells, cables, and the chest press machine. The smith machine feels awkward to me for some reason. It's a great machine for shrugs though.
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    Nov 21, 2012 5:29 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the advice fellas.

    I feel I probably do enough in terms of working on stabilisers as I do quite a lot of cable work for my back, shoulders and arms.

    The cable machine is another really versatile piece of equipment...
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:01 AM GMT
    Ugh. Hate.

    I've used it maybe once or twice. I find my shoulders/arms want to go in a natural range of motion and push against the machine straining the tendons.

    Not for me.
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:02 AM GMT
    The people denigrating Smith machines are probably unfamiliar with the dual axis Smith machine. With its four planes of motion (forward and back as well as up and down, note the horizontal tracks top and bottom in the picture) it better approximates the unfixed arc of free weights. You might not get the complete instability of free weights but there's still a little wobble if that's what you're looking for. So you get some instability but don't need a spotter 'cause it's far safer, enabling you to go heavier, and loading more plates on one side corrects any size or strength imbalances. The difference between it and a regular Smith machine is like going from 2D to 3D. Or black & white to color.

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    Nov 21, 2012 6:08 AM GMT
    i love it but only use it as a warm up. since it supports your vertical movements, you aren't making the best use of your muscles. you lose the benefits of pushing and trying to keep the weight stabalized that you get from using an olympic bar
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:36 AM GMT
    Would love to use it more, but at the gym I go to, it always seems to be in use.
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    Nov 21, 2012 6:41 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI find it to be a bit useless.

    I'd only recommend it as an alternative for people recuperating from injuries that can't balance themselves with an Olympic bar.

    The stabilizer muscles do not get as much work and stimulus as can be had with free weighted movements.


    Yup!