Smith Machine Squat
A Smith Machine Squat is a strength training exercise that uses a Smith Machine. The primary muscle worked is the Quads; secondary muscles worked are the Calves, Glutes, Hams and Lower Back. The focus of the exercise is to build Mass and Strength of the legs, more specifically the quads. A Smith Machine Squat is a Compound movement type. The effort used is a Push.
Variations / Alternatives
Squat, Dumbbell Squat, Half Squat, Hack Squat, Barbell Hack Squat, Front Squat, Barbell Deadlift, Clean and Press, Flat Barbell Bench Press
Smith Machine Squat - Stand under the barbell so that the bar rests across your shoulders, use an overhand grip and stand up with the weight. Your back should be straight, legs locked and feet about shoulder width apart. Traditionally you keep your feet pointed forward, but for more overall power face your feet outwards slightly. Be sure to keep your head facing forward the whole time.
• Keeping your back straight lower your body, by bending your knees until your thighs are just below parallel with the floor. An easy way to remember is that you want your glutes to be slightly lower than your knees.
• Bring yourself back to the starting position by driving with the legs to stand straight up until your legs are locked out. You get yourself started push off the floor with your heels.
• Repeat these steps for the appropriate amount of repetitions desired.
• After your last extension, return the bar by locking it in or rolling the bar forward so that it hooks in the Smith Machine.
(For various leg exercises)
If you need additional support while doing a Smith Machine Squat, you can rest your heels on a low block. If you have back problems, you should serious consider either using dumbbells instead of a barbell, a hack squat machine or leg press as substitute.
Depending on your stance when doing a Squat, you can emphasize different parts of your leg. For instance, the narrower the stance the more it works the outside of your legs, while the wider the stance the more it works the inside of your legs. Also having your toes pointed out will work the inside of the legs more. Work with different variations to hit weak points or to keep your muscle on its toes.
When doing a Lunge or Dumbbell Lunge you can work one leg at a time or alternate each leg. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced you can do a Walking Lunge. This is where you walk, or lunge, across the room. Where you would normally stand up backwards to bring your feet together, you stand up forwards and bring your feet together. Repeat this step so that you can walk across the room.
If you are having trouble knowing how far to lift your legs when doing a Leg Extension, You can have your partner place his hand at a predetermined height for you to kick. This is a good technique to use while you are starting out.
Keep a Seated Calf Raise as strict as possible. Try not to rock back and forth.
When doing a Reverse Calf Raise you would normally use your body weight and do about 20-30 reps.
If you want to add additional resistance you can use a Smith Machine. Also the position of your feet and the platform greatly affects the areas that will be worked. If you want to put emphasis on the front of your lower legs; keep your feet further apart. If you want to put emphasis on the sides of your lower legs; keep your feet closer together. Also, when doing a Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raise you can place the platform or block further forwards or backwards. This will place emphasis on either your higher calf or lower calf.
Some of these tips and common mistakes are universal regardless of what body part you are exercising. Remember to go through the full range of motion when lowering a barbell and fully extend your arms (on most exercises) when pressing the bar. Unless directed otherwise, do not stop short of fully extending your arms. A benefit of using a dumbbell is that you can give yourself an even larger range of motion.
Using a Smith Machine or any other machine in general, is a great way you can rehab an injury or avoid further aggravation of a body part or joint that has given you trouble in the past. Some machines give you advantage of being able to lower a weight much further than you could with free weights. Lastly, if you have no spotter and want to you use bigger weights, you can safely return the bar by locking it in or rolling the bar forward so that it hooks in the Smith Machine.
To give yourself a bigger pump, whenever you’re at the top of your exertion you can squeeze or flex the body part for a second before returning to the starting position. This technique can be used on most body parts if you feel you aren’t bringing your muscle to 110% complete failure even if you’re giving it your all.
Smith Machine Squat video
When do you do your breathing while lifting?
Smith Machine Squat - If you’re one of those people that have a tough time knowing when to breathe while lifting weights, don’t panic, it’s more normal than you’d think. What comes natural to one person is rocket science to another. You have to remember everybody is built differently. This is why we’ve included this section with every exercise… because well… we’re believers in breathing!
Every time you raise or stand up with the barbell, you exhale or breathe out.
Every time you lower or squat the barbell, you inhale or breathe in.
An easy rule of thumb is to “breathe out during exertion” while performing the Smith Machine Squat exercise.
We hope you enjoyed “Smith Machine Squat.”