The Smith Machine was invented in the 1950s by “the godfather of fitness” Francois Henri “Jack” LaLanne. Unfortunately, most people use it for the wrong exercises. It’s like putting an Intel processor in an AMD socket. It’s not going to work.
For example, deadlifts on a smith machine suck because:
1.You get out of position.
The smith machine is like a building – it’s not going to move for you. The user is the one that needs to adjust to it. When you pull the bar during deadlifts, the machine may force you to get out of your groove and damage your lower back.
2.You don’t have as much control.
When you are doing deadlifts on the smith machine, you are being controlled by the weight and the machine. At the top of the movement, you may even fail to lockout the weight properly. It will feel really weird with heavy weight.
3.You may break the machine.
The deadlift allows you to lift extremely heavy weights. This means that on the way down, you may break the machine if you let the barbell slip out of your control.
If you train at a commercial gym where the lifters wear fanny packs and constantly change their status on Facebook, you may also be kicked out for destroying their favorite equipment. After all, when you break the Smith, where are they going to isolate their upper pecs. Don’t be a hypocrite.
In short, the smith machine may be useful for some exercises, but the deadlift ain’t one of them.