“Real lifters” consider smith machine squatters sissies scared of their own shadows. There is some truth to this belief because fear is one of the main reasons why people do smith machine squats in the first place. Ironically, to learn how to squat properly in a smith machine, you first need to learn how to squat with a free weight.
Let’s Target The Quads
Back in the day, the popular British bodybuilder Dorian Yates switched to smith machine and hack squats in order to hit his quadriceps even harder. He thought that regular squats were not targeting his legs enough. Ever since many recreational bodybuilders have been trying to do the same.
One of the main downsides of the smith machine is that it forces you to perform all exercises in a super straight line. This is not natural. That’s why people often experience back, neck and knee pain when training on the smith. To understand better, consult the video below.
This is not natural. That’s why people often experience back, neck and knee pain when training on the smith. To understand better, consult the video below.
Smith machine squats are useful if you want to target the quadriceps more, but to make the movement effective, you have to know how to squat with a free weight too. Only then, you can safely “re-engineer” the smith squat.
For the most part, smith machine squats are not a great movement. However, just like any other exercise that you could be beneficial in specific circumstances.
I am 60 year man, and I have been doing smith machine squats in my basement gym, for over 20 years. I do them with my feet close together and in front of my body. Also my toes are pointed outward.
I’m a taller guy, 6’3 long legs high center of gravity. I found that smith machines work far better for me than the normal barbell squats. I high bar it, put my feet out in front, go with a narrow stance. That is what the person in video should have done.