Smith machines are very popular these days and have been for awhile now. Every decent gym has at least one of them. There are many people that enjoy using them, while others won’t go anywhere near it.
This element of the Smith Machine does have its critics however. Their main gripe is that when you are locked inside the rails for your sets the machine is doing the work that normally your stabilizer muscles would be doing instead. This can be seen as a negative because it may not be a complete workout. You may notice that weights seem a bit lighter inside the Smith Machine as compared to when you are using the traditional power rack. It is mainly a matter of preference.
I really do like to use the smith machine in my work out routines. This is especially important to me as I am nearing 50s in my age already. A Smith Machine is definitely something which is right fit for me.
Before I go further explaining the pros and cons, below is one of the highly recommended Smith Machine that you can consider.
Yes, I know it is not cheap but you get what you pay for. Below is a real review by a verified buyer on Amazon who gave this a 5-stars rating:
This gym is as advertised. I really like it. I have used every kind of free weight and pulley gym out there over the last 25 years, so I can appreciate the engineering in this design. I put it together myself using their instructions no problem. Their instructions are very clear and I like how they packaged the screws & washers and sealed/label cards. What a great technique. The gym does look and feel high quality for sure. I am a mechanical engineer and design products for a living, so I don’t say all of this lightly I have been using it daily now for 2+ weeks. The pulley/cable system is nicely engineered and very smooth. Good job Inspire Fitness. Also their customer service has been excellent as they responded promptly to a few of my questions during the build. ~dave (Amazon Verified Purchase)
Let’s talks about the pros of using a Smith Machine:
- It is by far safer than traditional free weights. You have the guidance of a linear path to follow throughout the movement, and the need for a spotter is reduced because you can turn your wrists and lock the bar into place in the frame of the machine. Another advantage is that you can usually lift more weight because you don’t have to stabilize the weight your trying to lift.
- When you are working out in your home gym you do not always have a spotter handy to keep an eye on things. Until now this made it difficult to workout with Olympic weights in your own home gym. The invention of the Smith Machine provided a much needed element of safety. The Smith Machine features rails on the side walls of the rack in which the Olympic bar has been embedded. There are 2 hooks in the Olympic bar that sit inside the rails and by simply turning your wrists you can catch the bar on one of the metal rungs inside the rail enclosure. Thus, you have a self spotting mechanism. This enables you to workout at the club or in your own home gym without jeopardizing your safety.
For the cons of using a Smith Machine:
- When using this piece of equipment is that you won’t get as strong and big as fast as you would by using free weights. It really all leads back to the use of your stabilizing muscles and utilizing them during your exercises that will make a huge difference in your performance and results. However, due to the isolated range of motion, this machine is helpful when returning to the gym after an injury or when you want to be assure that you will not be injured while training on your own.