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The Smith machine is a universal simulator. How to work on it and what exercises to do?

Date: March 2, 2024 Time: 05:29:16

Inexperienced athletes are often intimidated by unfamiliar machines, although many of them are very useful for pumping different muscle groups. When you master new shells, the training plan will be replenished with various exercises, the implementation of which will affect the figure in the most positive way. Today, together with a physical trainer, we will tell you about the Smith machine: what it is and why you should use it.

What is a Smith machine?

The simulator is used in both fitness and bodybuilding. It consists of a neck fixed on cables, thanks to which the bar moves strictly in a given trajectory (vertically or with a slight inclination).

Smith looks pretty massive, but easy to use. It’s less variable than dumbbells or a barbell, but it’s harder to injure yourself when working out.

world class fitness trainer

“Isolated exercise allows you to remove the load from large muscle groups and redirect it to smaller ones. Movements are often used by bodybuilders for the isolated development of individual muscle groups, improving their shape and relief in professional training. Beginners with underdeveloped core muscles or people with contraindications to a large axial load will also benefit from such training. Smith is considered safer than free weights, as there is no risk of a projectile falling.

What muscles can be worked on the Smith machine?

Depending on the exercises, different muscle groups will receive the load. Smith is a multi-functional simulator, where you can do bench and seated presses, chin-up pulldowns, lunges, and squats. And this is only a small part. With the help of the projectile, the buttocks and quadriceps, biceps and triceps, shoulders and back muscles are worked out.

In the previous article, we talked about the functions of another interesting simulator:

What are TRX loops and how to train on them? Tips from the trainer and exercises for the whole body.

Warm up before training

Do cardio for about 7-15 minutes, you need to increase the pulse, thereby activating the central nervous system and preparing the body for stress. In simple words, when you wake up the central nervous system, your body understands that it will have to tighten up in the near future and goes into combat mode. Do not forget also about the preliminary stretching of the working muscle groups.

Always start your training with an empty shell and a high number of repetitions, even if you are used to heavy loads. After the warm-up approach, gradually increase the weight.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

Who can practice in Smith’s car?

Since the shell is as versatile as possible, almost everyone can work out on it, from bodybuilders to beginners who have just discovered a gym.

Smith is also ideal for those who, for a number of physical reasons, do not have the opportunity to perform free weight exercises. Stabilization on the simulator is much higher than when working, for example, with a bar.

A set of exercises for the legs on the Smith machine.

Often athletes turn to Smith to pump up the muscles of the legs and buttocks, and for good reason. He will be able to do a lot of interesting and, most importantly, effective training.

Boris Ilin: If the machine is vertical, without incline, the following exercises can be selected.


execution technique

Stand so that the bar, or rather, the smooth roller on it, is on your shoulders, grab the bar with your hands. Place your legs approximately shoulder-width apart. Squatting down as you inhale, slightly bend at the waist, bend your legs. at a level parallel to the floor, so that your knees do not collapse, but look straight, as you exhale, return to the starting position.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com


execution technique

Put one foot forward, put the other back. They should be semi-bent. Place the bar on your shoulders, make sure it does not put pressure on your neck. Grab it with your hands. As you exhale, lunge onto your front leg, lean your body slightly forward. With your back knee, you can lightly touch the ground. As you inhale, return to the starting position.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

romanian draft

execution technique

Lower the bar down, squat down, keeping your back straight, and hold the projectile with your hands, as you exhale straighten up, raising the bar to the level of your waist, as you inhale return to the starting position. The main load should fall on the hips.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

glute bridge

execution technique

Place a bench next to the treadmill. Resting the shoulder blades on it, lower the bar to the lower abdomen. For convenience, you can put a rug under the shell. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, and as you exhale, slowly lift your pelvis up and stay at the top point for a few seconds. Squeeze your glutes and abs As you inhale, slowly return to the starting position.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

front squats

execution technique

Cross your arms in front of you and place the bar on your collarbones. Place your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Look forward. As you inhale, bend your knees and squat down straight so that your thighs are parallel to the floor at the lowest point. As you exhale, return to the starting position.

Perform all of the exercises listed for three to five sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

Boris Ilin: The complex should be composed based on the muscle group you need to focus on. If you want to pump the quadriceps, then the front squat will suit you, if the muscles of the back of the thigh, then I advise you to perform the Romanian push. And if you need to work your glutes, try the glute bridge.

Back exercises on the Smith machine

As we have already said, the muscles of the back and shoulders can also be very effectively loaded on this simulator. Be sure to stretch before class so you don’t hurt your back. And also use the rule of minimum weight – start with the lowest threshold, gradually increasing the load.

pull up to chin

execution technique

Position the bar at waist level. Stand almost close to him and grab the bar with a shoulder-high grip. Keep your back straight, look straight ahead, on an exhale pull the bar up to your chin raising your arms so that your elbows point up, on an inhale return to the starting position.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

slash jerk

execution technique

Position the bar at the level of the calf muscles. Lean the body forward, straighten the back, grab the bar with your hands. On the exhale, without changing the position of the body, pull the bar to the belt. Inhale, return to the starting position.

Photo: www.istockphoto.com

How to bench press on a smith machine?

Boris Ilin: The bench press is best done on an incline machine. First, try several times without weight to build the correct starting position. With an exhalation, squeeze the bar, and as you inhale, slowly lower it down. Ideally, at the top of the range, the projection of the neck should be strictly above the shoulder joints.

You can do vertical presses at 45, 60 or 75 degrees, or horizontal. Since the trajectory of the projectile does not change, it is necessary to correctly choose the position of the bank. With a horizontal bench press, the lowest point of the range starts from the lower third of the chest. With the shoulder blades up and down, this will be the highest point of the chest. At a 45 degree incline, the bar should start moving from the upper third of the chest. If you want to perform a vertical press, position the bench so that the exercise starts from the clavicle.

Read the material on what the different collars are for

What are weights and what are they for? A detailed guide for beginners.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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