Best Smith Machines

Best Smith Machine for a home gym review. In this post, we are going to look at the history of the smith machine and the journey of its development. The main aim of this post is to give you enough information to make a decision on the Best smith machine for your personal use.

Who invented the Smith Machine?


The Smith machine was created by one of the pioneers of the American fitness industry. His name is Jack Lalanne.

Well believe it or not, but Jack Lalanne, one of the most influential men in the American fitness industry is responsible for creating the much-maligned Smith Machine.

Jack Lalanne is also known as the godfather of the fitness industry in American. Not only did he create the smith machine. He also created a number of machines ranging from the leg extension to a range of cable machines which are still used today in a number of well-known gyms.

What was the reason for creating one  

During the early day of health and fitness. The only people using gyms were the elite athletes who had a number of years of conditioning under there belts. As our activity lifestyles slowed out more people started to go to the gym to help slow down the regression of there bodies and to aid their development.

Safety was a big thing. The age of personal trainers had not begun yet. So the coaching levels of the trainers were only at the level of high performance. So the big exercises like squat were a high risk for the average person.

Jack Lalanne had an idea to develop a machine which you could use which had a self-spotting aim to it. Jack went to work with his business partner Rudy Smith to create a plan and design the first smith machine.


What made the Best Smith Machine so famous

Due to how busy Jack was becoming with leading the world into the age of looking after our own bodies Rudy ask Jack if he could push ahead with the idea to develop the smith machine. This is the reason for the name of the machine becoming the smith machine.

Once everything agreed Rudy went to work on getting the first smith machine built and into a number of well know gyms across the USA. He even got some of his machines into the world of sport.

As the years went on the smith machine became a main piece of equipment in a gym of the USA like the iconic bench press. During the 70’s the bodybuilding world really started to grow. The major part of bodybuilding is increasing the size of the muscle. The best way to do that is to isolate a muscle to give it the right amount of overload needed to grow.

One of the major bodybuilders of this era was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He feels in love with the smith machine with how many exercises you can perform. Everything from squats, bench press, rows, shoulder press.

 Best Smith Machines

  1. Inspire fitness FT2 smith machine 
  2. body solid smith machine
  3. marcy diamond elite smith machine
  4. Valor smith machine
  5. Power line smith machine
  6. Caribou III Smith machine


Inspire fitness FT2 smith machine



Available on Amazon


[easyazon_link identifier="B00HAVHGLS" locale="US" tag="topfithub-20"]body solid smith machine



Available on Amazon


marcy diamond elite smith machine



Available on Amazon

Valor smith machine



Available on Amazon

Power line smith machine




Available on Amazon

Caribou III Smith machine



Available on Amazon

Best Smith machine bar weight V Olympic bar weight

The smith machine bar is only about 5kg in weight due to the load being supported to the machine. As for the Olympic bar they all weight about 20kg and have a thicker grip to the smith machine bar.

Best Smith machine bench press V Bench Press

Two excellent exercise. Both exercise develops strength and size. When using a smith machine less stability is need due to the frame of the smith machine supporting the weight. Which means more weight can be lifted.

As for the free weight bench press, more stability is needed to hold the bar steady. Were more stability is needed the quicker gain are made in carryover strength to a sport. Increase isolated when using the smith machine due to the ability to lift more weight.


Best Smith machine Squat V Free weight squat

For a natural squat, it is always best to perform this exercise with a free bar or a free motion smith machine. This is due to the natural flexion at the hip during the squat. If you try doing this with a fixed squat rack.

The load on the lower back increase 10 fold and could lead to serious back pain. On a fixed smith machine, the best squat form to use is a Hack squat. Which focus on the quads as the squat targets the whole body through your quads.

The same as the bench press. Less stability is needed on the smith machine as for the free squat, where stability is needed throughout the whole body to aid movement.

Best Smith machine deadlift V Free weight deadlift


The best part of the smith machine for deadlifts. It focuses on the second phase and third phase of the lift.(also known as a rack pull).Working on a knee and hip lift. The free weight deadlift hits first second and third phase of the lift. Which has a larger carry over to performance for sport.

Smith machine upright row V Free weight upright row


The key difference on this exercise is that the upper neck muscle can be very reactive to this movement. Due to the stability support the smith machine makes it easier the support and for the free weights you can use dumbbells which makes it easier on the shoulder with the movement.

Smith Machine exercises

Smith machine bench press

Smith Machine Squat


Smith machine front squat

Smith Machine Lunge

Smith Machine upright row

Smith machine reverse pull up


Final thoughts

The smith machine is a great bit of kit to add to any home gym for individual safety. Also if you have limited space there are some many exercises you can perform safety.

I hope you have enjoyed the above information. Thank you for taking the time to read.

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