Best Smith Machine For Developing Health And Performance 2020

Best Smith Machine for a home gym review. In this post, we are going to look at the history of the 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 high risk for the average person. Jack Lalanne had an idea to develop a machine that 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 this 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

  • Weight Stacks: Two 150lb. commercial weight stacks with center drilled holes and magnetic weight pin for safety.
  • Dual Independent Weight Stacks: The dual weight stacks allow you to work each side of the body independently for a more balanced workout
  • Dimensions: 61″ wide x 58″ deep without bench; 61″ wide x 89″ deep with bench; minimum height 83″; maximum height 88″…..NOT INCLUDED BUT OPTIONS AVAILABLE ARE: 200lb weight stack upgrade, preacher curl attachment, abdominal bar. (SHIPS IN A BOX, ASSEMBLY REQUIRED)



marcy diamond elite smith machine

  • Linear ball bearing Smith system with 20 crossmember lock-out points for a safe, solid stop at any point in your workout routine
  • Freeweight gunrack system with 14 lift-off and racking positions for ultimate versatility, safety and control
  • Large diameter Smith Bar responds quickly, is easy to control and weighs only 25 Lbs. It’s ideal for amateurs or professionals


Valor smith machine

  • This multi-functional machine will help you target the different body parts. For the chest and shoulders area, you may do some crossover workouts through the steel aircraft cable system, pull-up bars, and cross pulleys.
  • For thighs and legs training, the bottom pulley and leg developer allow you to target the hams, quads, and glutes. ·   SM-4008 features a removable utility bench to have a full range of strength exercises. The workout bench has a padded seat that is adjustable to multiple different positions
  • The Smith style press bar also has adjustable safety stops and bar catches.


Power line smith machine

  • Includes adjustable bench, pec station, preacher curl station, and lat row station
  • Lat developer station; heavy-duty steel frame with reinforcement plates
  • 150-pound weight stack; measures 76 x 85 x 45 inches (W x H x D)


Caribou III Smith machine

  • Perform Dips!
  • Perform Preacher Curls!
  • Perform Pec Deck
  • Perform Cable Crossover
  • Perform Smith Machine and Free Weight Exercises


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 exercises. Both exercises develop 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 increases 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 between these exercises is that the upper neck muscle can be very reactive to this movement. Due to the stability support of this 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

Movement Patterns: Bend
Equipment Used: Smith machine
Muscle Groups: Quads and postural Chain

Smith Machine Instructions:

  • Standing on two legs holding the bar.
  • Pick the chest up look forward inhale drawing the belly button inward.
  • Bend forward from the hips to where you comfortably can keeping the natural arch in your low back perform a row lifting your elbows towards the ceiling not pulling from the hands bring the bar to your hips.
  • Exhale through pursed lips at the most difficult point of the exercise.
  • The shoulder blade shoulder joint and elbow should all end at the same time.
  • Lower the weights maintaining posture.

Movement Patterns: Supine Press
Equipment Used: Smith machine, Bench
Muscle Groups: Triceps pectorals major and minor

Smith Machine Instructions:

    • Lying face up on a bench holding a barbell at arm’s length above your chest palms facing your feet.
    • If it is difficult for you to place your feet on the floor without excessively arching your back place your feet on a step box as shown here.

Bend your elbows to lower the bar towards your clavStraighten

  • Aline your elbows to raise the bar back to the starting position and repeat.

Movement Patterns: Back
Equipment Used: Smith machine
Muscle Groups: Gluteals, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Smith Machine Instructions:

  • Standing with a barbell resting on your backhands hands slightly wider than shoulders.
  • Lift your chest up to activate your upper back muscles and drive the elbows forward. Take a comfortable stance wide enough that youcan squat down between your legs.
  • Take a deep diaphragmatic breath then draw your belly button inward.
  • Lower down into a squat as low as you can keep the natural arch in your low back.
  • Exhale through pursed lips as you return to standing.


Movement Patterns: Front
Equipment Used: Barbell
Muscle Groups: Gluteals, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Smith Machine Instructions:

  • With the barbell resting on your shoulders arms crossed and hands holding the barbell elbows up pointing towards the ceiling.
  • Lift the chest up to activate the thoracic extensors musculature take a comfortable stance wide enough that allows you to squat down between your legs
  • Take a deep diaphragmatic breath; engage the TVA drawing the belly button inward.
  • Lower down into a comfortable squat keeping the natural arch in your low back.
  • Exhale through pursed lips as you return to standing.

Movement Patterns: Backward
Equipment Used: Barbell
Muscle Groups: Gluteals, Hamstrings, Quadriceps

Smith machine Instructions:

  • Holding a barbell across your upper back. Lift the chest up to activate the thoracic extensors musculature and drive the elbows forward.
  • Take a deep diaphragmatic breath; engage the TVA drawing the belly button inward.
  • Step backward keeping good posture lower to the point where your back knee just touches the ground.
  • Stand back up returning to the start position.

Movement Patterns: Shrug/ Upright Row
Equipment Used: Barbell smith machine
Muscle Groups: Biceps, Deltoid, Upper Trap

Smith machine Instructions:

  • Standing upright with good posture holding a barbell at arm’s length.
  • Bend your elbows to pull the barbell upwards until your elbows reach above shoulder level.
  • Lower under control and repeat.

Movement Patterns: Horizontal Pull
Equipment Used: Smith machine
Muscle Groups: Biceps, Posterior Chain, Upper Back

Smith machine Instructions:

  • Face up below a bar set to a little higher than arm’s length above the floor. Hold the bar just wider than shoulder-width with straight arms and feet on the floor.
  • Drawing your belly button inwards, keeping your body in good alignment, pull with your arms to bring your chest to the bar.
  • Lower under control and repeat for the prescribed number of reps.

Best Smith Machine 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.

We also have a few more pages for one nutrition support

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