So, I happened into Sports Authority tonight, and during my usual perusal of the sporting goods section, I see something...different. It's a Smith machine...with the upright and track for the bar on some type of shock absorber system.
According to the advertisment hanging on it, it's supposed to allow the weight to track through whatever range of motion you naturally would move through, with the added safety features of a Smith Machine (basically twist your wrists and lock the bar in place). I messed around with it very briefly ( I was holding my 7 month old at the time) and it seemed to work.
Then again, I was only messing around and there was no real weight on the bar. But it did seem to move naturally and smoothly. Here's a link to it (made by Gold's Gym):
While googling this image, I also stumbled on an article about a lawsuit involving this machine (if I read it correctly). Basically some numbnuts was squating in the machine with too much weight, his quad tore, he fell and was crushed by the weight, which made him quadrapalegic. There are safety stops on the machine, but they either weren't installed or he wasn't using them.
I don't know if those links will work, as I've never attempted to post a link here before, and being a technological caveman, I'm not sure if I did it right.
Take it easy,