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Articles on Why Free Squating is Better?

Hi,

I’m looking for articles about deficiency of squating with the squat machine. Also why free squating is better than with the machine. Articles, links, and any post about researches are wellcome.

Thanks,

UB.

Are you sure you’re in the right forum here?
Maybe try the strength sports forum, simply because there is nothing wrong with machine squats for bodybuilding, and this is the bodybuilding forum.

No offense, just saying.

I’d say you’d get a better effect from free-squatting than machine squatting, yes even for bodybuilding. Due to the recruitment of more muscles and a greater effect on the CNS.

But machine squats would be better if you wanted to isolate certain parts of your legs without worrying about injury. I’d say the free squat is more of a total body builder and the machine squat would be more of an isolation leg exercise, still working a lot of muscles, but free squats work more.

I’m sorry if this is the wrong forum, but I’m really squating to gain muscle, not for weight lifting or any other sport.
There where articles and studies about the danger of squat machines, I searched but could not find them.

Thanks,

UB.

Well one problem with most squat machines is that they aren’t in the ideal range of motion for each individual. No two people are built exactly the same, so unless this is an insanely adaptive machine, it’s not going to be a natural movement for 99% of people. Along those lines, 78% of statistics are made up on the spot.

On the other hand, if it is a natural range of movement for an individual, while it may not be the best for sheer strength, machines (as mentioned) can be safer.

Free squatting works the most musculature, and I’d recommend sticking with free barbell squats till you’re able to squat around 1.5 to twice bodyweight at least. At some point, lifters whve been training several years get to the point where they’re squatting in excess of 500-600 pounds for reps, and by that time they have incurred lower back stiffness, joint soreness etc etc etc…and add safety reasons -> switch to machine squats.

if youre unable to squat at least bodyweight, the machine squats will be better than nothing but the benefits you will receive will (depending on your genetics) range from almost nil to just about the same as barbell variety.

Take your pick and live with your choice. if it works out, be happy…else you may miss out on one of the best exercises for packing on overall size for beginners to intermediates. Ive known a guy who never squatted with a BB and weighs 210 with visible abs at 5’8"…ive also known a guy who followed this same idea and made no gains whatsoever, who knows which one you will turn out to be.

in summation, take the time and learn to squat. Its very very unlikely you will not pack on muscle if you pay your dues in the squat rack and load yourself. That guarantee does not come with the machine alternatives. And never copy what the advanced lifters are doing without taking their initial training into account.

I would worry more about injuring myself using free weights to squat than using the Smith machine. The Smith machine keeps you in the right position. With a barbell it’s awkward to balance particularly for a beginner.

I’m sure the experts can go back and forth on this one as to which is better but for safety I recommend using the Smith machine. You can absolutely build muscle using it and you have less chance of torquing yourself the wrong way and pulling a muscle.

[quote]AmandaSC wrote:
I would worry more about injuring myself using free weights to squat than using the Smith machine. The Smith machine keeps you in the right position. With a barbell it’s awkward to balance particularly for a beginner.

I’m sure the experts can go back and forth on this one as to which is better but for safety I recommend using the Smith machine. You can absolutely build muscle using it and you have less chance of torquing yourself the wrong way and pulling a muscle. [/quote]

I would rather leg press then squat in a smith machine. Smith machien squats are probably the most awkward feeling thing I’ve ever done.

Anyone recommending using a smith machine for squats is a Nimrod.

The range of motion is really screwy and you have to put your knees really far forward just to get a decent position.

I would go as far as to say squatting on a smith machine is not only more dangerous long term knee wise, but also remarkably inferior to barbell squats.

Squats are not dangerous at all as even without safety pegs you can always just drop the bar off your back, and if you have pegs and you get stuck at the bottom you just sit down and the pegs catch it.

How can anyone think a smith machine is safer than pegs ? I dont have to rotate a bar around to use a peg, I just drop 400 pounds off my back.

And saying your a “body builder” is no excuse for being useless strength wise.

Just because you train for size doesn’t mean you should be squatting with pussy weight.

I you want to look muscular but be completely useless, just wear one of those padded superman chests kids wear on Halloween.

I can understand your need for solid info regarding safety and muscle gains when squatting so I recommend that you try each one out for a while. While articles will give you all this information covering virtually every aspect of the squat nothing can match the your own unique experiences so the best tip I can give is to experiment with each one for a while on light-medium weight.

You just have to remember that the key to succesful muscle gain is patience, and individualization when training.

the only real injury I ever had working out was dead lifting in a smith machine. Anecdotal, sure, but whatever.

[quote]Westclock wrote:
Anyone recommending using a smith machine for squats is a Nimrod.

The range of motion is really screwy and you have to put your knees really far forward just to get a decent position.

I would go as far as to say squatting on a smith machine is not only more dangerous long term knee wise, but also remarkably inferior to barbell squats.

Squats are not dangerous at all as even without safety pegs you can always just drop the bar off your back, and if you have pegs and you get stuck at the bottom you just sit down and the pegs catch it.

How can anyone think a smith machine is safer than pegs ? I dont have to rotate a bar around to use a peg, I just drop 400 pounds off my back.

And saying your a “body builder” is no excuse for being useless strength wise.

Just because you train for size doesn’t mean you should be squatting with pussy weight.

I you want to look muscular but be completely useless, just wear one of those padded superman chests kids wear on Halloween.[/quote]

I’m mightily curious as to what your stats are…

#Edit:
Occupation:
Weight: 215
Height: 6’
Body fat %: 9-10%
Years Training: 5

uh-uh … Guess you better have an elite total to be
spouting the kind of nonsense in that post I quoted…

[quote]Steel88 wrote:
I can understand your need for solid info regarding safety and muscle gains when squatting so I recommend that you try each one out for a while. While articles will give you all this information covering virtually every aspect of the squat nothing can match the your own unique experiences so the best tip I can give is to experiment with each one for a while on light-medium weight.

You just have to remember that the key to succesful muscle gain is patience, and individualization when training.[/quote]

The key to successful muscle gain is progression over time, my friend.

Damn, I didn’t realize there were so many pussies on these boards.

Following Tribunaldude… If you’re not over 250 lbs, squatting 1.5X your bodyweight, or aren’t making progress every week squatting, either drop the weight or buck up and get your shit together.

Smith squats? Give me a break.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Westclock wrote:
Anyone recommending using a smith machine for squats is a Nimrod.

uh-uh … Guess you better have an elite total to be
spouting the kind of nonsense in that post I quoted…[/quote]

I didn’t see much nonsense. Would you care to explain?

[quote]JohnnyNinja wrote:
the only real injury I ever had working out was dead lifting in a smith machine. Anecdotal, sure, but whatever.[/quote]

The smith in my gym doesn’t allow for deadlifting, only smith “rack”-pulling… And if you get injured on that, well, I severely doubt that the machine had something to do with it…

[quote]buckeye girl wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Westclock wrote:
Anyone recommending using a smith machine for squats is a Nimrod.

uh-uh … Guess you better have an elite total to be
spouting the kind of nonsense in that post I quoted…

I didn’t see much nonsense. Would you care to explain?[/quote]

You post over at IM, so I would have expected you to have come across some post from Dante or one of the other vets on this…

Sure it’s not smart for a Powerlifter, but this is still bodybuilding, right? I’ve been rotating smith squats, free squats and the hack squat machine or leg presses for years and my knees are just fine.

#Edit: Also, simply because I choose to do a set of 4-7 followed by my 20 rep widowmaker doesn’t make me weak.
I can’t squat 1000 once, but I can squat quite enough in the rep-ranges that I use, so ? Do you people think that bodybuilders never add weight to the bar or what ?

I’m not knocking you buckeye, I just found his post a little silly considering that it sounded like he preached to a few articles by certain authors and that’s it.

can you even rack/dead in a smith? they only go vertical and you need to move at a slight angle to get the weight up.

Smith machine squats have some obvious advantages: Time under tension, no need for a spotter, greater isolation of the legs if required.

I personally don’t do them at all. I love doing squats and I attribute my core strength to them. But obviously some bodybuilders do use them to great effect.

Dorian Yates: "Yeah, I used them for pressing movements, like incline press and shoulder press. I used it for squats, as well. I was brought up in the era of Tom Platz and he always said, “You’ve gotta squat; squats are the greatest thing for your thighs.”

Obviously it was true for Tom Platz. He had a good structure so that when he was squatting, the majority of the stress was taken by his quadriceps; his structure was quite short. So I was religiously squatting for the first five or six years that I was training. My legs were okay but they weren’t great, until I began experimenting.

Then, squatting on a Smith machine, I could position my body so it was much more isolated on the quads, less glutes and lower back involvement, didn’t have to worry about the balance aspect. Actually my legs improved a lot when I was doing Smith squats, hack squats, leg presses �?? I could isolate the thighs a lot more. So actually I used the Smith machine quite a bit for squatting."

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
can you even rack/dead in a smith? they only go vertical and you need to move at a slight angle to get the weight up. [/quote]

Yeah you can just fine (imo), I’m a little too short for the machine, so the bar starts just above my knees, but it hits the low and upper back nicely.

You just walk right into the bar with an upright posture, I like to place my feet even a little further than just directly under it, so that you’d fall backwards when letting go of the weight, and there I go…
Takes the hammies out of it, mostly, but works well for me.

I was forced to do them like that in the beginning because my gym back then didn’t have a rack/cage…

I’m not saying that they are better than regular rack pulls, but they are definitely not “bad”.

These days I rotate them in when I stall on my regular rack-pulls.