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Deadlifts on a Smith Machine?

Hello everyone. Im new here to T-Nation. been reading for 3 or 4 months. gained 20 some pounds from doing the workouts i’ve found here as well as getting my nutrition in gear.

i have a question about deadlifting. im at college right now and im using the facility they have on campus. they have 3 smith machines and 1 squat/clean/whatever the hell you want to do in it rack. that one generally has a line behind it. so my question is… DL’s on a smith machine. are they ok? if not, why not, and is there a movement that i can substitute for it that develops the posterior chain like the dl’s do?

steal a bar from a bench or something imo

Yeah, at my university we have an area with an extra layer of rubber for Dead lifting, Barbell rows and power cleans…at least that is what I do there. They only put one barbell there so guys usually steal a bar from one of the seated overhead press racks or the decline bench. No biggie really. If the staff gives you a hard time ask them what they want you to do. Usually they will say to just go easy on the floor. Tell that scrawny staffer to pull 405 “easily” and he’ll probably leave you alone.

to the op, you do deadlifts on the floor, outside of any rack, ok? u sound confusled

I do rack pulls on the Smith at my gym because we don’t have a power rack. It works just fine.

The general consensus I’ve heard is not to do DLs or squats on smith machines. I can’t see DLs posing as much of a problem as smith squats would, but I agree with Tumbles; just grab any barbell and rep 'em out.

i steal barbells all the time. theres 3 flat benches, 2 incline benches, 1 decline and wannabe power racks so fuck them.

err anyway, you cant do a deadlift in a smith anyway cause ya know, its not on the floor. you can rack pull, but thats different.

I heard Troy Alves does deadlifts in the smith machine. I guess they work pretty well.

[quote]RSGZ wrote:
I do rack pulls on the Smith at my gym because we don’t have a power rack. It works just fine.[/quote]

Seconded. But of course everyone is going to scream “No, the smith is the devil!”.

The Smith is okay once you have a decent base. This older guy I occasionally train with (he’s 62 and has had both knees replaced)does his deads on a smith, but mostly because he tries to avoid the bottom portion and focus solely on his back and traps. If you’re doing a sort of partial DL, then the smith should work fine.

S

I have tried to do deadlifts on the smith machine but it always come out to be a rack pull not a full deadlift. The limited range of motion wont allow it. Throwing your shoulders back and locking out your back are only possible with free weights.

IMO: Only partial ROM deadlifts using a smith machine

Deadlifts off of the floor recruit an incredibly large amount of musculature, much for stabilization as well

I feel that using the smith machine to deadlift will restrict a portion of your ROM (range of motion)

If anything, at higher poundage, i believe it will compromise your spine/shoulders, because proper form suggests you maintain the bar close to the body when lifting from the floor. the smith machine is on a fixed-plane,

so either the smith-machine station is going to be pulling your body, or your body is going to attempt to pull the station at an odd angle, an UNNATURAL angle

same reason i dont suggest doing full ROM squats on a smith press

Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)

[quote]Growing_Boy wrote:
Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)[/quote]

Same here. I injured my lower back doing smith machine deads at a Planet Fitness. Wasn’t anything “serious” - pain started later that evening and was kind of dull, in my lower back. I had an MRI which revealed no damage of any kind. Ever since then my lower back is somewhat “suspect” and I am conscious of it.

IMO, the smith dead, even if done as a rack pull, is really unnatural. This is because you can’t keep the bar as close to you as possible. If you start with the bar at your knees, by the time you finish the lift the bar is a good inch or two away from you.

Sorry if i’m not explaining it right, but that’s my biggest problem with it. It’s like a smith squat; the bar shouldn’t be traveling in precisely a straight line up and down. There is a natural curve to it, albeit just a little.

I threw a plate per and called it quits after 2 reps! It felt wrong, just like that night in TJ. lol no grunting now. Fucking baby bitch gym

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)

Same here. I injured my lower back doing smith machine deads at a Planet Fitness. Wasn’t anything “serious” - pain started later that evening and was kind of dull, in my lower back. I had an MRI which revealed no damage of any kind. Ever since then my lower back is somewhat “suspect” and I am conscious of it.

IMO, the smith dead, even if done as a rack pull, is really unnatural. This is because you can’t keep the bar as close to you as possible. If you start with the bar at your knees, by the time you finish the lift the bar is a good inch or two away from you.

Sorry if i’m not explaining it right, but that’s my biggest problem with it. It’s like a smith squat; the bar shouldn’t be traveling in precisely a straight line up and down. There is a natural curve to it, albeit just a little.[/quote]

You have to set up differently and use somewhat different form for smith rack-pulls/squats than you would for the free-weight version.

I’ve been doing smith rack pulls for many years now and have no issues.

Of course you can keep the bar close, It never stops touching my body when I lift. Think I need to make a vid or something…

Smith squats are trickier, but doable. Can’t really go atg there either.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)

Same here. I injured my lower back doing smith machine deads at a Planet Fitness. Wasn’t anything “serious” - pain started later that evening and was kind of dull, in my lower back. I had an MRI which revealed no damage of any kind. Ever since then my lower back is somewhat “suspect” and I am conscious of it.

IMO, the smith dead, even if done as a rack pull, is really unnatural. This is because you can’t keep the bar as close to you as possible. If you start with the bar at your knees, by the time you finish the lift the bar is a good inch or two away from you.

Sorry if i’m not explaining it right, but that’s my biggest problem with it. It’s like a smith squat; the bar shouldn’t be traveling in precisely a straight line up and down. There is a natural curve to it, albeit just a little.

You have to set up differently and use somewhat different form for smith rack-pulls/squats than you would for the free-weight version.

I’ve been doing smith rack pulls for many years now and have no issues.

Of course you can keep the bar close, It never stops touching my body when I lift. Think I need to make a vid or something…

Smith squats are trickier, but doable. Can’t really go atg there either.

[/quote]

It may have just been my form, as I hadn’t done any sort of deadlift before trying them in the smith.

Anyway, i’ve been doing them for a whie now in power racks, and I wouldn’t change that for anything =) One of my favorite exercises.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)

Same here. I injured my lower back doing smith machine deads at a Planet Fitness. Wasn’t anything “serious” - pain started later that evening and was kind of dull, in my lower back. I had an MRI which revealed no damage of any kind. Ever since then my lower back is somewhat “suspect” and I am conscious of it.

IMO, the smith dead, even if done as a rack pull, is really unnatural. This is because you can’t keep the bar as close to you as possible. If you start with the bar at your knees, by the time you finish the lift the bar is a good inch or two away from you.

Sorry if i’m not explaining it right, but that’s my biggest problem with it. It’s like a smith squat; the bar shouldn’t be traveling in precisely a straight line up and down. There is a natural curve to it, albeit just a little.

You have to set up differently and use somewhat different form for smith rack-pulls/squats than you would for the free-weight version.

I’ve been doing smith rack pulls for many years now and have no issues.

Of course you can keep the bar close, It never stops touching my body when I lift. Think I need to make a vid or something…

Smith squats are trickier, but doable. Can’t really go atg there either.

[/quote]

a video would be great. ive been doing them and using decent weight, 435x6, but they do feel kinda awkward. its my last resort too, i got yelled at for using the preacher curl apparatus and a 45 plate to stand on for doing racks…something about too much noise…this isnt a powerlifitng gym…if you cant put the weight down gently maybe youre using too much weight, ya know that whole speil.

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Growing_Boy wrote:
Deads on a smith? Thats like a protein shake in a shaker with no whey. Off the floor or off a rack for some heavy ass pulls, but the bar is free at all times. The movement is completely unnatural, IMO, as I too have been forced to experiment with deads on a smith (FUCK YOU!! Planet Fitness)

Same here. I injured my lower back doing smith machine deads at a Planet Fitness. Wasn’t anything “serious” - pain started later that evening and was kind of dull, in my lower back. I had an MRI which revealed no damage of any kind. Ever since then my lower back is somewhat “suspect” and I am conscious of it.

IMO, the smith dead, even if done as a rack pull, is really unnatural. This is because you can’t keep the bar as close to you as possible. If you start with the bar at your knees, by the time you finish the lift the bar is a good inch or two away from you.

Sorry if i’m not explaining it right, but that’s my biggest problem with it. It’s like a smith squat; the bar shouldn’t be traveling in precisely a straight line up and down. There is a natural curve to it, albeit just a little.

You have to set up differently and use somewhat different form for smith rack-pulls/squats than you would for the free-weight version.

I’ve been doing smith rack pulls for many years now and have no issues.

Of course you can keep the bar close, It never stops touching my body when I lift. Think I need to make a vid or something…

Smith squats are trickier, but doable. Can’t really go atg there either.

It may have just been my form, as I hadn’t done any sort of deadlift before trying them in the smith.

Anyway, i’ve been doing them for a whie now in power racks, and I wouldn’t change that for anything =) One of my favorite exercises.[/quote]

Well, I prefer the smith because it prevents the bar from traveling forward or backward when I set it down. That way, I don’t have to readjust my position before every new rep. Kinda helps once you get to the heavier poundages for 6-12 reps (where the set starts feeling like a stream of max singles with 2-5 sec rests in between :wink:

The smith variations are also great if you train with an exercise rotation (as used in DC training, for example).

Anyway, those exercises are tools that are great if used the right way…
No need to do 'em, but they are definitely not bad. Most of the time it’s the people fucking up, not the machines.

Heavy dumbells and stiff legged/rdl? Progress to single leg version when you outgrow the dumbells.