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Foot Placement on Smith Machine Front Squats


I tried doing free front squats last night and it hurt like hell because of my bad shoulder so I moved over to the Smith Machine and did them there.

Question is - how far in front of the bar should my feet be? Last night I placed them kind of close together and in front so that my spine was running parallel with the rails of the machine. So basically, my back was at 90° from the floor. Is that right?


The best foot placement for Smith front squats? About six steps to the left of the machine. :wink:

I can kinda understand your reasoning for considering the exercise, but especially for squats, the Smith machine is more trouble than it's worth.

Try goblet squats to get the benefits of front squats while being easier on your shoulders. Why do you have a "bad shoulder," anyway? Recent injury, something temporary, something chronic?


Awesome. Thanks for the input. Those goblet squats look pretty cool but I don't think that holding a dumbell is going to cut it for me. I'm used to training with a reasonable amount of weight and I have found over the years that it's what my legs respond to the best.

I'm no powerlifter but to give you an idea, I did those Smith Machine front squats with five 45's and one 25 on each side for 15 reps. Is there anything I could do on the leg press, maybe? I'm currently splitting quads and hams, that's why I'm looking for heavy quad exercises.

My shoulder problem is only a few months old and the doc said it was weightlifter's shoulder - basically no cartilage around the joint so it's bone against bone.


why would doing front squats in smyth be any trouble?


Goblet squats...yes for grandmothers...


Because the Manual For Skinny Personal Trainers (tm) says so.

Seriously, as long as you get your stance and form right/adapt to the way the machine works... Shouldn't have any problems. Esp. since you're rotating exercises anyway (you do train DC, don't you?), which should take care of overuse issues.

Edit: That's one cool vid of Jason.


Yeah lol my question was more of a "no its not any trouble wtf are you talking about" kind of question haha

And yeah, Jason's video is nice, I like how he always seem to have perfect form


i just do whats comfortable, my form is a lot deeper and i beleive my feet closer to my body compared to what jason does in the video


in any case, weight is weight, resistance is resistance, whether it be in the smith machine or if you had elastic bands resisting motion or it was frozen chickens. goblet squats bad? get a bigger goblet.



Also clever.

Here's the thing: I've found that when most people squat in a Smith machine (front or back), they tend to allow their backs to round more than they would with a barbell, usually because they don't have to worry as much about falling forward.

In the original post, Noetic was just looking for an alternative to the front squat. Goblet squats are, on the whole, decent alternatives to the front squat.

After having found out that the guy squats 500 for 15 reps at 200 pounds (yeesh), then of course I'd agree that goblet squats might not be the best bet.

Also, in the original post, there was no specific mention of training for quad size. Since that's the case, I'd consider reverse lunges.

Noetic, if you want another opinion, you could try asking Cressey, Gentilcore, or Mike Robertson in their Locker Rooms because they're very familiar in dealing with shoulder injuries.


Just to clarify, my remark wasn't really directed at you. I just hear that kind of stuff all the time from people who are just repeating dogma and are neither stronger nor bigger than average (or who haven't really tried it properly, i.e. not adjusted stance and form/setup and then blame the machine).