T Nation

Foot position on the smith machine?

I’ve never used the smith machine for squats but I’d just like to mess around a bit and try it out and see if it takes some stress off my hernias. By mentioning that, where would you guys recommend I place my feet in order to place the most stress on my quads and not just my glutes? Would you have your feet way out in front of you or basically just use the same technique as you would while free weight squatting?

Thanks guys.

RAGINGHULK

hernias? How many do you have, and why do you think the smith machine will make it better?

I’d be willing to bet your going to get some not so nice suggestions about the smith machine from the powerliftin forum.

Wild horses couldn’t drag me into a Smith machine.

The best foot position is about shoulder width 20 feet away from the smith machine.

I hope you have flame resistant clothing on. Could I ask how it was determined that the smith machine was a safe alternative? It is easier, yes. It has few fans here and with very few experienced lifters.

The best is with your ankles behind your ears.

I’ll give you some good advice, since the rest of the morons on this site would rather flame then help. The fact of the matter is that the smith machine is a good alternative to doing hack squats - if you really want to isolate those front lower quads, by the knees. Of course weight is kept on the lower side and form is the priority- making sure your ass almost touches your heels. - I use a step from the aerobics room when I do this exercise- the step is behind, touching my heals to ensure that my ass goes low enough to touch the step. As far as foot position: keep them close to shoulder width apart only varying them slightly from side to side. Don’t unaturally turn your toes in or out. Our bodies were designed to operate in specific ways. Taking the joints out of their natural/ normal position and then putting additional load on them will just set you up for injury.

Oh, and I should clarify by adding keep your feet in front of you, your back/body should be parallel with the support rack i.e 90 degrees at all times. This should take your back out of the exercise but you said you have hernias and I have found that this exercise causes you to tense up your abs a lot at the bottom. Try it anyway but keep the weight light. You can get just as good a workout by going really slow, feeling those muscles contract and getting a good burn.

How do you know you have a hernia? The reason I ask is that whenever I abduct my hip against weight, I get pain just above my testicles. This area sometimes gets more tender after squatting or deadlifting. Are these symptoms consistent with a hernia? Thanks.

Thanks for the heads up Prisoner. Most of these guys don’t know me but seem to think that I just hopped out of an aerobics class with my leg warmers and spandex shorts on. Oh well, ignorance is bliss I guess.
I will take your advice on going slow on the SM though. I can handle around 365lbs on the smith without any discomfort to my stomach. I’d like to drop the weight to around 275 and just go slower and give the quads a real burn and hopefully this’ll give 'em a good pump. I’ve got to really keep an eye on my form if I use your technique to make sure my guts don’t come in to play too much otherwise I’ll be on the floor waiting for someone to push my guts back in! LOL.

Now, regarding my hernias and the symptoms? Well, first one is if you notice any buldges by your groin (that is if your hernia is like mine which are called inguinal) and you’ll really notice the buldges and pain once you start putting inter-abdominal pressure on your guts. Try a few situps and if you notice some buldging accompanied with pain, I’d recommend you see your doctor asap.
Let me know how you turn out bro.

RAGINGHLUK

Before turning to the Smith Machine, I am assuming you are asking for variance in foot position for squats, correct ? I also will not drill you for a machine question but let me ask you this… can you do other exercises like deadlifts, lunges, duckwalks with dumbbells, etc. ? All these secondary exercises should help you with overall lower body development… If necessary hit the leg press sled machine if free weight squats are killing you. Next, any exercise whereby you exert intrabdominal pressure places a hernia in a more dangerous position. See a sports doctor to diagnose your condition before a lost squat attempt makes it worse. Hope this helps.

Placing your feet far out in front puts alot of stress on the knees!

Some people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon. Haha.

Thanks for the advice. I don’t see any bulging, but perhaps I ought to see a doctor anyway. Good luck.

Well I did the smith machine squats without any problems whatsoever. I squatted with my feet slightly ahead of me and kept my back quite straight yet allowing the weight to still be transferred onto my hips (I was doing a low bar squat with a slight arch in my back).
I had gone up to 315 and it felt great but my reps were very slow and deep. I did a total of 8 sets which included my warm ups so it had gone pretty well.
TO finish off my leg w/o I did four sets of walking lunges with 30lbs for 80’, 40lbs - 80’, 50lbs - 80’ and 55lbs - 80’. The last set was pretty tough but I managed okay. BTW, it was 55lbs in each hand just to clarify.

Thanks for the advice and to those who criticized me…well, thanks for the incentive.
RAGINGHULK

Wow you changed your mind quickly. Got any eta on the good advice?

Hmm. I guess calling everyone on this site [quote]morons[/quote] isn’t a flame. Or is hypocrisy in fashion nowadays?

Nice rhetoric, but this would have been better:

Every person with an intellect at least on a par with that of a rather dull mollusc knows that the fact of the matter is that the smith machine is quite clearly so wonderful that it has in fact been proven to be greater than sliced bread and sex combined.

But seriously, as most of the “morons” here know, the smith machine is really a good alternative to having healthy knees.

The Smith Machine can be a valuable training aide, especially if training alone, IF used correctly.

“If you wrap a chain around that machine and pull it around the parking lot, you’ll get a good leg workout.”

I orget who said it and I might not have the quote right. I think it was about the leg extension machine but it applies to the smith as well.

Billy

11/30/03
04:22 AM

I’ll give you some good advice …the smith machine is a good alternative

Wow you changed your mind quickly. Got any eta on the good advice?

since the rest of the morons on this site would rather flame then help.

Hmm. I guess calling everyone on this site morons isn’t a flame. Or is hypocrisy in fashion nowadays?

The fact of the matter is that the smith machine is a good alternative to doing hack squats

Nice rhetoric, but this would have been better:

Every person with an intellect at least on a par with that of a rather dull mollusc knows that the fact of the matter is that the smith machine is quite clearly so wonderful that it has in fact been proven to be greater than sliced bread and sex combined.

But seriously, as most of the “morons” here know, the smith machine is really a good alternative to having healthy knees.

You are a funny guy? MookJong?. I love it when you try to pretend that you?re actually smart and articulate! Keep these hilarious posts coming??? oh and I think the reason you have sensitive knees is not from the smith machine but probably since your on them all the time!