T Nation

Found a use for the smith machine

Last night in between sets of rows, I found myself staring at the smith machine. Perhaps it was the fact that for the first time that I can remember, there was nobody using it that drew my attention to it (I usually get a sick feeling when I see it being used). I thought “there must be something this can be used for” and then noticed the thick and beefy cross bar on it and started doing chins on it. Very good results, actually and a fantastic deep burn in my back, much better than when using the regular puny chin bar. The fact that by the end of my sets, people were staring at me as they waited to use the machine made me feel that much better.

That really is the only thing they’re good for. Unless you’re an orthopedic surgeon, in that case Smith Machines are good for your bottom line.

I like to use that bar to hang from in my gravity boots. Really pisses 'em off!

You guyd obviously haven’t read the latest BP article by C Thibaudeau. Take a look at “ballistic bench presses”. Pretty difficult without the Smith machine. Was enough excitement for me to change gyms for a couple of workouts to find a Smith. (Didn’t last longthough- too expensive, too many aerobic classes!)SRS

The real intention of my email was to point out that you could get some really good thick grip chins done on the smith. I’m always looking to challenge myself, of course and the possibility that I was able to keep maybe one person away from it long enough to prevent further damage to their bodies made it all worth it. I’ve been kept away from the squat rack countless times by people doing curls, stretching, fixing their hair (no kidding) and whatnot, so it was time.

I’ve chinned in a Smith machine before. Works pretty well, except with some of them you have to keep your legs bent to keep them from hitting the floor. Chinning inside a power rack is pretty cool too, just grab onto the cross-piece at the top and chin away (Charles Staley mentioned doing this in his most recent interview on here).

Truth be told, unlike most on this forum it seems, I have found the Smith Machine to be useful at times. Especially when nursing a sore back, but still wanting to get some sort of squatting in. (And no, I really don’t own a pair of gravity boots…)

I have found it very good for hanging towels off of it. Ok, it’s good to hang on to while doing reverse swiss ball crunches too. Just don’t forget to put some weight on it to hold you down. Peace.

I know the purpose of your topic was not to trash Smith machines but that seems to be in style these days. However, I have found the Smith machine to be very beneficial in my routines just as certain other machines can be used advantageously at times. This is especially true if one is on an EDT routine whereby fatigue can make it dangerous to do certain exercises with free weights. At one point I remember that it was stylish to bash free weights. Everything that goes around comes around I guess.

Hey Guys,

I know that this is a body building forum and I am a strength athlete, but I do my chins with a towel thrown around the bar. By forcing you to grip so tightly it will give you one heck of a ‘pump’ that ya’ll want.
Just another way to throw your body a curve ball.

Trevor