T Nation

Machines Q

I went to my local gym yesterday and, though i feel like a big wuss, i used a smith machine for squats. The biggest difference i noticed was that it put more of the strain on my quads, is this a normal occurence or could it be something wrong with my squat form? Any help would be appreciated

It will hit the quads harder because your legs are probably further forward. Some people swear by Smith machines and others swear at them. Your call.

most people don’t like the smith machine for squats. The main reason is that it overloads your knees and you don’t train any of the stabilizers and hit the non-primary muscles as hard. Definitely try to move to the barbell squat if you can. As far as your quads go, if your legs are forward so that you can get a decent parallel bottom, your quads will be hit harder. If you want to hit your quads you should try front squats instead.

damn that smith machine. as previously said, it kills your knees. u should put your feet infront of u, this way, not as much strain on the knees and the form is a little better. also, do barbell, unless you dont have it and smith is the only answer. with me, when i do the smith at one of the crap gyms in my college, i work my hams and glutes more.

hope that helped.

thanks for the replies guys! I use the barbell squat at my high school gym, but i went to the community gym this saturday that is pretty crappy. I just thought something might have been wrong with my regular squat form. thanks again

The smith was good for me when I was initially experimenting with squats and was having a hard time going all the way down aligned with a more narrow stance. Now I only do power squats and this isn’t a problem due to the wide stance and the fact that my feet are somewhat splayed outward. The free power squats are a lot more comfortable once I got the form down.