Smith Machine Brutality Questions

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the article on the Smith machine. My gym only has a Smith Machine and no squat rack and I’ve often been the “STABILIZER!!!” guy with the owner, asking him to consider replace it with a squat rack. In any case, you make a compelling case for the Smith machine and the exercises you bring forth in your article sure look hard.

My questions:

  1. On the Good Morning exercise video you posted, your toes seem to rise off of the floor (from what I can see). Should the pointer be to pull the hips back on the eccentric and pause (before the concentric) when the toes start to rise? Maybe I am overthinking it.

  2. I guess this is to be done once a week? I was thinking of doing a ‘strength’ day for legs (mainly heavy squats) and another hypertrophy day for legs using your Smith machine protocol. But maybe I’ll reconsider after your workout given the potential soreness until the next strength day.


  1. You’re over thinking it. I try to get on my heels on GM’s because I want to overload the posterior chain.

  2. Once a week yes. This workout probably won’t allow you a heavy session during the week on top of that.

Thanks for the answers, Paul.

I did the workout this morning with a few modifications: I couldn’t perform the RDLs and Hip Thrusts in the Smith Machine at my gym, because the catches can only rest at the bottom of the machine, hence I couldn’t bring the bar much lower than below knee level. In any case, for the Hip Thrusts, I don’t see how the movement is different outside of the Smith Machine; but your tip about keeping the toes off the floor to turn the feet outwards for hip rotation was great! I never felt as much glute contraction on the hip thrust exercise than I did this morning, thanks to this cue.

All in all, my quads are fried and just climbing the stairs to the office made them shake. Dang! Those first three exercises were indeed quite brutal.

Again, thanks for helping us think outside the box.

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