T Nation

Smith Machine press


I know I read many views on this subject, but would like some of your oppinions on this. Are smith machine incline presses better or as effective as incline presses?


There's been a lot of discussion about Smith machines in the past, so make sure to check the search engine.

And what do you mean by "effective"? In building muscle? Strength?


The smith machine has a few good uses but not for regular pressing movements. It's good for ballistic presses with light weights throwing the weight up in the air and catching it......kind've a fun toy in that respect. Also good for calf raises.


In building mass. I know the stregth on the smith is higher, I guess due to the lack of use in the stabilizers


fuck the smith. waste of space in any gym.


hehe, I was gonna say that....


THE ONLY reason I brought this up, is I rember a few years ago reading a program by Larry Scott he was saying do smith machine incline bench presses to the neck for upper chest development.


No one should do any bench or incline presses to the neck. Smith machine or not. Larry Scott or not.


Smith Machines do serve a purpose.....they keep all of the Fitness Bunnies away from MY power rack when I am doing real squats and deads.

It also gives me a place to do shrugs when the Big Boys are borrowing MY power rack.


Iron Maiden - that made me think of a way to kill two birds with one stone. How about we get a "fitness guru" to promote curls in the Smith machine and sell the idea to Men's Health? I know they would look awkward, but if we gave a plausible reason (to them) to perform curls in the Smith machine, then we'd be set.


I thought I've read Poliquin talk about benching to the neck in some of his programs. Granted you couldn't use as much weight, doesn't anyone feel it has some merit?


Let's not demonize the Smith machine.

Like anything else, it's a tool, and it can be perfectly effective at building mass just as easily as the standard lifts. Better, even, if your goals are strictly aesthetic.



Iron Maiden: Good comment :slight_smile:

It is sad but I can't even begin to count the number of misguided people that STILL continue to use the smith machine. If they only knew.........


I use the smith allot especially when I have heavy lifts and no spotter.
Safety first but I like the feel of the smith machine.


ok so I started this let me tell you a story. I was doing legs one day and my partner or ex partner didn't show up, anyways I still trained. Ok so no spot(mind you it was a crappy little gym) so I was doing squats in the smith with about 405. ok so on my third rep I was on the way up and the damn thing moved on pinched my nerve in my back. so I leave and my right leg falls asleep while I am driving home. Next day go to the doctor, little bitty woman and she starts to punch me inthe back, and asks Does this hurt? I told her hell yeah stop punching me in the kiddney. Ok anyway that was the last time I ever did squats in a smith. Arn't thoose things supposed to be anchord?


I've used the smith machine for bulgarian squats (one legged) before, but that is about it


I use the smith machine, for pull-ups. That's it. Working out isn't supposed to be easy or comfortable.


I say all smith machine should be banned from the gym the only thing its good for is if you are doing ballistic benching or reverse crunch on a Swiss Ball nothingelse.


Fitone, I thought you said you were a trainer. That's a bit parochial don't you think?



I used the Smith Machine for calve raises tonight because the other places I normally do them were occupied......there are some uses for it.

I did see someone attempt to do curls on it once though. Guess they thought it worked just like the power rack. I had to really hold back the laughter as I watched him rock back and forth to do the curls.