according to charles poliquin and John Berardi the smith machine puts excessive stress on the knees and takes the hamstrings out of the equation… do your own research though
Some extra strain on the ACL, yes.
take the hamstrings out of the equation, no…move your feet forward so your torso is more upright. Getting off the toilet will suck for the next couple of days.[/quote]
i agree, move your feet out in front of you… far enough to where if the bar wasn’t there, you would fall back. this keeps your torso upright and focuses the work on the quads and glutes. With your feet awkwardly out in front of you, know that when you join a real gym with better equipment you will need to go lighter to perfect your free weight form. Also, the smith machine takes off around 30 lbs so you will need to take that into account when you squat in a rack.
Walking barbell lunges, dumbbell lunges, split squats, step ups, front squats, zercher squats are all options… don’t do leg day with the leg ext/leg curl machines at risk of being shot when you move to the new gym.
For hamstrings you could do good mornings, romanian deadlifts, or partner leg curl (no homo)