T Nation

Smith Machine Squats

Hi folks,
I’m new to this and I need your advice on a dilema I’m facing. I’m at college and the only gym that I can realistically train at is by no means fully equipped. It has a large selection of dumbells, positionable benches and Smith machines. It has however, no free barbells.

Recently, after reading T-mag for a while I started doing squats to the ground, as in the full range of motion of my legs, so that I was hunkered almost to the ground. I was doing these with the Smith Machine, started off with no weights until I got familiar with the movement and then worked up gradually.

However after reading the thread on Box squats and the Charles Polliquin quote I’m nervously reviewing what I do. I have caught myself pushing back into the smith machine bar when tiring and don’t won’t to nuke my kneecaps. As I mentioned I’m new to this and have worked up to 50Kg sets on the low hunkering method. Is this weight still light enough not to cause serious damage?

I had previously thought that by going through my full range of leg motion with much lighter weights would be protecting my knees rather than doing to parallel or above and stopping halfway through the motion. It also feels more comfortable on my knees this way as well. My legs are generally quite strong from a background in competitive swimming, so I’m not worried about size. However I still want to reap the overall bulking and strength benefits of squats in my training regime. I also do sets of deadlifts with 35kg dumbells (the heaviest there) but find squating with dumbells uncomfortable.

All advice would be greatly appreciated

& months ago i posted something similar ( if you want to check it out do a search of smith machine squats). The thing is your situacion is way worst, i was doing smith machine squats because i have no squat rack in my gym, but we do have plenty of barbels, so the advice i got was to deadlift, and to do lunges, stiff leg deadlifts, etc…One thing i can tell you, when i was using the smith machine i had these pains in my lower back which didnt even allowed me to swim and once i stoped using it and started DL they went away. Now i only use the smith to do calf raises and nothing else.

Get away from that death trap. Go to a new gym. Or buy your own bar and bring it to the gym.

I meant 6 months ago.

go to the search engine on this webpage and enter in john davies…a bunch of great article will come up …read them you should fine some great new exercises and routines…good luck