T Nation

Smith Squats and Horizontal Leg Press


My gym decided that the power rack and 'standard' leg press machine were taking too much space on the floor and removed those equipments from it, so I'm left with: Hack squat machine, leg curl/extension and some glute/calf machines, apart from a horizontal leg press (along the lines of this one http://www.trackmasterfitness.com/F005-HORIZONTAL-LEG-PRESS-W.jpg ) and a smith. My questions are:

  1. I never really used this kind of leg press. Is it somehow equivalent to the 45/60 degree ones or at least an ok substitute?

  2. Are smith squats ok? I do understand the core/stabilizer muscles don't get hit as they do on free weight squats, but apart from that would them cause some sort of 'dangerous' strain? I did try a few reps and didn't fell any discomfort.

Any advice is appreciated :slightly_smiling:


There was a period where I had to do Smith Front Squats. With regular squats only hitting my hammies/glutes I was looking for some kind of answer to my quad question.

If you are, in fact, going to be doing some Smith Squats, I'd make sure that you're putting your body in a position to do the least amount of harm. The basic problem I see with squatting in the smith is that it kind of puts the body in an "unnatural" position. I base this theory on absolutely nothing, but go do 'em for a while and tell me you don't feel the same.

I would ditch worrying about horizontal leg press, you should be able to max that out first try.


i've done smith front squats as a variation and like them but i definitely wouldn't do All or most of my squatting in it. as said before, it locks you into a very unatural ROM and over time could lead to problems. if you have to, clean the bar and squat or use dumbells.

i find it sad that your gym would get rid of one of the most important pieces of equipment there is- the power rack. you can do so much in that thing.


Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll use smith squats sparingly, then.

Nice suggestions, I'll also include some more lunging. Being a newbie there's plenty of room to improve on those lifts :slightly_smiling:

I too find it sad, specially because the rack takes less space then the smith and they put another curl machine in it's place...Too bad I'm "stuck" with this gym due to a number of reasons.