the main difference, and it is a big deal, is that the element of “balance” or “stabilization” is NOT present with ‘machine squats’.
Basically, the machine squat will be easier, and be less effective for you because it has already determined the ‘plane of motion’ for you.
Basically, think about it this way:
When the machine was made, it was molded after a certain person, and you are NOT that person. Neither am I.
If anything, you should use the machine at the end of your leg workout. Consider grabbing a dumbbell in each hand and do lunges or Bulgarian Split Squats.
The BSS are harder(and better) than any machine squat you will ever do. [/quote]
I do not like this post and don’t think posts like this are beneficial to the site on the whole.
Lot of bro science here if that. Not trying to be a dick, just invite you to consider alternative perspectives.
What does “effective” mean? Effective for what?
Yes, smith squats are in a fixed plane of motion, and it is EXACTLY for that reason they can be brutally effective IF you’re goal is to really target your legs. Taking a BB squat to failure will not hit your legs the same as smiths to failure, because it’s always gonna be upper back, lower back, etc. giving out long before your quads with a BB. Fixed plane of motion, fix the tension on your legs. Vary foot position–width, how far in front of bar, etc.–and you can really target different things. So I have no idea where you’re going with the whole “it was designed for a person that’s not you thing.” It slides on a vertical track. Be as tall or short as you please. Use whatever stance you please.
EFFECTIVE has contextual definition. [/quote]
Yes, everything you say is correct and not really a revelation.
In my thinking, the squatting represents a compound exercise. Fact of the matter is that squatting in a smith-machine doesn’t really transfer over to IRL. If you gotta pick your wounded sister off the street and carry her to the nearest hospital, you’re going to regret doing smith-machine squats… bro.
In case I didn’t make it clear in my OP, machine-squats as EOD are absolutely welcomed.
edit: reading back over it, maybe ‘effective’ wasn’t the best choice of words…
But how well do BB squats carry over to real life? More than machine squats for sure, but by the same logic if I needed to pick up and carry an injured person I might regret focusing on squats so much at the cost of neglecting strongman event type training, such as loading or stones.
This whole discussion seems rather silly to me since no one even asked the OP what he’s training for. Are machine squats appropriate for bodybuilding-related goals? Absolutely. For goals involving strength sports or other competitive sports? It might be less ideal. For strength sport related goals, I would go with alexus’s suggestion of power clean -> front squat.