T Nation

The Smith Machine?

You see these mentioned quite a lot on T-Nation without anyone explaining what they are.

Am I understanding this right…

A squat rack enables you to weight the bar in a high position before picking the weight up, but the squat movements are essentially free weight and controlled by yourself (Weight the bar - Step Back - Take the weight - step forward - squat - once done step back and put the bar back in the rack to unload)

A Smith Machine is similar but the bar is attached to the rack at all times so like any other machine the range of movement is controlled by the machine?

This might help:

[quote]mt006 wrote:
A Smith Machine is similar but the bar is attached to the rack at all times so like any other machine the range of movement is controlled by the machine?[/quote]

Basically, yep. Above is a Smith machine. It brings along all the negatives of machine-based training (pre-determined range of motion, generally unnatural bar path that can aggravate joint issues, etc.) with none of the positive benefits of free weight training.

[quote]mt006 wrote:
A squat rack enables you to weight the bar in a high position before picking the weight up, but the squat movements are essentially free weight and controlled by yourself (Weight the bar - Step Back - Take the weight - step forward - squat - once done step back and put the bar back in the rack to unload)
[/quote]

Yep again. Seems like you pretty much get it. Power rack, a.k.a. squat rack, pictured above (the bar is still fully on the rack, he’ll stand up straight, take a step backwards, and then begin).

The rack is only used to support the bar before you begin your exercise, and for safety, that’s it. The technique and performance of any exercise is up to you.