Which Functional Trainer is Better?

Hi Low Cable Smith Machine

The Hi Low Smith Machine provides more versatility and it easier to work with. I am not sure what brand you posted. In the link below is the…

Inspire Fitness SCS Exercise Demonstration

The Hi Low Cables on this machine can be quick and easily adjusted.

The Smith Machine can be taken up to around 320 lbs.

The Smith Machine

The Smith Machine is often trashed by the Free Weight Community. However, it allows you to perform some exercises on that that you can’t with Free Weights.

The benefit of Inspire Hi Low Cable with the Smith on it and other brands, is has a Selectorized Weight Stack; it allows you to quickly adjust the weight on it.

Secondly, it allows you to adjust the Range of the Movement.

A Modified “Smith Machine Option”

For those who have a Power Rack, below are some demonstrations of what might be termed the “Scrape The Rack Smith Machine” exercises.

1) John Meadows Scrape The Rack Press

2) Quad Scrape The Rack

3) Scrape The Rack Bench Press

4) Dave Tate Scrape The Rack Seated Press

5) Dave Tate Swiss Bar with Chains Scrape The Bar Standing Press

6) Scrape The Rack For Growth

As Thibaudeau states, “Scrape The Rack Exercises” works the muscle involved in completely different way: “With scrape the rack presses, you’re actively pressing forward against the posts of the rack, not just upward.”

The above videos demonstrate some of the “Scrape The Rack Movements” that can be performed. The only limitation is your imagination. Deadlifts, Good Morning, Curls, etc can be performed, as well.

Free Motion Fitness

This appears to be the Free Motion Trainer. It is primarily used in Physical Therapy for various reasons. It an effective piece of equipment for that environment.

However, the down side is adjusting the each of the arm on it requires a bit more time; not that much time. However, after a while it a pain in the butt.


  1. Hi Low Cable Machine: This machine allows you to perform exercise that you can’t with Free Weights. For those who can afford it and have the space for it, it is an incredible machine.

  2. The Smith Machine Add On: This is a really nice add on piece; for someone who has the money.

The Smith Machine definitely has some benefits.

With that said, the “Scrape The Rack Smith Type Movement” allow you to do basically the same with a Power Rack.

  1. Dual Arm “Free Motion” Cable Machines

They are primarily used by Physical Therapist.

The main issue is that they require little more effort and a time to adjust compared to a Hi Low Cable Pulley System.

Personal Perspective

I work in Commercial Fitness Equipment Fitness Equipment Sales. We sell multiple brand of Fitness Equipment. That allows me to “Test Drive” various pieces of equipment.

I am a Powerlifter. I purchased a Hi Low Cable Pulley (Hoist MI6) 5 year ago. The Hi Low Cable Pulley System is one of the best investments that I have made.

Two years ago, we began selling the Inspire Hi Low Cable Smith Machine. I might have purchased it, if we’d have had it back then.

This bring us to your, "Do I really need it (The Smith).

Based on my “Scrape The Rack Power Training”, you can obtain the same Smith Training Effect with this method and a little more.

With that said, a lot of my “Strength Training Tools” are something that I did not needed but wanted to buy.

Kenny Croxdale