Sep 17, 2007 #1. The reality is that you’re not going to need to drive with your legs because you’re not going to feel a press on a Smith machine the way you do a conventional barbell press. The smith machine is a nifty tool designed to help individuals achieve their fitness related goals. mean taking a closer look at the Smith machine. Should I be around the same max weight? For those times you don’t have someone available to spot you then they can be invaluable. I do really like the serratus-anterior growth I get from incline dumbbell, would that also translate to the smith machine? The problem of using free bench press, I cant go heavy and when I do, my chance of getting injured on my triceps area is higher. It's actually 30 lbs lighter which I took into consideration when loading weight. Sep 17, 2007 #1. Just slowly work up to a weight you feel comfortable doing. Using a Smith machine doesn’t cause any more muscle activation in the anterior delts or pec major. dozens of exercises you can do on chest day, but there’s no need to flounder in chess press on the smith machine or the traditional barbell bench press? [/quote] Use some sort of barbell/machine for the heavy pressing (e.g. Using the Smith machine incorporates an unnatural movement of the bar. Perfect for multiple muscle group development since it engages so many stabiliser muscles. responsible for three big movements, all of which help you lift your arm up Smith Machine Bench Press. By building more explosive power in a muscle you are able to generate more strength, which allows you to lift heavier weight and that helps to place more overload on the target muscles for better overall muscle growth. Smith Machine vs Squat Rack vs Power Rack: Which is the Best One? The barbell works the main muscle, plus all the accessory and stabilizer muscles. When you’re planning your programming, think about which exercises will give you the most return for your time investment and create routines from there. But what happens when you bench on the Smith machine? ... Back. I’m a barbell guy through and through, but you can get a darn good glute workout using just the smith machine. The OP asked about strong lifts in regards to a Smith Machine vs barbells/dumbbells. What is known is this – if you want to get strong on any of your lifts, you have to train your chest appropriately. A Smith machine is a weight machine in which a barbell is fixed within steel rails, allowing for only vertical movement. Definitely don't start with 285. Programming the Smith Machine Floor Press Smith Machine Movement Patterns. The Smith machine gives you some leeway and allows you to really focus on nailing your quads. There are literally While the range of motion is not as big as on a bench press it does stimulate mid-range and lockout strength very effectively. If you can't lift more, something is terribly wrong. When you are alone, it is much better to either bench press with light-moderate dumbbells, light-moderate barbell or as much as you can on a Smith machine. With proper form, it can also activate glutes as well. You do squats or front squats to focus on driving load and chasing performance. overhead. You made a statement about all weight lifting being equal, which they are not, and I asked you to clarify your comment for the benefit of the OP. The Smith machine is that thing in your gym that looks like a squat rack, but with a barbell that slides in a fixed track. You'll drop that shit on your neck so fast. Humans don't bench press in a straight line, so you will definitely bench more using a Smith machine since it does a lot of the work for you. In a study published in the Journal of Sports Science, researchers assessed the differences between the barbell, DBs and Mr. Smith. The Smith machine seated overhead press is a compound exercise for the anterior (Front) deltoids, and it’s very effective for building muscles size and strength. Nineteen trained men performed 3 testing protocols in random order, which included: (Group 1) smith machine bench press + tricep extensions; (Group 2) barbell bench press + tricep extensions; and (Group 3) dumbbell bench press + tricep extensions. Using a Smith machine takes that direction out of the movement, so it’s easier to do. Greater freedom: With the squat rack, you aren’t forced to stay in the same path, like you are on a smith machine. This results in more stress on your sternal heads. With the barbell, there is only one position—feet directly under the bar. Specific training on your lower traps, rhombus, and scapulae Perhaps the best of the bunch, doing declines on this Hammer gives you the opportunity to really hit your lower chest hard without the blood rushing to your head and doing the limbo on a regular decline bench. Basically I started at planet fitness and you know all they have is Smith machines. For the purposes of a bench press max - smith machine always =0 pounds It doesn’t matter how much you can bench on a smith machine because it’s not a bench press. up your chest. The Smith machine has been criticized for locking the user into a certain position that could potentially raise the risk of injury. commonly thought of when training chest, Has two If I could I would stick to barbell/dumbbell but no barbell and 60s are the highest dumbbell at the gym. That would be closer to a real bench press. That being said, I bias towards free weights, and I use a combination of barbells and dumbbells for my bench pressing to get the benefits of range of motion and overload that each of the modalities offer. Injuries associated with flat Bench are primarily the cause of incorrect form. The bench press is a very popular exercise that is typically performed lying supine on a bench using a Smith machine, barbell or dumbbells. Bench pressing either on a bench-press workout machine or using a weighted barbell effectively builds strength and tones your upper body. The weight of most Smith machines is counterbalanced by additional weights that are at the base of the machine. Further, touching the bar on your chest will look the same for every lifter when you’re using a Smith machine, since there’s no forward or backward movement. Similarly, you can’t position yourself properly, since the bar has fixed placement. Because most benches restrict scapulae activation, the portion of the shoulder joint ball is forced to move to the end of its sockets. Do not flare out your elbows. Prosecution The Smith machine allows for a controlled path of motion, as well as safety latches if you get stuck. Overtraining your chest can lead to a variety of Since I always work out by myself and don't want to bother anyone else, I don't use a bench press, I use the bar that slides with the safety catches that is referred to as a Smith Machine on some web pages. The Barbell Bench Press is a great variation exercise to the Smith Machine Press because as a free weight barbell exercise utilizes more muscle stabilizers required to balance and control the weight during exercise execution. No matter which method you choose for training your chest, it’s critical that you keep your form correct. This video describes how do use the smith machine at planet fitness for the bench press. (4, 5) Just like with the other compound lifts, improper form and technique only lead you down the road to injury. It’s a smith machine chest press. That’s because of the counterbalance weights that are inside the Smith machine. The smith machine is angled to give you a natural body position and you can re-rack the smith bar into any position. The flat barbell bench press is going to give you the chance to activate more muscles and force you to work harder. injuries – namely shoulder issues and strained pecs. You do squats or front squats to focus on driving load and chasing performance. will help your shoulders feel better. Smith Machine vs. Barbell Bench Press I usually do flat bench at the beginning of my chest workout on monday, but today my spotter had to go in to work early so I decided to use the Smith Machine. Before I started planet fitness 2 months ago I benched 245 on a barbell bench if that gives a starting reference point. Smith machine squats allow you to target muscles more specifically, so if you want to target more hamstrings and glutes, you’re able to adjust your foot placings and use the smith to help with the movement; the barbell squat will not allow this, as you’ll simply lose balance. I would expect higher weight on the smith vs bench. Barbell enthusiasts say that a Smith doesn’t engage as many muscles as free weights, so you’re ultimately wasting your time. The bench press engages multiple muscle groups and is a core lift – making its mastery just about mandatory if you’re trying to get strong and build mass. Advocates of the Smith machine say that it’s easy to learn on, and you’ll be able to perfect your technique. That means that the shoulders have to assist more on the barbell bench press. Defense The free-weight barbell shoulder press is a tried-and-true mass builder with decades of anecdotal reports supporting its effectiveness. For example, when you bench press, the bar comes off your lower chest and ends up over your shoulders when you reach full extension. Many beginners often wonder the differences between a smith machine vs squat rack. EVIDENCE Free-weight presses require the most help from shoulder stabilizer muscle groups. Both pieces of gym equipment target the legs and they look very similar. the pec major, pec minor, or a combination. Along the rail is a series of slots or pegs. What was significantly different was the activation of the medial deltoid (side delt). And, the functional trainer provides you with 75 additional exercises to improve your full-body workouts. However, there are some newer models that allow for a small amount of horizontal movement. Along the rail is a series of slots or pegs. Enter the Smith machine. The debate about which is better – free weights or machines – is one that’s raged in gyms for generations. Dumbbells chest press and barbell bench press are two different types of workouts but most always you will be able to lift more on barbell bench press. But the machine chest press is just as good. Most free-weight exercises have a natural bar path. 1️⃣ Different bar paths: The correct way of performing a bench press is by starting with the barbell at shoulder height, allowing it to move in a curved-ish motion on the concentric phase to … The biggest takeaway is this – when you’re training chest, you should choose exercises that help maximise your development and work on strengthening stabiliser muscles as well. As you can see, smith machines, squat racks, and power racks are available in various price tags. Some models have a curved path or it allows movement forward and back. That’s because when you perform a barbell press, you’re not only performing the movement, but you’re also engaging tons of smaller muscle groups to ensure the barbell doesn’t move in the wrong direction. is often a question among hardcore gym rats, and the barbell bench press is a primary exercise for building a strong chest. Because the smith machine is not like the free bench press, for many reasons. Today, for laughs and giggles, I got on a bench press and the bar wobbled all over the place! If you’ve ever happened to be in a gym on Monday, all the benches were likely taken – and most of the Smith machines, too. It’s especially beneficial for targeting the small stabiliser muscle groups that help you perfect your form and push heavier weights. This applies not only to the Smith Machine Squat, but also to Smith Machine Bench Press, Smith Machine Overhead Press, Smith Machine Split Squat, etc. Which of our three lifts works best for strength? The powerhouse of Smith Machines, the Inspire Fitness Ft2 is a fully integrated smith machine for serious gym goers and heavy lifters. Now, using a Smith machine has its benefits since you don’t have to stabilize the weight to lift it unlike with a free weight barbell… By isolating and activating key stabiliser muscles like the scapulae, you keep yourself out of harm’s way. 2. This is important to One of the most common questions is whether or not a Smith machine is just as effective as a barbell bench press. The smith machines are designed to follow a specific track, and that specific track is used by people for deadlifting, squatting, seated pressed, bench press, etc. Smith Machine Reverse Band Hack Squats . Compound pressing – pressing from many different angles – helps to balance your pec development. machines). It’s a piece of equipment that is designed to offer controlled barbell movements. The floor press does not allow you to cheat or chop depth. A Smith machine is designed for controlled barbell strength training. And dumbbells for the “lighter” pressing (e.g. How to Achieve Those Coveted Six-Pack Abs, The Best Water Rower – Guide and UK Reviews, Best Treadmill / Running Machine for Home Use. Again guys I think each of these modalities of bench press, the smith machine, barbell and dumbbell bench press, could serve a purpose in your lifting routine. This is because you don’t have two stabilize two different weights your body is working together to stabilize one weight which equals more balance and more behind the push. Some newer models allow forward and backward movement as well. A 2010 study showed that traditional barbell benching is going to give you more muscle activation per movement. I've seen many lifters deadlift and shrug in the Smith machine, but … Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: 4: 15,12,9,6: Use a slight angle of 20-25 degrees. alternate between a range of chest exercises. Position a flat bench below the barbell of a Smith Machine. Slowly lower the barbell … What Weight Kettlebell Should I Get? Over time, this can cause a decrease in internal rotation flexibility as your external rotators continue to become tighter over time. The Smith machine gives you some leeway and allows you to really focus on nailing your quads. On this machine, I have steadily improved my "bench press" over the last year to my current peak of 225 8 times. Nineteen trained men performed 3 testing protocols in random order, which included: (Group 1) smith machine bench press + tricep extensions; (Group 2) barbell bench press + tricep extensions; and (Group 3) dumbbell bench press + tricep extensions. If the line is long for the bench, you might consider using a Smith machine to get your sets in move on with your workout. Correcting bad body mechanics will help remove or eliminate your risk of injury. You can perform advanced techniques like supersets, drop sets and forced sets, but you need to continually add more weight to the bar to become stronger. BACK. A smith machine only works a single plane or muscle. Subjects were able to lift 17 percent more weight at their one rep max using a barbell compared to a dumbbell. There are some advantages of using a Smith machine – mainly weight stabilisation and safety. A great bonus. 2 45s a 25 and 2 10s makes 285 with a 15 lbs bar. They’re also instrumental in getting you back to lifting if you’re recovering from injury. This package includes several attachments, including: an adjustable bench, lat bar (with 210 lb weight stack), pec deck station, leg developer, and preacher curl station. Smith machines are so popular because they combine the feeling of free weights with the safety of traditional resistance machines. Smith Machine. Dumbbells chest press and barbell bench press are two different types of workouts but most always you will be able to lift more on barbell bench press. Set up a flat or low-inclined bench under the Smith machine, and adjust your position so it contacts the lower (and most comfortable) part of your chest at the bottom. Difference Between Bench Press Weights & Smith Machine Weights. A great bonus. Barbell bench press, free vs smith machine, vs dumbbell. It’s always best to start with the basics and master form and technique first. DECLINE BENCH PRESS. Benching helps increase upper body strength, improves your overall muscle endurance, and helps build strength for other pressing exercises. They’re great for adding volume and reaching hypertrophy if you’re already fatigued from a heavy lifting day. I sometimes if my chest is lacking close to competition time, I'll use the Smith machine. I love using the Smith machine for barbell rows, and consider them better than free weight barbell rows. For your programming, that might Most benches restrict the contraction of the scapulae and force an exaggerated movement of the primary shoulder joint. 4-8 reps). of two muscle groups – the pectoralis major and the pectoralis can be used to help you reach your goals. of a Smith machine, you might be able to overcome plateaus and push bigger pec minor muscles. Would switching to a smith machine cause ‘muscle imbalance’ or whatever? Your chest is made up For the purposes of a bench press max - smith machine always =0 pounds It doesn’t matter how much you can bench on a smith machine because it’s not a bench press. I do several other lifts that work stabilizing muscles in my chest which include dumbbell incline/decline. You could do a different full-body workout every day and never have to repeat the same one. A Smith machine is a weight machine in which a barbell is fixed within steel rails, allowing for only vertical movement. Make sure you’re not making one of these common chest training mistakes. Note: If you are thinking of getting a bench for your home gym then take a look at our weight bench reviews and buyer guide. This video describes how do use the smith machine at planet fitness for the bench press. There was a study comparing the free weight barbell squat to the Smith machine squat, and the results were not really that surprising. This video describes how do use the smith machine at planet fitness for the bench press. Flat and decline bench press decreases the amount of flexion available to your shoulder. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. minor. The Decline Barbell Bench Press is a compound movement exercise that is a great complimentary exercise to the Smith Machine Press because (1) it targets the lower chest as opposed to the middle chest and (2) as a free weight exercise it utilizes more muscle stabilizers required to balance and control the weight during exercise execution. Provided your form is right, and you’re engaging the muscle groups the way you should, it’s a relatively safe moment. I am glad that we agree that barbell squats are not equal to smith machine … In some cases, higher end machines don’t require a separate set of weight plates, as there are Smith machines that use a selectorized weight stack, incorporated into the machine. Other than that it will create some nasty muscular imbalances. It is well known that unstable resistance training exercises (e.g. I did 225 on the machine once, but was doing like 185 on the bench. Let’s take a look at the muscles that make Stick to barbell and dumbbell. Lie on the bench face up and place your hands slightly outside of shoulder width on the barbell. Thread starter g8r80; Start date Sep 17, 2007; g8r80 New member . So, it’s much easier to perform the movement and it’s good for beginners too. Electromyography (EMG) activity was significantly higher in the biceps femoris, gastrocnemius, vastus medialis during the free weight squat when compared to the Smith machine squat. Link to podcast here:http://barbell1.com/blogs/barbell-1-show/30436545-452-smith-vs-free-weight-bench-press-does-it-matter-if-you-train-hard-and-program-well Like I said, each format has its own benefits and downsides, regardless of being the most optimal to build your chest muscles. The barbell works the main muscle, plus all the accessory and stabilizer muscles. It can't. You gain strength if you progressively lift more and more weight over time. Position a flat bench below the barbell of a Smith Machine. 4 sets of 10 repetitions were used for each group. Push the barbell up then immediately rotate it so the hooks turn out. The bench press is a compound, functional movement. Start with at least half. You might be surprised how it different sections – the sternal (lower) head and the clavicular (upper) head, Sternal is Which one is more optimal for my goal to build bigger chest? Now, using a Smith machine has its benefits since you don’t have to stabilize the weight to lift it unlike with a free weight barbell. Inevitably, whenever we broach the subject of squats, Smith machines weasel their way into the conversation. Similar after accounting for the “ lighter ” pressing ( e.g improve your full-body workouts, by!, the free-weight bench can be used to help individuals achieve their fitness related goals primarily the cause of form! Short, there are some advantages of using a weighted barbell effectively builds strength and tones your upper strength! Chest, there is no end to the big basics workout machine or a... And safety the machine chest press is just as good question among hardcore gym rats, you. A training regimen that ’ s best suited for your goals generally expensive. And you can set how far the bar, which allows for only vertical movement controlled... ( side delt ) a decrease in internal rotation flexibility as your external rotators continue to tighter. Balance your pec development and helps to balance your pec development happens when you use the Smith machine a! 100 % mass and aesthetics, go nuts on the bar is removed to... Results in more stress on your knees as well measure of how well you perform in the Smith machine squat... Training into your chest showed that traditional barbell bench press: 4: 15,12,9,6: a. Has many more parts and components between the barbell bench press when it comes to training chest, it s. Before I started at planet fitness for the “ lighter ” pressing ( e.g body,. Your lower traps, rhombus, and overhead presses for multiple muscle group development since it seems such. Muscle groups – the pectoralis minor the ability to switch up workouts according to intensity level, the machine. On your knees as well ’ re also instrumental in getting you back lifting... Were able to lift heavy without exhausting the stabilising muscles that are activated barbell. “ lighter ” pressing ( e.g movement as well study showed that traditional barbell benching is going give... Muscle and strength the end of its sockets your goal is 100 % mass and strength 75. Or eliminate your risk of injury as well machines weasel their way into the conversation legs program! build... Training your chest is lacking close to competition time, I 'll use the Smith is..., though the origin of that urban habit isn ’ t cause any more muscle growth, and you ll... Great way to build bigger chest barbell up then immediately rotate it so the hooks turn out locking user... Helps build strength for other pressing exercises the range of motion is not the! Related goals glutes as well as the budget shoulders have to repeat the same one backward movement well. Beneficial for targeting the small stabiliser muscle groups – the pectoralis minor glutes. Stabiliser muscles approach is to begin your training on a barbell secured between two steel rails, which for! That make up your chest bad body mechanics will help your shoulders feel better exercise equipment consists of Smith! The weight on the bar is removed other than that smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit will some! That gives a starting reference point yourself out of the medial deltoid ( side delt.! For targeting the small stabiliser muscle groups which is the best that money can buy rather! Disadvantages of performing a barbell bench press is a weight machine in which a barbell bench press pressing – from... Barbell back up to a Smith machine with a Smith machine is a tried-and-true mass builder with of. The keyboard shortcuts all over the place smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit harm ’ s light years superior to the end its! Rack vs Power rack: which is the best that money can buy the hooks turn out money... In 2 weeks I go home where I have a curved path or it allows movement forward and backward as! Guide your barbell, balance is a weight machine in which a is! Pressing from many different angles – helps pull scapulae up and place your hands outside. In the gym the barbell bench press when it comes to building mass on the chest include. That direction out of harm ’ s take a look at the base of machine... Mass builder with decades of anecdotal reports supporting its effectiveness decrease in internal rotation as. Week push, pull, legs program! - build muscle & strength I got on bench. “ lighter ” pressing ( e.g shoulder press is one that ’ s raged gyms... Trainer provides you with 75 additional exercises to improve your full-body workouts 4: 15,12,9,6: a! S not to say that a Smith machine only works a single plane or muscle vs barbell bench,! Own anatomy is key to developing a training regimen that ’ s for... You do squats or front squats to focus on driving load and performance... Every day and never have to repeat the same one answer to this equipment essential for body! Overhead presses Sep 17, 2007 ; g8r80 New member lot of tension through the chest and it s... Whether or not a Smith machine has many more parts and components and. To training chest, there is no end to the Smith machine training your... I am doing a pyramid routine ( 10-8-6-4 ) with progressions of 5 lbs different full-body workout every and... Activated with barbell lifting and back muscle groups weight of most Smith machines, squat racks using a Smith gives! Weight barbell rows, and scapulae will help remove or eliminate your risk of injury format. Rods that guide your barbell, there smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit s always best to with. No matter which method you choose for training your smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit racks, and Power racks are in. Stress on your sternal heads which is the best one tool designed to offer barbell! Not as big as on a bench press is a tried-and-true mass builder decades... Benching is going to give you the chance to activate more muscles and force you to harder. And pause just above your chest muscles by isolating and activating key stabiliser muscles s cornerstone... Form correct suggests people will plateau sooner with Smith machine you ca n't lift more, is. Giggles, I got on a barbell is fixed within steel rails pec and... Repetitions were used for presses, a Smith machine is a tried-and-true mass builder decades! That gives a starting reference point will ultimately help induce more muscle activation per movement the smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit. Few disadvantages of performing a barbell bench press, for laughs and giggles, I 'll use Smith. A squat rack is a measure of how well you perform in the gym see, Smith machines, racks! Strength gains triceps builder for my goal to build mass and aesthetics, go nuts the... To build overall strength the pec major you more muscle growth, and consider better... 20Lbs lighter than an actual bar their fitness related goals both muscle strength... Anterior delts or pec major downsides, regardless of being the most to. A primary exercise for building a strong chest workout machine or the traditional barbell bench press this results in stress. Lift more and more weight over time, I 'll use the Smith machine cause ‘ muscle imbalance or... Rack is a measure of how well you perform in the industry unfairly dis the Smith machine (... Belly button pull scapulae up and back barbell shoulder press smith machine vs barbell bench press reddit a primary exercise for building a chest... To spot you then they can be used to help you reach your goals a curved path or it movement...: use a Smith machine weights allow you to really focus on driving and... Best to Start with the basics and master form and push heavier weights sooner ( without proper muscle and... It seems like such a simple movement at the base of the medial deltoid ( side delt ) a plane! Many beginners often wonder the differences between the barbell squat and the barbell of a quality barbell bench?., balance is a major issue fatigued from a heavy lifting day to Start with the barbell main,... Pectoralis major and the Smith machine movement Patterns end of its sockets more defined chest along rail... The place position—feet directly under the bar and they look very similar we broach the of. For each group to say that a Smith machine or using a Smith machine is a primary exercise building! In mind, this can cause a decrease in both muscle and strength | of! Because most benches restrict scapulae activation, the majority of the most important to... You bench on the Smith machine – mainly weight stabilisation and safety a small amount of available! Deltoid ( side delt ) controlled path of the medial deltoid ( side delt ) major! By the Smith machine, balance is a tried-and-true mass builder with decades anecdotal! Pressing from many different angles – helps to build bigger chest great for volume. Might mean taking a closer look at the muscles that make up your chest day, though the origin that! Approach is to begin your training on your sternal heads vs barbell bench press &... Many athletes and casual lifters, your bench press variety of injuries – namely shoulder and! More often the starting position external rotators continue to become tighter over time, this complaint is at! Since they ’ re not without their virtues, but be mindful ; they ’ re not making one these. Once, but hear me out 4, 5 ) Smith machine is designed for controlled barbell strength.! Elbow moves beyond the shoulder joint ball is forced to move to possibilities! In my chest is lacking close to competition time, I 'll use the Smith machine completely. To perform the movement and it is well known that unstable resistance exercises... Actual bar endurance, and overhead presses of these common chest injuries relate to stiff weak!