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  • Why are Smith Machine squats so bad?

    Hi guys,

    I know this is an on-going topic that has been on this forum many times. Sorry.

    Everyone rags on the Smith because, supposedly, it locks you into a linear motion and, again supposedly, that is bad for your knees, bad for your lower back, etc.

    I understand that the hamstrings aren't as utilized in the smith, and therefore the knee is less stable and/or more prone to injury. That makes sense.

    BUT, my question about using the Smith Machine for squats - how are they any different than a leg press or hack squat machine??? I never hear people saying that the hack squat machine is a POS that hurts your knees. But, if anything, the hack squat machine would seem to be physiologically worse for your knees, since you move in a linear motion, and your lower back is locked into one single position, whereas in a Smith, you can at least maneuver your hips a little bit. At least, it seems like it would to my small brain.

    Personally, I don't work out with a partner, and my crappy gym doesn't have a decent power rack, so I've been doing mostly Smith machine squats, and they seem okay to me.

    I guess I'm looking for a REAL reason to either do them or stop doing them, not broscience reasons because some 17-year-old high-school-jock thinks that the Smith is a machine for pussies, so he makes-up reasons for not using it.

    Any opinions? Thanks very much.

  • #2
    I feel smith machine squats are a highly effective quad exercise when performed properly...

    I think they become dangerous when people try to place their feet too far back under the path of the bar, which will force you to bend at the waist and risk lower back injury as well as create undue stress on your knees.
    Be true to yourself and fuel your body with nothing less the highest quality supplements. Only available at TrueNutrition.com Use discount code: KSP945 to save 5% on your order!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mentalflex View Post
      I feel smith machine squats are a highly effective quad exercise when performed properly...

      I think they become dangerous when people try to place their feet too far back under the path of the bar, which will force you to bend at the waist and risk lower back injury as well as create undue stress on your knees.
      Good point mental.

      Do you like to put your feet out front a bit?


      For me in the past I did that and found my 'groove' with safe form and slow negative and made good gains.
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      • #4
        Smith squats are safe and effective providing you have proper foot placement as stated above. Keep them forward and lean back into the bar. This puts more stress on the quads, but, you can still bring hams in fully if you go deep.

        And most hack squat machines do hurt your knees if you don't get your feet far enough in front of your knees. I've been at some gyms where the build of the hack machine wouldn't allow you to get your feet high enough on the platform to accomplish this.
        -KidRok-
        "...because I won't accept that I can't."


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        • #5
          Originally posted by mister69 View Post
          Good point mental.

          Do you like to put your feet out front a bit?


          For me in the past I did that and found my 'groove' with safe form and slow negative and made good gains.
          Originally posted by KidRok View Post
          Smith squats are safe and effective providing you have proper foot placement as stated above. Keep them forward and lean back into the bar. This puts more stress on the quads, but, you can still bring hams in fully if you go deep.
          Just like what KidRock says, I put them out in front enough so that I am still driving upward while putting pressure back into the bar and keeping my back upright. It feels more like I am driving through the balls of my feet versus through my heels.

          I am a fan of smith squats because I struggle to use a narrow stance with BB back squats and I can safely use a narrow stance with smith squats.
          Be true to yourself and fuel your body with nothing less the highest quality supplements. Only available at TrueNutrition.com Use discount code: KSP945 to save 5% on your order!

          Stickies...just read the damn stickies...

          2014 Xcalibur Cup Bantam Open - 1st
          2014 Tracey Greenwood Classic Bantam Open - 1st
          2015 Beat Cancer!

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          • #6
            Regular bb squats seems to hit my glutes and hammies more than smyth squats. As stated above I put my feet more out in front of me and go deep.

            I just recently started doing smyth squats again. I really had to drop weight and find my groove again but my quads hurt for days afterward. Proceed with caution and find the foot placement and form that safely works best for you.
            Last edited by dice77; 04-07-2013, 03:20 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FNP90 View Post
              Hi guys,


              I guess I'm looking for a REAL reason to either do them or stop doing them, not broscience reasons because some 17-year-old high-school-jock thinks that the Smith is a machine for pussies, so he makes-up reasons for not using it.

              Any opinions? Thanks very much.
              This is a great question and you've got good reason to ask, IMO.

              Other than what you say above, what are your criteria for a "real" reason...

              It sounds like for you, "authority" is one, meaning an older person and someone who has trained for a while...

              Do you need to see the person's legs?...

              Do they need to give biomechanical reasons?...

              Scientific citations?...

              Just "sounds" better to you, e.g., little / no attitude with the answer and is logical?...

              Seriously - how do you (we) know what makes one answer better than another?...

              -S
              Last edited by homonunculus; 11-06-2012, 04:25 PM.
              The Book Has Arrived!
              The Book Has Arrived!

              Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


              www.TrueNutrition.com

              2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
              2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
              2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

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              • #8
                Originally posted by homonunculus View Post
                This is a great question and you've got good reason to ask, IMO.

                Other than what you say above, what are your criteria for a "real" reason...

                It sounds like for you, "authority" is one, meaning an older person and someone who has trained for a while...

                Do you need to see the person's legs?...

                Do they need to give biomechanical reasons?...

                Scientific citations?...

                Just "sounds" better to you, e.g., little / no attitude with the answer and is logical?...

                Seriously - how do you (we) know what makes one answer better than another?...

                -S
                I love this answer so much it makes my nuts all tingley....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by VanillaGorilla3 View Post
                  I love this answer so much it makes my nuts all tingley....
                  OK, VG - you're the scribe for this thread. Start a list, if you would...

                  Criteria for Good answers:

                  -Makes nuts tingly
                  -...


                  ------------

                  -S
                  Last edited by homonunculus; 11-06-2012, 05:13 PM.
                  The Book Has Arrived!
                  The Book Has Arrived!

                  Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


                  www.TrueNutrition.com

                  2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
                  2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
                  2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by homonunculus View Post
                    OK, VG - you're the scribe for this thread. Start a list.

                    Criteria for Good answers:

                    -Makes nuts tingly
                    -...


                    ------------

                    -S
                    HAHAHAHA

                    It was an epiphany....its the "free thinker's" answer and, as such, is the root of every answer you have ever given me or countless others on this board. To basically ask "Why the hell are you so willing to accept someone else's ideas or thoughts as superior to your own?" For some, its just their nature, for others it's to have a scapegoat when the concept or theory is proved wrong, and the rest... well it just shirks the responsibility of using their brain for anything beyond base instinct.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VanillaGorilla3 View Post
                      HAHAHAHA

                      It was an epiphany....its the "free thinker's" answer and, as such, is the root of every answer you have ever given me or countless others on this board. To basically ask "Why the hell are you so willing to accept someone else's ideas or thoughts as superior to your own?" For some, its just their nature, for others it's to have a scapegoat when the concept or theory is proved wrong, and the rest... well it just shirks the responsibility of using their brain for anything beyond base instinct.
                      OK, I just read what you wrote above and then was inspired to read it again, much more slowly...

                      ... and sure enough, my nuts are tingly...

                      GOOD ANSWER, MAN!!!

                      (Survey says?...)

                      -S
                      Attached Files
                      The Book Has Arrived!
                      The Book Has Arrived!

                      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


                      www.TrueNutrition.com

                      2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
                      2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
                      2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I only ever smith squat.

                        My legs so you can see wether u think its a good thing or not.

                        Personally I feel some are just more suited mechanically for smith squats over be squats. They allow me to focus loads more on my quads.

                        Ohh n I have Scott to thank for the conditions

                        ImageUploadedByTapatalk1352242731.917077.jpg

                        This was a year ago. There a little bigger now.
                        nabba north 2010 first timers - 6th place

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by homonunculus View Post
                          This is a great question and you've got good reason to ask, IMO.

                          Other than what you say above, what are your criteria for a "real" reason...

                          It sounds like for you, "authority" is one, meaning an older person and someone who has trained for a while...

                          Do you need to see the person's legs?...

                          Do they need to give biomechanical reasons?...

                          Scientific citations?...

                          Just "sounds" better to you, e.g., little / no attitude with the answer and is logical?...

                          Seriously - how do you (we) know what makes one answer better than another?...

                          -S
                          Yeah, I hear you, Scott. Thanks for the reply.

                          I guess, as a guy who used to hang-out alot on BB.com, I got pretty jaded when one guy preaches something that makes no sense, but talks in big words and pretends he's some authority, and then all the other teenage idiots jump onto his stupid idea, and then it somehow becomes "gospel". If I ever hear the stupid acronym "IIFYM" again, I'm going to kill someone...

                          A "real" reason is from someone who can actually cite a scientific article, or someone who has a background in anatomy/physiology, or even someone who has "been there, done that" - like most of the regulars on this forum, for example.

                          I'm open to all opinions...
                          Last edited by FNP90; 11-06-2012, 07:37 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks to everyone for their input. It's good to hear that I'm not ruining my joints and/or being the village idiot of bodybuilding by doing Smith squats.

                            I am going to try moving my feet further forward though.

                            Thanks again!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's it, you're done?... Case closed?... LOL



                              Any thoughts about these links?...

                              http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/...h-Machine.aspx

                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19855308

                              https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...rTDsgQAnkkjFWQ

                              -----------

                              -S
                              The Book Has Arrived!
                              The Book Has Arrived!

                              Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


                              www.TrueNutrition.com

                              2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
                              2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
                              2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

                              Comment

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