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Smith Machine Bench Press - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Chest
Secondary Muscles Worked: Shoulders and Triceps

The main benefit of using the Smith Machine Bench Press is that you can push yourself without the need to have a spotter. It is the same as performing your usual bench press but you are protected by the mechanism. Another benefit of the machine is because it does all the stabilizing you can focus purely on power lifting.The Smith Machine Bench Press is popular in most gyms because it works the upper, middle and lower chest. It also important to continue traditional bench press as the Smith Machine is best used to shock the system and induce muscle growth. This exercise is also know as machine presses.

Smith Machine Bench Press - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Ensure the bench is positioned centrally under the smith machine, with the bar at an elevation that you can easily reach when you are lying on the bench.
  • Position yourself with your back, sacrum, head, and shoulder blades making firm contact with the bench. Ensure that the lower back remains neutral throughout the exercise.
  • During the exercise, drive and hold your shoulder blades together.
  • Hold the bar with a shoulder width grip, so that when it’s lowered to your chest, your forearms are vertical, and a 90 degree angle is made with the upper arm. Do not bring the arms any lower than this, or bend the wrists.
  • Unlatch the bar from the machine and elevate it to the point that your arms lock out, and exhale. Pause. This point is considered the starting position.
  • Breathing in, lower the weight in a controlled manner til it makes contact with the mid-chest.
  • Ensure that the speed of lowering the bar is about twice that of raising it.
  • Breathe out and push the bar upwards, and contract the pecs at the top of the movement.
  • Repeat this movement for the planned amount of reps, and when completed, hook the bar back on the machine.

Smith Machine Bench Press - Tips & Safety

  • Fully control the weight at all times, and refrain from cheating by bouncing the weight off your chest at the low point of the exercise.

Smith Machine Bench Press - Alternatives

  • Try this exercise at a variety of angles. Apart from doing it flat, you can do it at an incline, or decline angle.
  • To make this exercise more challenging, you can get your training partner to push down on the weight for forced negative repetitions.
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