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Smith Machine Squats - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Quads
Secondary Muscles Worked: Glutes, Calves, Hamstrings and Lower Back

The purpose of the Smith Machine Squat is to develop the quadriceps while also working the calves, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. This exercise mimmicks the squat movement while putting less strain on the knees and lower back. The Smith Machine also makes it easier to turn your toes outward in order to develop your inner thighs.

Smith Machine Squats - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Adjust the bar height on the Smith machine which best suits your height.
  • Position yourself under the loaded bar of the Smith Machine with the bar on top of your shoulders
  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Lift the bar up by straightening your torso and extending your legs. Unhook the weight from the machine, and lower yourself from the vertical position as you inhale. Stop lowering the weight when your upper legs are just below parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale and drive the weight upwards.
  • Repeat for the desired rep range.

Smith Machine Squats - Tips & Safety

  • Maintain the lower curve of the spine with your back straight and your head up throughout the exercise to prevent strain on your back.
  • Your thighs should be slightly lower than parallel on the way down to build up strength throughout the range of motion in preparation for heavier weights.

Smith Machine Squats - Alternatives

  • There are alternative machines available which offer a similar movement to Smith Machine Squats. They use a variety of resistance techniques including friction, weights and air compression. Try these machines for variety.
  • Changing foot placement helps to isolate different areas of the thigh.
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