The smith machine is a piece of gym equipment that allows you to train multiple muscles at the same time and perform a variety of exercises. It’s a staple in most gyms, and if you know how to use it properly, you can get a lot out of it.
In this article, we’ll cover the best smith machine exercises, how to perform them safely, and the benefits you can expect from using a smith machine.
Let’s get started.
Back Exercises using Smith Machine
1. Rack Pulls
Rack pulls are a compound back exercise used to develop the lat muscles, traps, and rhomboids. Rack pulls work your entire upper back and build strength in all of the shoulder stabilization muscles not just the lats but also the trapezius, rhomboids, and middle deltoid.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- First, set up a barbell at about knee height on a rack.
- Step up to the bar and position yourself so that your feet are about hip-width apart and your shins are touching the bar.
- Bend your knees slightly and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, your hands should be just outside of shoulder width.
- Brace your core, and begin the movement by pushing through your heels and extending your hips and knees until you are standing upright.
- At the top of the movement squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a second.
- Reverse the motion by flexing at the hips and knees, returning to the starting position.
The thing to remember when doing rack pulls is to keep a relatively narrow grip, shoulder width or narrower. The narrower the grip the more it recruits the smaller muscles of the upper back which are very important in building a solid foundation for strength and power, especially in your deadlift.
2. Inverted Rows
Inverted rows are a great exercise to tone your upper back and help build muscle. Inverted rows are one of the best exercises for building muscle mass in the upper back. You’ll also see an increase in your metabolism and endurance, which will help you in overall fitness.
To do this exercise:
- Start by standing in front of a squat rack or Smith machine, with the bar set to waist height.
- Get under the bar and lie down on your back, looking up at the ceiling.
- Reach up and grab the bar with an overhand grip, keeping your body suspended or just off the floor.
- Brace your core muscles and glutes, and pull yourself up leading with your chest. The bar or rings should be at chest height at the top of the movement.
- Pause for a second, making sure the shoulder blades are retracted, before slowly lowering to the starting position with your arms fully extended.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps.
The Inverted Row is a great exercise for those looking to increase back strength and tone. At the same time, they help to engage your core, glutes, and shoulders. Proper technique is key to avoiding injury. As always, the importance of stretching should never be forgotten!
3. Smith Machine Shrugs
Smith Machine Shrugs is an upper back exercise, but when performed correctly will also give you a great biceps workout. These are important because the muscles of the upper back support your shoulders and neck. A strong back also improves posture and reduces the risk of headaches, low-back pain, and repetitive strain injuries.
Here is how you do smith machine shrugs:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward.
- Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it at arm’s length in front of you.
- Keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent, shrug your shoulders as high as you can.
- Lower the barbell back to the starting position.
The Smith Machine Shrug is a cheap, simple exercise with big benefits. If you perform your regular shrugs on this machine make sure to keep the movement slow, smooth, and under control. This will strengthen your muscles correctly and get the most results.
4. Smith Machine Bent Over Rows
The Smith Machine bent-over row is a great exercise if you have back issues or any other kind of issue or concern with your lower body. What’s even better is that it is a compound exercise which means it works for several muscle groups at once and targets different regions of your lower body.
To do smith machine bent over rows:
- First, set the Smith Machine bar to about hip height.
- Next, place your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend your knees.
- Hinge at your hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your back straight and your core engaged.
- From here, grip the bar with an overhand grip and row the bar up to your chest.
- Pause for a moment and then lower the bar back to the starting position.
The Smith Machine bent-over row has a lot of great benefits and will help to change the way your body looks and feels. If you want to start sculpting your abs while also working on your back and arms then this is the perfect compound exercise for you.
5. Smith Machine Pendlay Row
The Smith machine pendlay row is one of the best exercises for lower back training. It works your entire back region, including the upper and lower back muscles, as well as your biceps, shoulders, and traps. This exercise also targets your glutes and hamstrings by forcing you to work hard to stabilize your body in a locked-out position.
Here is how you do this exercise:
- Start by setting the barbell in the Smith machine at about hip height.
- Step forward and place your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing forward.
- Bend your knees and hips to lower your torso until it is about parallel to the floor.
- Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, and then row the barbell to your sternum, leading with your elbows.
- Reverse the motion and lower the barbell back to the starting position.
The Smith machine pendlay row is a great exercise for anyone looking to build size, mass, and strength in their back. This is because it requires you to hold a significant amount of additional weight compared to a standard barbell bent over rows. This added weight serves as a fat-burning agent for your entire body by forcing you to engage in greater amounts of contractions.
The back is the large posterior area of the human body, extending from the neck to the pelvis. It contains the spine, a long column of bones and cartilage that protect the spinal cord. The back also supports the head, neck, and upper limbs.
The back is divided into three regions: the upper back, the middle back, and the lower back. The upper back includes the shoulders and is also known as the thoracic region. The middle back includes the ribs and is also known as the thoracolumbar region. The lower back includes the hips and is also known as the lumbar region.
The back is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The bones of the back include the spine, the shoulder blades, and the pelvis.
The muscles of the back include the erector spinae, the latissimus dorsi, and the trapezius. The ligaments of the back include the supraspinous and interspinous ligaments. The tendons of the back include the Achilles tendon and the patellar tendon.
The back is susceptible to injuries, such as strains and sprains. Back pain is a common problem, and it can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. Treatment for back pain may include over-the-counter medications, physical therapy, and surgery.
The Smith machine is a great piece of equipment for a number of reasons. It allows you to move weights with more precision and isolates your core and upper back muscles better than free weights.
I highly recommend incorporating smith machine back exercises into your workout routine because the smith machine is one of the best ways to increase the size of your upper back, traps, and core.