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Top Three Smith Machine Leg Exercises

The smith machine is one of the most misunderstood gym equipment. If it is mishandled, it could make for unnatural squatting and pressing. But, if the right kinds of tactics are followed, it could also be a great hypertrophy tool.

As it has a fixed plane, many of the experts believe it to be unnatural for the body to exercise with it. For example, during the time of the squat, it is natural that apart from the knee joint, you will also expect to move the hip and ankle joints. Some people say that, there is absolutely nothing on a smith machine, that cannot be done with a free-weight barbell. But, in reality, you will have to know how and when to use it, to get the best results.

We are not suggesting that the free-weight moves are not important, but, we are trying to show how the smith machine can provide some invaluable benefits, which cannot be obtained from barbells and dumbbells. The smith machine should only be used by the intermediate and advanced trainees. One should never use the smith machine without proper back training. Use Smith machine only on already pumped muscle.

Smith machine leg exercises

Leg press: Here, you will have to place the smith machine bar, a few feet off the ground and load the bar with appropriate weight. Now, lie under the bar and place the middle of the feet on the bar. The starting position of this leg exercise will be to tuck the knees towards the chest. Now, push the bar upward with the help of your feet, by extending the hips and knees. Avoid locking the knees. Push the bar with good motion and pause briefly and then come back to the starting position. Repeat this same procedure again and again.

Smith machine lunge: Many people struggle to balance the weight on their shoulders, but, by performing lunges within the smith machine, one can get better support. As it increases the control and help to balance better, the smith machine can be considered as a safer alternative to free weight lunges. This exercise mainly concentrates on the quadriceps and also works on glutes and hamstrings.

Here, you will have to position your body under the bar and place the bar on the upper back. Place one of the legs forward, with front knee just above the ankle. The knees have to be bent, with feet hip width apart. At this position, you will have to keep the heel up, toes forward, tighten the abs, keep the chest straight and keep the back straight. Now, lower your body by bending the knee and the hip in a controlled motion and maintaining the body alignment. Keep on lowering your body, until your back knee is just about to touch the ground. Hold this position for sometime and get back to the starting position by pushing the weight through the front heel. Continue this movement on one knee for the desired number of times and then switch your legs and repeat.

Smith machine stiff-legged deadlift: This exercise mainly targets the hamstring. Firstly, set the bar on the machine, at a height, that is around the middle of the thigh and load the bar. Now, grasp the bar with the palm, such that, your hands are shoulder width apart. If you are using a really heavy weight, you can even use wrist wrap. Now, lift the bar by completely stretching your arms and keeping the back straight.

Your torso should be straight and the knee should be slightly bent. Now, lower the bar by bending from your waist, without moving your knees and keeping the back straight. Keep moving forward, till you feel a stretch in the hamstring. When you are moving forward, make sure to exhale. Once you feel the stretch in your hamstring, bring your torso back to the straight position and inhale, while performing this movement. However, people with lower back problems should avoid this exercise.

The above mentioned exercises, cannot be performed in any other methods to derive the best results. There is really no leg muscle group that cannot be targeted with smith machine exercises. In addition to that, you can also entire body-resistance workout on Smith machine itself.

View our article on the best smith machines.


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