The Ultimate Smith Machine Workout Guide
Push past plateaus, generate power and train safely — with a machine! Here’s why the Smith machine may be your new best friend in the gym.
TARGET: Upper lats, middle traps, rhomboids
START: Stand erect with your feet shoulder width apart, grasp the bar with a wide, overhand grip. Rotate and unrack the bar. Keeping your knees slightly bent, lean forward at your waist until your torso is just above parallel with the floor. The bar should hang straight down in front of your shins. Lock a slight bend in your lower back so that it doesn’t round.
ACTION: Without raising your upper body, pull the bar into your abdomen, bringing your elbows high and above the level of your back. Hold the bar in the peak-contracted position for a count, then slowly lower to full-arm extension.
POWER POINTER: Stand on a platform if you bottom out at the bottom short of full-arm extension. Also, you can vary the target of your back slightly by shifting your feet forward or back. As you move your feet away from the bar, you’ll be pulling the bar higher on your torso and hitting more of the upper lats and middle traps (because your elbows are flaring out wider). Shifting your feet closer to the bar brings the bar into your lower abs, causing you to hit the lower lats to a greater degree.