Thread: Smith squat or Traditional?
11-28-2001, 02:35 PM #1
Smith squat or Traditional?
I was just wondering what other people think of smith machine squats versus traditional. I used to be the typical guy back in high school that trained mostly upper body and neglected my legs. So the last couple of years I have been working on building my legs and I'm doing okay. I use the smith machine to aid in stabilization and hopefully gain good form. Last night I switched to the traditional plain bar with weight on it. It felt great but leg day always does. Is there more benefit from one to the other? Also do you not count as much weight with the smith machine, like just the weight and not the bar? I know these are pretty elementary questions but I was just wondering If I am gaining anything by switching.
11-28-2001, 03:10 PM #2
Well to get good form on the proper squat you have to practice it as a proper squat. So no silly machines or anything else. Although good mornings, deadlifts are good for giving your the necessary lower back strength.
Normal squats hit more muscles, lead to greater development, gives you greater range of motion etc. Just like with all free weights as opposed to machines.
On the other hand machine squats, take a lot of strain off your back and knees, allowing you to go heavier and really concentrate on the quads. You can also rely on machines for shaping the legs rather than putting on brute mass I guess. Playing around with your feet position you can focus on inner/outer thigh and so on. For example, feet close together is supposed to hit your outer thighs more. You will find it very hard to perform big squats with your feet very close together so a machine comes in useful.
At the end of the day, use machine squats to supplement your leg workout, dont let them dominate it unless you are after some very specific goal.
11-28-2001, 03:21 PM #3
Traditional is the way to go. I get sloppy on the Smith and rely on it for guidance. Traditional squats force me to do it right, or end up on the floor.
11-28-2001, 03:23 PM #4
Smithy here. I can go deeper and "feel" the burn better.
As long as YOU'RE in control, and not the machine, either is fine IMO.
11-29-2001, 03:44 AM #5
I use normal squats because it is a multi muscle exersice so it
will stimulate more hormone release.And it takes more skill
to master properly.
11-29-2001, 04:11 AM #6Senior Member
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Traditional squats are the way to go because you bring in other stabilizer muscles along with your legs also remember to deadlift to
11-29-2001, 08:01 AM #7
Speaking of deadlifts, I have been thinking about adding them to my routine. I have a difficult time telling the difference between a deadlift for the back and deadlift for the hamstring. Is it just a matter of having your legs stiff for the hams versus slightly bent for the back and mentally lifting with the back? I guess I should just do it and see how it feels and make my own assesment. I just hate to try different movements in a crowded gym because my form will be poor and I wont be able to use a lot of weight at first. I'll get over my vanity and just do it.
11-29-2001, 08:20 AM #8
straight legged is for the hams
11-29-2001, 08:35 AM #9
i agree with pureanger and the others. squats are such an important movement because so many muscles are brought into play in order to complete the movement properly. the smith machine is nice, but IMO they should be a supplement. smith machine sqauts cannot compare with real barbell squats. oh BTW, most smith bars unloaded weigh 15 lbs....
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