How to do a Smith Machine Bench Press

Authored by Fitbod

About Smith Machine Bench Press

Sets Logged
Popularity Rank
Chest Strength
80 mSCORE 25th
Equipment Required
  • Photo of Flat Bench
    Flat Bench
  • Photo of Smith Machine
    Smith Machine
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Smith Machine Bench Press is a compound chest exercise that also recruits the triceps and shoulders. The use of the Smith Machine adds stability to the movement allowing you to focus more on exertion, or learning the movement.

  1. Lie your back onto a bench while squeezing your shoulder blades together and place your heels firmly on the ground underneath your knees.
  2. The bench should be in contact with your head, shoulders, and butt at all times.
  3. Position the smith machine bar over the middle of your chest before grabbing ahold just outside shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip.
  4. Keep your core braced as you unhook the bar and descend it towards your chest by flexing your elbows keeping them at a 45 degree angle from your torso.
  5. Gently touch the middle of your chest with the bar before exhaling it back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Overusing the Smith Machine

    Smith Machines are great pieces of equipment, however they do hinder your ability to develop smaller stabilizing muscles. Try to work in other variations that require you to stabilize the movement as well.

  • Bouncing the Bar

    Bouncing the bar off your chest can help you lift heavier weights, but it increases your risk of injury, and makes the exercise less effective. Focus on slowly lowering the bar, and gently tapping your chest at the bottom of the movement.

  • Flared Elbows

    Flaring your elbows out can sometimes help you lift heavier weights, but it places more tension on your shoulders. The ideal position can vary slightly from person to person, but try to keep your elbows around 45 degrees from your torso, and make small adjustments from there.

  • Keep Your Wrists Straight

    Allowing your wrist to extend in order to grab a barbell may feel more secure, and less likely to slip out of your hands. The downside is that it places a lot of tension on your wrist, and can be a limiting factor to how much weight you can move. Focus on keeping your wrist in a neutral position inline with your forearm.

Reps & Weight: How much to lift

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

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    1 Rep Max
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