How to do a Smith Machine Squat

Authored by Fitbod

About Smith Machine Squat

Sets Logged
788,884
Popularity Rank
191st
Difficulty
Beginner
Quads Strength
77 mSCORE 85th
Equipment Required
  • Photo of Smith Machine
    Smith Machine
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Smith Machine Squat is a variation on the more standard Squat. Like other variations, this is a compound exercise that primarily targets your quads. The use of a Smith Machine restricts your range of motion, and adds significantly more stability to the movement. This makes this exercise a great choice for learning proper squat mechanics, and developing strength in your lower body.

  1. Set the smith machine bar to just below shoulder height and grab ahold of it outside shoulder-width.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and brace your core to maintain a neutral spine.
  3. Quarter squat underneath the bar to place it on the base of your neck before unhooking it and standing upright.
  4. Keeping your heels planted firmly on the ground, descend by hinging at your hips while keeping your chest up.
  5. Your knees should track outward and slightly forward as you descend and keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise.
  6. Once your thighs have reached parallel with the floor, return 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.

  • Weak Hip Hinge

    The hip hinge is a crucial part of the squat. Make sure you’re dropping your hips back first, and then bending your knees to drop into your squat. The same is true on the way up. Make sure you’re driving your hips forward, not just extending your legs.

  • Knees Caving In

    Always make sure that your knees are tracking over your toes. Allowing your knees to cave inward places a ton of stress on them, and increases your risk of injury. If you're struggling with your knees caving in, focus on keeping your weight evenly distributed throughout your foot.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

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.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    25
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    30
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    35
    lbs
    45
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    45
    lbs
    55
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Sets & Reps