Bench

How to bench on smith machine? Is smith machine bench press effective

Smith machines, with the exception of the bench press, have a terrible reputation. It’s past time to change that mindset.

Smith machine bench presses, when done correctly, can help you break through training plateaus, strengthen your pecs, and lift high loads without the aid of a spotter. We wrote this article to help you understand the benefits, muscles targeted, and how to perform a Smith machine bench press.

How to bench on smith machine
How to bench on smith machine

Try one of the top six Smith bench press variants the next time you’re at the gym. We are convinced that you will be pleased with the results.

How to use a smith machine for bench pressing

Despite the fact that the barbell bench press and the Smith Machine bench press are both bench presses, there are minor variances in execution and setup to be aware of.

Before commencing the activity, you must be more aware of the initial configuration with Smith Machine bench presses. The rack, barbell, and bench are all in a fixed position in the classic bench press or Olympic bench press. For Smith Machine presses, you’ll need to set up the bench.

Before attempting to raise the bar with weights added, make sure your setup is right, regardless of the Smith Machine bench variant you’re using.

How to use a smith machine for bench pressing

Straight vs. angled track

The bar will normally move along one of two types of tracks on Smith machines: straight or inclined.

Some commercial gyms have vertical tracks that are entirely straight and do not alter how you set up for a bench press. Un-racking the bar by pushing the bar up and stretching your wrists forwards or backwards will allow you to adjust the bench to your comfort level.

Because angled Smith Machines can have a pitch of 5-12 degrees, it’s important to figure out which way to face the bench before executing the Smith Machine bench press during the setup process.

When doing a standard bench press, for example, the bar will start practically above your shoulders/upper chest, and as you lower it, it will come down to your mid-chest/nipple line.

Follow these steps to do a regular smith machine bench press:

Follow these steps to do a regular smith machine bench press:

The Initial Setup is the first step.

To see if there’s a variation between the beginning position and the bottom of the press, look to see if the Smith Machine has a totally vertical path or an angled track. Roll a bench over to the Smith Machine’s center and position it there; you can use the knurled grip of the bar to help you line up where the center is.

Lower the bar so that you can reach it while lying flat on your back with your arms fully stretched up towards the ceiling once the bench is in the precise middle of the Smith Machine. Set it on the hooks at the level of your wrists so you have room to push the bar up while unracking it.

Set up the safety pins on both sides after the bar is at the right height and your bench is in the middle, especially if you’re not lifting with a spotter.

The safety pins should be put at a height that permits you to descend the bar in a full range of motion, just past 90 degrees with your elbows. The safety pins may not be necessary if you have a spotter, but they are a good precaution to have.

The final step in the first setup is to double-check your body placement to ensure that the bar is aligned with the correct path.

The Un-Racking is the second step.

The initial part of the Smith press is un-racking. Lie down on your back and reach up to grab the bar with both hands, using an overhand grip that is little wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your chest up and your feet planted on the ground.

The Un-Racking is the second step.

To unlock or unrack the bar, press down on it and flex your wrists forward or backward, depending on your body posture. If you’re working with an angled Smith Machine, for example, you’ll press up and then bend your wrists forward to unlock the bar.

The Descent is the third step.

The second motion is the descent or lowering of the bar. Inhale as you lower the bar to your mid-chest, keeping your elbows tucked at a 40-75 degree angle to your side.

Your elbows should not extend out to the sides or be tucked in too much against your torso. As the bar is lowered towards your chest, your elbows should be in line with your wrists and the bar.

Lower the bar to your chest or a few inches above your chest, depending on your personal situation. If you lack mobility or have shoulder or elbow problems, you may not be able to get as low as others. Before pressing back up, attempt to get your elbows bent at 90 degrees or little more.

The Ascension is the fourth step.

Exhale while squeezing your pecs and pushing the bar higher until your arms are fully stretched.

To increase duration under stress, you can lockout at the elbows or halt just before full lockout. If you lockout, you’ll go through the whole range of motion while also taking a short break at the top.

Re-Racking is the fifth step.

After you’ve completed your set of reps, bend your wrists in the opposite direction of how you un-racked the bar.

Before removing your hands from the bar, double-check that it is securely connected to the hooks.

On the smith machine bench press, avoid these common form mistakes

On the smith machine bench press, avoid these common form mistakes

Insufficient Bench Setup:

When it comes to ease of use, the Smith Machine has some advantages, but it also means you have to be more attentive of the initial starting position.

If you move the bench too far forward or backward, you risk losing the effectiveness of the exercise or, worse, injuring yourself. This is why, before starting your working sets with weight on the bar, you should do some practice reps with just the bar.

Facing the Wrong Way:

Recognize the sort of machine you’re using and whether it’s vertical or inclined before starting the Smith Machine bench press. If it’s vertical, you have more options for how your body should face. It is entirely up to you whether you like to unrack the bar by flexing your wrists forward or backward.

If you’re using an inclined machine, make sure the bench is set up so that when you press up, the bar returns to your head rather than your feet.

Arms and Head Position:

Arms and Head Position

If you’re using a Smith Machine with a vertical track, you should be right under the bar so that it’s directly above your mid-chest once it’s un-racked.

You’ll start with the bar above your upper chest if you’re using an inclined Smith Machine. The bar will then drop to your mid-chest or nipple line as you lower it.

Your head and neck should remain in a neutral position regardless of the Smith Machine you employ.

Smith machine bench presses work on what muscles?

With one exception, the muscles used in Smith Machine bench presses are the same as those in normal barbell bench presses.

When you use a Smith Machine to bench press, your stabilizer muscles don’t have to work as hard to keep the bar going in the right direction. However, regardless of the bench press or variant you’re doing, you’ll most likely be pressing the weight with identical muscles.

Smith machine bench presses work on what muscles?

Major Pectoralis:

This is the most visible muscle in your chest, and it makes up the majority of it. This muscle, often known as the “pecs,” is principally involved for humeral flexion, internal rotation, and flexion. Simply said, when it comes to most pressing activities, including the Smith Machine bench press, this is the principal mover.

Deltoids anterior:

The anterior deltoid, often known as the front delts, is located in the front of your shoulder. The deltoid helps the pecs push the weight away from the chest.

Triceps Brachii:

Although the triceps isn’t the major mover in the bench press, it does assist you in pressing the weight.

The triceps also aid to stabilize the weight in a regular bench press, however the stabilization aspect is considerably diminished when executing Smith Machine presses.

Benefits of the smith machine bench press

Benefits of the smith machine bench press

Lift More Weight:

When using a Smith Machine to perform a bench press, many of the stabilizing muscles aren’t used as much to help push the weight up.

This does not imply that your pecs will be less activated. The Smith Machine bench press and the normal barbell bench press both resulted in equivalent pec activation, according to this study. The lateral deltoids’ muscle activation was found to be significantly diminished.

Reduce Injury Risk:

It’s a frequent misconception that Smith Machines cause injuries or muscle imbalances. When used inappropriately, just like any other piece of workout equipment, it might have harmful repercussions. The Smith Machine, which delivers a smooth, stable movement, is ironically used to repair injuries.

You Don’t Requirement a Spotter:

The Smith Machine eliminates the need for a spotter when lifting high weights. The safety pins can be adjusted to safeguard you from injury if you are unable to finish all of the reps. Just make sure the safety pins are set at a height that allows you ample space in case you need to get off the bench if you can’t pull the bar back up.

Smith presses can help you train your pecs until they’re depleted, despite the fact that they stimulate fewer overall upper body muscles. This ability will aid you in staying on the route of increasing overload, which will lead you to the promised land of increased muscle and power.

To crush chest, the top 6 smith machine bench press variations

Here are six efficient Smith machine chest press workouts. Don’t allow anyone tell you that Smith bench presses are bad for you.

To crush chest, the top 6 smith machine bench press variations

It’s completely acceptable to utilize a Smith machine to isolate your chest and add extra volume to your pushing sessions. If you don’t believe us, consider how many professional bodybuilders use the Smith machine for hypertrophy.

1. BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

Above, we discussed the Smith Machine bench press, including how to execute it, the muscles that are exercised, and the benefits and drawbacks.

To get the most out of this workout, make sure you follow the right body stance and execution directions. Remember that proper setup is critical to complete a safe and effective Smith press.

2. INCLINE BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

Except for two points, this bench press variation will follow the same cues as a standard bench press. The bench should be set up at a 30-45 degree incline, and the bar should come down on the upper chest. When compared to a flat bench, the incline Smith machine bench press will train your upper chest and front delts more.

INCLINE BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

How to Do It:

  • Set up a 30-45 degree incline bench (if using angled Smith Machine face away from the incline)
  • Position yourself and reach up to grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Unrack the bar and lower it to your upper chest slowly.
  • By contracting your lats, triceps, and front delts, press the bar back to starting position.
  • Rep for the desired number of reps.

3. DECLINE BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

Many of the same mechanics will be used in the decline Smith press as they are in the conventional bench press. The way your muscles are worked, the proper direction of the lift, and the bench arrangement are the primary variations here.

The lower chest or sternocostal head will be impacted by the decline bench press. The bench should be set at a -15 to 20-degree angle, and you should lower the bar until it touches the bottom of the chest.

How to Do It:

  • Create a 15-20 degree decline on a bench (if using angled Smith Machine face away from the incline)
  • Position yourself and reach up to grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Remove the bar from the rack and carefully lower it to just below your chest level.
  • Up until your arms are fully extended, press back to the beginning position.
  • Rep for the desired number of reps.

4. DECLINE REVERSE GRIP BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

A flat, incline, or decline bench can be used for this variation of the bench press. You can also switch between close, regular, and broad grips.

With the reverse grip Smith machine press, you’ll be putting more emphasis on your upper chest, triceps, and biceps, rather than your shoulders. While the reverse grip bench press is known for targeting the triceps more than a standard bench press, it also significantly boosts upper chest activation.

The biceps and clavicular regions of the pec major were shown to have increased muscular activation in this investigation.

DECLINE REVERSE GRIP BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

How to Do It:

  • Create a 15-20 degree decline on a bench (if using angled Smith Machine face away from the decline)
  • Position yourself and reach up to grab the bar with both hands using an underhand grip that is little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Unrack the bar and descend it slowly to just below your chest, elbows tucked.
  • Make sure your elbows aren’t flaring as you press back up to starting position.
  • Rep for the desired number of reps.

5. HEX PRESS SMITH MACHINE

You may have seen this workout done with dumbbells in the gym, but not with a Smith Machine; we’re coming to change that. This exercise is best performed on a Smith Machine with a vertical track; an angled machine is not recommended.

With a Smith hex, you can get into positions that are difficult to achieve with most standard Olympic benches. Because of the neutral grip employed, the hex press is an ideal exercise for persons with shoulder difficulties.

Because the exterior rotation is reduced, the load is also center mass, which decreases the pressure on your shoulders. Because your elbows are tucked to your sides throughout the activity, the hex press will target your triceps and inner chest more than the typical bench press.

How to Do It:

  • In the centre of the Smith machine, set up a flat bench parallel to the bar (Some people will set the bench up perpendicular to the bar with only their upper back on the bench)
  • Grab a V-bar attachment and place it above you on the bench, going down the middle of your body.
  • Place the V-bar under the bar with a neutral grip, so your hands are facing each other on the side of the bar.
  • Remove the bar from the rack and lower it to the middle of your chest, keeping your elbows tucked to your sides.
    By squeezing your chest and triceps and fully extending your arms, press the bar up.
  • Rep for the desired number of reps.

6. WIDE GRIP BENCH PRESS SMITH MACHINE

When using the wide grip Smith Machine press, your hands will be almost double the width of your shoulders. Throughout the exercise, keep your elbows close to 90 degrees and under the bar.

You will be putting the majority of the load on your chest while lowering the amount of strain on your triceps and shoulders by completing this bench Smith press variant. Because this variant of the bench press is more difficult to perform, start lighter than you expect and gradually increase your weight.

How to Do It:

  • Set up the flat bench in the right position before adding the bar, which will be lower than a typical Smith press.
  • Lie down on the bench, then reach up and grab the bar with both hands in an overhand grip, 2x shoulder width apart.
  • Unrack the bar and lower it carefully to your mid-chest while keeping your elbows practically precisely beneath the bar.
  • By contracting your pecs, return the bar to its original position.
  • Rep for the desired number of reps.

F.A.Q how to bench on smith machine:

Is it harder to bench on a Smith machine?

Not only does the course of the bar differ in both exercises, but so does the weight of the bar and the exercise’s safety. Overall, the Smith machine bench press is more user-friendly and suitable for novices.

Is benching on a Smith machine better?

he smith machine bench press is a secure and safe approach to improve your lifting talents. Bench presses are an excellent exercise since they engage your triceps, shoulders, and chest. Some people believe it’s the most effective compound movement for a complete upper-body workout.

Why can I lift more on Smith machine?

While some people can bench more on the Smith machine, there are a variety of reasons why this does not apply to free-weight bench pressing. The rotator cuff and other minor muscles around the shoulder joint are essential to stabilize the bar when benching.

Conclusion:

Choose Smith machine bench presses if you’re recovering an injury, exercising your chest without a spotter, or aiming to exhaust your pecs for muscular and strength gains. We hope that as more people become aware of the advantages of using the Smith machine for benching, they will give it a try.

So, the next time you’re at the gym and need to get some bench presses in, head over to the Smith machine, which is often misinterpreted, and start pushing!

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Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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