How to do a deadlift on a smith machine? What Is The Difference Between A Smith Machine Deadlift And A Deadlift With Free Weights?

Deadlifts are one of the most powerful exercises you can do, and they should be a component of every training programme, no matter what your fitness goals are (with exception to those who have some certain limitations like a back injury).

How to do a deadlift on a smith machine?
How to do a deadlift on a smith machine?

So, what if your gym doesn’t have barbells (as Planet Fitness knows all too well)? Is a smith machine deadlift a good substitute?

We’re going to answer all of your questions regarding utilising the smith machine for deadlifts so you can make your own decision. We’ve got you covered on everything from how to do a proper smith machine deadlift to the advantages and alternate exercises.

What Is A Deadlift Workout?

A traditional bodybuilding exercise is the deadlift. The deadlift primarily works the back and legs, but it comes with a considerable risk of injury. When you do a deadlift, you hold the barbell in front of your body with your arms straight and bend your knees to drive the weight up.

What Is A Deadlift Workout?

Before executing another set of reps, most lifters must finish a set of reps for the deadlift exercise. Why would you want to use a smith machine? The smith machine deadlift is an activity that allows you to put on your training gloves and execute your lift in relative safety, without needing to lift a lot of weight on a power rack.

How To Safely Perform A Deadlift

The deadlift is an activity that can cause a variety of injuries. The most common and hazardous is when your lower back is overextended and your weight is shifted too far forwards.

You will have mastered the basics of the deadlift if you have been practising it correctly. It is, nevertheless, possible to progress to a more complex form.

How To Safely Perform A Deadlift

The smith machine is an excellent supplement to your workout, especially if you practise deadlifts in the gym. Not only will this be a safer way to perform the deadlift, but you’ll also be able to work your glutes and hamstrings without jeopardising your spine.

One of the most dangerous pieces of gym equipment is the power rack. This is due to the fact that it is far too simple to lose your balance and tumble over the barbell.

Deadlift with the Smith Machine

The Smith machine’s principal workout is this one. It can be done with knees or toes lifted, and it will simulate both types of deadlifts. The smith machine will help you build a compact, muscled physique while allowing you to lift higher weights than a barbell would.

Deadlift with the Smith Machine

The smith machine will assist you in moving your lower body through its complete range of motion. More muscle is benefited by the smith machine deadlift! Using the smith machine will let you to engage more muscle fibres.

On a smith machine, how to do a classical deadlift

  • Set the Smith machine bar to the lowest position, which should be the safety catches.
  • Place the weights where your feet will go behind the bar (on the side with the angle closest to your face). The shin-to-bar distance should be between 0.5″ and 1″, and the space between them should be hip-width apart.
  • Place both feet firmly on the weights or elevation box, and then grab the bar directly outside of your shins as tightly as possible. Sit low enough for your shins to be perpendicular to the floor (while keeping your back straight).

    On a smith machine, how to do a classical deadlift
  • To avoid your shoulders from rounding, keep your chest high and your head straight ahead. You’ll start pulling up from this point.
  • By pressing from the heels of your feet and stretching your knees, you’ll explode up with the bar.
  • When the bar hits your knees, pull your hips forwards and clench your glutes while keeping a straight spine.
  • Stop when your hips are in a neutral position, rather than fully locking out. Maintain a tight and engaged posture by squeezing your glutes. One repetition.
  • Lower the bar by flexing (bending) your knees while shooting your hips back and allowing the bar to slowly fall down.
  • Pause when the bar reaches the bottom and then repeat for the number of reps required (unless you are just doing 1 rep sets). A deadlift must start from a complete halt. So, at the bottom, you may make any necessary adjustments to your posture, ensuring that your spine is straight, your shoulder blades are retracted, and everything is ready for the next rep.

Common mistakes to avoid when using a smith machine for deadlifts

  • When executing a deadlift on an angled smith machine, standing facing the wrong way is a common and deadly mistake. Excessive hip extension occurs as a result of this, which might result in a lower back injury.
  • Because it puts too much tension on the back, arching the back will almost certainly result in injury. Any deadlift requires maintaining a neutral spine, which can be accomplished by keeping your head in a static posture during the movements.
  • Foot positioning is incorrect. Your feet should be apart by shoulder or hip width.
    Common mistakes to avoid when using a smith machine for deadlifts

    Your spine might be injured by rounded shoulders. Maintain good form and a neutral spine by pulling your shoulder blades behind you.

  • The bar is too far away from the shins. The bar should be no more than an inch away from your shins to avoid the bar contacting your shins and causing your back to curve.
  • The bar is being jerked. As the weight increases, this is a natural movement, but it will result in harm. Tighten your core and propel yourself forwards with your heels.

What Is The Difference Between A Smith Machine Deadlift And A Deadlift With Free Weights?

The difference between a free weight and a Smith machine deadlift is similar to the difference between two barbells: free weight deadlifts demand greater control than Smith machine deadlifts.

What Is The Difference Between A Smith Machine Deadlift And A Deadlift With Free Weights?

They necessitate complete control over your body and the weight you’re lifting. In a smith machine deadlift, on the other hand, you can put your entire body weight on the platform as long as it is just above your hips. This is also why smith machines are more convenient to use in a gym than at home.

A smith machine deadlift is similar to a barbell deadlift, but with less weight. When utilising a smith machine, you might be amazed at how much less weight you can utilise. Don’t worry, it’ll still be enough to make this exercise a valuable complement to your workout and a feasible bodybuilding option.

Is There A Risk Or Disadvantage To Using The Smith Machine Deadlift?

While the smith machine differs from a regular deadlift in terms of how it works, it also poses a risk of injury if done incorrectly. Because the smith machine is a machine, it will take some time to become used to it. As a result, you should proceed with caution when using this equipment.

Is There A Risk Or Disadvantage To Using The Smith Machine Deadlift?

You should probably avoid using the smith machine if you have any back issues or weaknesses. You should probably avoid the smith machine if you have any arthritic difficulties in your shoulders. You should also avoid going if you have any painful muscles after an exercise.

Finally, if you have any concerns about completing deadlifts, such as a sagging bar or a barbell slipping from your grip, you should generally avoid using the smith machine.


The Smith Machine deadlift is an exercise that has been around for a long time. It has existed for quite some time. However, due to the multiple benefits it provides to the gym and bodybuilders, the smith machine deadlift has recently received a lot of good attention.

The smith machine deadlift, when done correctly, can be one of the most effective exercises in your workout arsenal. Give this exercise a shot if you want to witness the big gains that can come from a major move like the deadlift. You won’t be dissatisfied with the results, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your strength objectives in no time.

And this article will help you answer the following questions about how to do a deadlift on a smith machine:

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  • deadlift on smith machine vs free weight
  • deadlift on smith machine planet fitness
  • smith machine deadlift gif
  • smith machine squat
  • smith machine deadlift muscles worked

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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