Remember: all information, content, and material of this website is just for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or your healthcare provider/personal fitness trainer.
LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Gym Expert
Bench Press is one of the more “extreme” exercises that can help you build your body quickly. It allows you to train several parts of your body simultaneously. Bench pressing requires a lot of hard work, and it generally involves plenty of heavyweights. This article talks about the several benefits of the smith machine bench press and why it’s better than the traditional version.
What is a Smith Machine?
A Smith Machine is a type of weight machine that allows the user to engage in several forms of weight training and chest exercises. It has a barbell fixed within steel rails, and it only allows movement in the vertical direction. Using a Smith machine is a lot safer than doing a traditional Bench Press, with a lesser risk of sudden injury or unprecedented accidents.
Smith Machine Bench Press Benefits
Using a Smith Machine for Bench Pressing has several benefits. Some prominent ones are:
- Using a smith bench press can give you more stability during your exercise;
- It will provide you with better balance even when you are dealing with heavyweights;
- Safer and more efficient than traditional bench press;
- Provides you with increased muscle isolation.
What Muscles Does Bench Press Work?
If you want to know what muscles do bench press work on, then here’s a list of some of the most prominent ones:
- Pectoral muscles in your chest;
- Muscles on your shoulders;
- The trapezius, rhomboids, and the latissimus dorsi muscles in your upper back;
- All the muscles in your arms;
- Joint muscles in your shoulders, back, and hands.
Smith Machine Bench Press Vs Regular Bench Press
The smith machine vs barbell is quite an old debate. Both have their characteristic features. At the same time, there is a marked distinction between them:
In the traditional system, your body and the weight you are lifting must stay fixed over your feet. Otherwise, your entire system will rotate, and you might tip over and fall. Therefore, to maintain a steady balance, you must apply force vertically in line with your center of gravity. It’s not that easy, and there is a possible amount of risk involved in this process. Nonetheless, this process is useful in strengthening the muscles in your thighs.
A smith machine bench press allows several variations in both the anterior and posterior foot placements. The machine restricts the movement of the barbell linearly along the vertical axis. Thus, you can lift weights easily without worrying too much about your posture. All you must do is secure an appropriate knee-hip relationship. You can change your feet positions without making knee translations while you bench press on smith machine. The angular moment applied to your body, especially the hip and the knee, will depend on the barbell’s load variation.
According to a study, a traditional bench press can cause twice the muscle activation of the medial deltoid muscles than the Smith Machine Bench Press. However, a bench press smith machine is the best option if you want to focus on your safety and stability.
How to Use a Smith Machine?
You can use a Smith Machine in different ways. It allows you to do Bench Press, Split Squats, Front Squats, Back Squats, Calf Raise, etc. However, it is mainly useful in benching on smith machine because of its improved balance and stability.
For a smith machine bench press:
- Place a flat bench in the center of the machine.
- Lie back on the bench with your upper chest positioned horizontally to the barbell.
- Keep your lower back slightly arched to enhance your movements.
Different Bench Press Grips on a Smith Machine
Given below are the different Bench Press Grips for a Smith Machine:
- Narrow Grip/Close Grip
Allows you to keep your shoulders tucked in close to your body.
- Medium Grip
The most standard method for lifting weights and helping you strengthen shoulder muscles.
- Wide Grip
Gives you a limited range of motions but allows you to handle heavyweights.
- Reverse Grip
This is useful in building your arm muscles, especially triceps.
- False Grip
Some users prefer to put their thumb on the same side as their other fingers. This grip is useful in building strength and power in your chest area.
This exercise routine will help you increase your endurance and mental discipline. Lifting and lowering weights on a Smith Machine is tough. Even holding it in one position for some time takes a lot of serious hard work and dedication. So if you have that dedication to take your workout routine to a whole new level, the smith machine bench press will be the right choice.