Video: Is The Smith Machine Good Or Bad For Building Muscle?
Hey, what's up guys? Sean Nalewanyj, of EliteImpactLabs.com here. And today, I want to talk a little bit about the smith machine and whether or not it's worth including in your workout plan. Now, the smith machine is a very commonly used piece of equipment in gyms all across the country, and is regularly utilized for compound chest pressing, overhead presses, squats and other movements. But is the smith machine a good tool for stimulating muscle size and strength gains? Well, at the end of the day, any machine or cable system that moves the muscles through a full range of motion and allows for progressive overload is going to produce results.
So, in that sense, yes, the smith machine can certainly be used as a tool for building muscle size and strength. However, if you are going to include smith machine movements in your workout plan, I would recommend that you use them sparingly. And there are two major reasons for this. The first problem with the smith machine is the fact that the bar is stuck on a fixed plane of movement. And Because of this, your body is always forced to comply with the range of motion of the machine rather than following its own natural path of movement. Since your joints will be forced to exert force in the direction of the machine, rather than moving naturally, you'll be increasing your chances of injury. Performing a lot of heavy presses on the smith machine could easily damage your shoulder joints, and similarly, you know, doing a lot of squats, a lot of bend over rows could cause you lower back or knee problems in the long run. If you've been training intensely for any length of time, then you probably know just how detrimental an injury can be.
The second problem with the smith machine is the fact that it doesn't allow for complete stimulation of your entire muscular system. The most common movements performed on the smith machine are going to be chest presses and overhead presses. Now normally, when you're forced to press a free weight bar in a single direction, you'll be recruiting all of your major muscle groups, your rotator cuff muscles, which is a small group of four muscles that keeps your shoulder joint in place, as well as an array of smaller stabilizer muscles. On the smith machine, those smaller stabilizer muscles are not recruited to any significant degree since the weight is already balanced for you. After a long period of time training solely on the smith machine, you'll probably find it very hard to return back to regular free weight movements since your muscles will have only been conditioned on that one single plane of movement. So, a few smith machine movements are fine as part of your overall workout plan, but again, use them sparingly. For example, a set or two of smith machine shrugs is fine as part of your back workout, or including it as just one of your pressing movements for chest or shoulders would also be okay.
The take-home message here that I'm trying to get across is simply that the smith machine should never be used as a sole piece of training equipment. And it should never make up the majority of your workout plan for any particular muscle group. There are just too many short-comings and drawbacks that make it a less than ideal choice for serious trainees. Again, a couple sets here and there, is fine. But basic free weight should always form the underlying core of your overall training routine. So, thanks for watching this video. If you found the information here useful, please don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe to stay up-to-date on future videos. Also don't forget to download your free 28-day mass building plan, which includes a free workout, meal plan and supplement guide, over on EliteImpactLabs.com. The link to that is in the description box. And don't forget to join us over on Facebook, where we do free supplement giveaways every Thursday night. Thanks again, for watching.
I'll talk to you again soon..