Outside of the smith machine creating greater tension for aiding in building muscle, the smith machine has a lot of pros to it. Another reason I love using it is for hip thrusts. Sometimes setting up for a barbell hip thrust can be such a pain in the ass sometimes (literally) and its much easier to do them on the smith machine.
The smith machine can also promote good form. If you struggle with barbell squats, this doesnt mean you do not continue practicing with the barbell, however you can also rotate in the smith machine to help build some strength in certain areas for the barbell squat to become easier. I like to program the smith machine for the squat if someone is really struggling with engaging their glutes in the movement or is feeling it primarily in their low back.
The weight on the smith machine is also automatically stable due to the barbell being secured to 2 metal poles. This is a pro and a con at the same time. The pro: you have stabilization and do not have to worry about feeling wobbly or insecure under the weight. The con: you aren't training your stability to become stronger in that area. This is why you should utilize both the barbell and smith machine in your training.
Another movement that is great to try is a split squat or a reverse lunge on the smith machine. Sometimes when someone is new to fitness and certain movements like these two, their feet aren't strong enough yet or do not have the stability they need yet to perform this movement with free weights.
It can be a perfect piece of equipment for beginners or advanced lifters - it just depends on how you use it and for what movements.
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