Never Use a Smith Machine
Martin Berkhan's classic post on F***arounditis is worth going back to read over and over again, and I've been doing just that recently. His comments on gym-goers who refuse to learn how to lift properly spurred me into writing on a topic that I've mentioned in passing before and that requires some elaboration. I've posted before about how not to lift. Here's an expansion on the subject with a post about one of my favourite bugbears: the Smith Machine.
What is a Smith Machine?
Put simply, it's the contraption shown below. (Obligatory hot girl in tight outfit included gratis, you're welcome, and no, that is NOT the way to do ANY kind of squat, EVER.) If you go to any halfway decent gym, you know exactly what it looks like:
- It's intuitive to use, and that's because you don't have to worry about balancing the weight when you use it- the weight is already stabilised for you
- It seems safe because the pins that catch the weight for you are there and visible
- It looks simple enough to use; just load up some weights and get to work
How to Injure Yourself on a Smith Machine
Bench Press on a Smith Machine, Pain and a $800 Hospital Bill Ensue