The Standard Of A Good Smith Machine (And Why They Need To Be Met)
Whether you are trying to build some muscle, losing some unwanted fats, or simply just maintaining a good level of body fitness, Smith Machines are excellent equipment that can definitely help you reach your goals.
The Smith Machine is a weight equipment developed in the 1950’s that is composed of a barbell fixed between steel rails. A wide range of exercises can be performed using the smith machine, such as squats, bench press, rows, seated overhead press, drag curl, and many more. With this, the smith machine is indeed a good investment.
But before buying your own smith machine, it is good to ask yourself “What are the things you should look for a Smith Machine?” This is important because Smith machines do not come cheap and they take up a lot of space in your home. With that, here are the standards of a good smith machine and why they must be met.
- Smooth Linear Bearing
A smooth linear bearing is one of the most important details that you need to fulfill before buying your desired smith machine. The linear bearing sleeves can be found on both sides of the Smith machine. They are attached to the steel bar. These sleeves move up and down on chromed guide rods that are case hardened for a long lasting smooth finish. Because most smith machines move in a vertical pathway, linear bearings are vital because they ensure that the steel bar does not vibrate or get stuck while lifting some weights. Furthermore, through providing resistance free vertical travel for the bar, linear bearings significantly improve the function of the Smith machine. With that, it is important to check the machine for linear bearings as they smoothen the motion of the bar. Smith machines can aid you in lifting relatively heavy weights, so the weight rating on the bar requires it to be high enough so that it can accommodate the weight you plan to utilize.
- Large Frame and Footprint
If you are planning to buy your own smith machine, you have to make sure that the frame and the footprint adequately gives you space to move and perform different exercises effectively and properly. With that, it is important that you buy a smith machine that has a base that is considered wide and long enough to let you be able to perform exercises with ease and comfortability. In addition to that, a large frame and footprint also helps in keeping the smith machine from tilting and shifting when you are lifting heavy weights. It is important to remember that if you are going to be lifting heavy weights, low gauge steel should be utilized for the framework of the to make sure that it is stable and durable.
- Should Include All Safety Mechanisms
If you are just starting in resistance and weight training, then the buying the smith machine can be a wise choice. The Smith Machine is a weight equipment that helps in resistance training especially to those casual or inexperienced strength trainees who are not familiar in performing free weight exercises involving heavy weights. The Smith Machine increases the safety when performing exercises. This is one of the greatest benefits of smith machines. With that, when buying your smith machine, you have to make sure it includes all safety mechanisms such as: (1) locking pins or spotterm that can be adjusted according to your choice of range of motion or you can set barriers to the range of motion itself. They can also aid in making sure that the bar will not go below a certain depth that can be harmful for you; (2) spring collar clamps that are utilized in order to secure the weighted plates on the bar while performing different exercises on the smith machine; (3) catch rod that is placed in every 3 to 6 inches of the framework. These are fastened to the inside of where the bar glides, making sure that when problems arise during lifting, you can just place the bar along the way; (4) adjustable stops that are utilized as a safety device to be set a minimum bar height depending on the specific exercise; and (5) hook or a bar catch. All of these are vital because they avoid injuries. All these safety mechanisms will also give you the mental confidence that you need in order to perform all exercises without worry, letting you focus more on your form and proper execution. It can be particularly dangerous performing exercises without a spotter, but with the smith machine and its safety mechanism, it is really possible to perform on your own.
- Enough Plate Holders
Because Smith machines usually take up large space in your home, it is important that you do not think anymore where to store the accessories such as weight plates of your smith machine. When buying your own equipment, most smith machines come with a considerable number of weight plates. With that, you should ensure that your smith machine also has enough plate holders installed on them. These plate holders are especially beneficial if you are planning to put your smith machine in your home space because it removes the need to store these weight plates on a separate weight plate rack, which helps you save more money and space in the end.
Not all smith machines come with a counterbalance system. With that, we highly suggest that when buying your own smith machine, you opt for those that come with a counterbalance system. A counterbalance system consists of pulleys, cables, guide rods, bushings, and counterweights that are built within the steel frame and situated to the bar so as to pull up on the bar decreasing its weight when performing exercises. With that, the primary function of the counterbalance system is to decrease the weight of the solid steel bar. In most cases, this counterbalance system reduces the actual weight of steel bars by about 20 lbs. or more, which allows you to have a lighter starting weight which consequently is helpful when training smaller and inactive muscles groups. Furthermore, the counterbalance system also includes protective shrouds that give protection not only to users but also bystanders from moving parts linked with the counterbalance system.
In conclusion, the things we have listed above are the things we believe an excellent smith machine should have. However, these are not the be-all and end-all of smith machines. In the end, there are a lot of more things to consider when buying your own smith machine. What is important is that you remember that what you should buy should be based on your personal preference, needs, and goals.
1. Iron Company. 2015. Choosing the Best Smith Machine for Weightlifting. Retrieved from: https://www.ironcompany.com/blog/choosing-the-best-smith-machine/#:~:text=This%20would%20include%20bench%20presses,fully%20overloaded%20for%20maximum%20growth. Retrieved on 11 November 2020.
2. Fitness Goat. 2019. Best Smith Machines: Different Types & What To Consider Before Buying. Retrieved from: https://fitnessgoat.com/best-smith-machines/. Retrieved on 11 November 2020.
3. Chili Guides. 2020. Guide To Buying A Smith Machine. Retrieved from: https://chiliguides.com/guides/guide-to-buying-a-smith-machine/. Retrieved on 11 November 2020.