Strength Building Free Weights Machine, Smith Machines - exercising equipment Ideal for building strength
Choosing the right Smith Machine
If you enjoy using free weights and want to continue to experience the feel of free weights but you want the safety of a multi gym then the Smith Machine is one of the safest self-spotting fitness machines on the market. Spotting is the term used for your training partner who is there to prevent the barbell dropping on to you if your arms suddenly give way. A Smith Machine has a mechanical built in spotter facility allowing you to workout with free weights without a partner.
A Smith machine consist of a frame with two metal/chrome poles either side, which the barbell is attached to by sleeves. This barbell slides up these poles in a vertical plane. Weight plates are loaded on either end of the barbell providing the resistance. Two hooks attached to the bar, catch onto a series of pegs and lock the bar in position along any point of the range of motion, providing the added safety of a built-in spotter.
Any exercise home gym review you come across on Smith Machines will tell you that current users consider them to be great as an all-purpose gym system for the home. office, or gym. Smith machines are designed to help you work out with confidence. They are designed so that your lifts are always safe and your form is always perfect.
Buying Your Smith Machine
- Consider who will be using the Smith machine and what their specific goals are
It is more than likely that more than one person will be using the Smith machine. It is important that the need’s of everyone who wants to use the exercise equipment is considered. A Smith machine can be used by everyone but that does not mean everyone will like it. A Smith machine uses free weights or weight discs which have to be changed each time you perform individual exercises. Some people, particularly beginners to weight training find this tedious and time consuming. However serious weight trainers and bodybuilders expect to do this, its all part of their weight training routine. So you will have to decide if a Smith machine is the right piece of fitness equipment for everyone who will be weight training on it.
- Start your shopping with a specialist fitness equipment retailer
Specialist fitness equipment dealers like us have educated staff and sell quality fitness machines plus the ability to install and service your workout equipment more effectively than your normal sports shop or department store.
- Go to a specialist fitness equipment store and test the fitness equipment
Almost any fitness machine will feel adequate if you only test it for a few minutes. Its only when you start to put the Smith machine through its paces that you will you appreciate the quality of the exercise equipment you are trying. It’s only by testing this way will you notice the major differences in quality, smoothness and comfort. The best Smith machines will feel smooth through out the whole range of movements. The barbell on the Smith machine should not judder and it should remain parallel to the floor during the lift and lowering phase. So go to the store prepared, in appropriate clothing and footwear so you can test the gym equipment properly.
Remember the must haves when buying your Smith Machine
- Smoothness & Straight Lift
The smoothness of the barbell running up and down the poles is the main thing to look for when buying a Smith machine, The way the barbell is guided up the Smith machine poles come down to the materials used in the sleeves that attach the barbell to the poles. On some cheap Smith machines they are nothing more than plastic sleeves. Plastic sleeves allow movement of the barbell, so when you lift the barbell it can have a tendency to angle itself. In other words one side of the barbell will rise slightly more than the other, resulting in an awkward lift. Mid range Smith machines use a better method of metal sleeves with bearings inside. These keep the barbell straight but still do not deliver the smoothest lift. Quality Smith machines use linear bearings and these give a smooth and perfect lift as long as quality linear bearings have been used.
- Build Quality
If the build quality of the Smith machine is poor you will never achieve the two requirements above. Also the frame that holds the whole Smith machine together should be made from heavy duty steel so it remains sturdy, not matter what you throw at it.
You do not need any attachments to use a Smith machine. You can easily use it just for squatting and nothing else if you want to and apart from some weight discs nothing more is required. However by adding attachments your Smith machine could eventually allow every weight training exercise to be performed. The first thing to buy would be a freestanding bench press bench. This would make available a whole new range of exercises. After that, depending on the make, you could add a Lat pulldown, a chin up bar and a pec deck to your Smith machine. However some Smith machines such as the Marcy Smith machines come as a complete package. Most Smith machines also allow you to use both standard weight plates and Olympic weight plates.
Safety and Maintenance
Smith machines are designed to be safe, that is there whole purpose, to make free weight training something you can do on your own. However weights discs are involved and these have to be placed on the Smith machines barbell, so they have to be lifted into position. Be aware of your lower back when doing so. As with any fitness machine accidents can occur if used incorrectly or irresponsibly. When buying fitness equipment, gym equipment or any type of workout equipment safety must always be a priority.
A good Smith machine requires very little maintenance. Apart from keeping the guide poles polished or siliconed to improve smoothness of movement, very little else is required.
Warranties vary from manufacturer. Please ask a Fitness Options consultant for details.
No spotter? No problem. With the versatile Smith machine, you can safely push yourself to your limits for serious results during your exercise workout.