Is the squat rack Smith Machine less dangerous than the squat with dumbbells?

To clarify this matter, we will first explain in detail how its two leg bending types work.

The squat with dumbbells is to raise the bar on your shoulders and on your trapeziums muscles, keeping your feet slightly apart (at shoulder height). Hips and buttocks are held back while you lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. The movement ends by pushing the body to the vertical position. This exercise is not as simple as it seems, for he requires strict technique.

When doing squats with the squat rack smith machine, the knees bend as if you were sitting on a chair until your thighs are parallel to the sole. Then reverse the movement returning slowly to the starting position.

The big difference between these two techniques is the position of the feet. When you squat with dumbbells, your feet can only be in one position: just below the bar. When you use the machine, you can position your feet in front of your body because you do not need to keep the balance.

Okay, so what exercise should I choose?

In fact, although the squat at the Smith machine can provide better stability, it also forces you to exercise the movement of an unnatural manner. The machine allows you to move vertically up and down. This puts a considerable amount of pressure on the back and knees. Therefore, the risk of permanent injuries when you run this movement is also considerable.

Bend your legs with nothing but a bar on your back uses more muscles, especially in the hips, back and in many stabilizing muscles – which is essential to maintain good posture. Since there are more muscles in action, this squat technique also allows you to develop your strength.

In 2009, a group of scientists from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, conducted a study that used electromyography to determine the stimulating effects legs, back and stabilizer muscles in both years. Six participants performed a series of 8 repetitions by free squat, and 8 repetitions by performing the squat using the power rack Smith machine with 3-day intervals between each session. The results of the electromyography showed that squats performed with a barbell demanded more work the muscles, after recording an activity of 43% more than the machine.

However, this does not mean squat to the Smith machine should be excluded from your workout program. Ideally, these two years should be used, as they are complementary. For example, after completing 5-7 sets of heavy squats, you can end up 3-4 series on the Smith machine using lighter weights and positioning your feet forward, thereby stimulating your quadriceps maximum.

Combining these two exercises is a great way to stimulate muscles more effectively, both in the lower part than in the upper body. Try to achieve the free squat to improve your strength and squat with the Smith Machine to target muscles.

Because the squat is, according to many practitioners in bodybuilding, the base year for their thighs and buttocks, here is my blog about best power rack that summarizes the essentials to start well!

Here is some notice when practicing the squat

First, a few basic rules about positioning and execution:

– Do not put the bar too high on the neck (hands support the bar below) not to crush the descent, but the land on the shoulder blades.

– Set a right point ahead whether we keep for the whole movement.

– On the way down, the body is resting on the heels but the feet remain flat on the ground.

– The bar should descend vertically (like the Smith Machine).

– Keep the back and chest, flat stomach, the strong and stable trunk.

– The basin must be ante version, so the back is slightly arched, especially not the round (do not over-emphasize the curve!)!

– The knees are in line with the thighs and feet, careful not to get them inside.

– Going up, the movement is fluid, with no downtime.

The running time:

Count 4 seconds to complete the movement:

– 1 second straight legs

– 1 second to flexion (lowering)

– 1 second stable position down

– 1 second extension (rebound)

Time bending and / or stable position can be increased to complicate the exercise.


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