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About Everything Wiki » Fitness » How to do squats in Smith to pump your hips well

How to do squats in Smith to pump your hips well

12 Jun 2023, 00:02, parser
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What is this exercise

Squats in Smith is a strength exercise for pumping legs and buttocks, performed in a special simulator. The neck in it is fixed on metal guides and moves up and down strictly vertically.

Thanks to this, the exercise is somewhat easier and safer than working with a free barbell on your back.

Why do squats in Smith

This exercise is suitable for different purposes.

To safely load the hips and buttocks

Squats with free weights are quite a difficult movement, especially for an unprepared person. You have to make efforts not only to stretch your legs and keep your back straight, but also to maintain balance.

In Smith's simulator, the barbell moves along a given trajectory, thanks to which the muscles that stabilize the body receive S. Schwanbeck, P. D. Chilibeck, G. Binsted. A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography / Journal of strength and conditioning research significantly less load than when working with free weights.

In addition, to put the projectile on the racks, it is not necessary to fully straighten up. At any moment, you can only turn your wrists, and the neck will be fixed on the simulator.

Thanks to this, beginners get the opportunity to safely perform a complex multi-joint exercise.

To shift the load to different muscle groups

To pump the front side of the thigh to the maximum, you need K. G. Abelbeck. Biomechanical Model and Evaluation of a Linear Motion Squat Type Exercise / Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research increase the range of motion in the knee joints, and to shift the load on the buttocks — in the hip joints.

Squatting in the Smith simulator, you can experiment with setting your legs and thus regulate tension in certain muscle groups.

If you place your feet closer to the neck, as in a squat with a barbell on your back, and pull the pelvis back during the exercise, more load will go to the buttocks.

If you shift your legs a little forward and perform the movement in full range, you will be able to work out the front side of the thigh better.

Who should not do squats in Smith

It is not necessary to perform squats in the Smith simulator if:

  1. You have problems with your knees. Since during squats in the simulator, the knees are farther from the neck than in normal squats, the load on them increases. So, if you have problems with knee joints, it is worth considering other exercises for pumping your legs.
  2. You want to increase the working weights in a squat with a barbell on your back. If your main task is not to pump up muscles , but to increase the performance in squats, it does not make much sense to practice in Smith. In these exercises, the stroke of the neck, the angles of flexion in the joints, and the load on the stabilizer muscles differ. So, by switching from the simulator to a free barbell, you will not be able to work with the same weight.
  3. You know how to squat and want to load your hips to the fullest. In one experiment, we found out S. Schwanbeck, P. D. Chilibeck, G. Binsted. A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography / Journal of strength and conditioning research that the movement with free weights loads the front side of the thigh by 49%, and the back side is 26% better than the same movement in Smith. So, if you are not afraid to squat with a free barbell and want to load your muscles to the full, the exercise will not be useful to you.

How to do squats in Smith

First, adjust the height of the barbell in the simulator. Make sure that it is at the level of your shoulder.

Then turn around to face the frame, dive under the bar and stand so that the neck rests on your shoulders.

Put your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower. If you have already tried squatting with a barbell on your shoulders, use your usual stance for this exercise, but move your feet forward by about 7-10 cm.

Straighten your legs, turning the neck slightly to remove it from the racks.

Bend your legs at the hip and knee joints, dropping into a squat. Make sure that the back remains straight and the heels do not come off the floor.

Then press your feet into the floor and straighten your legs. If the lower back is rounded, try to move your legs a little forward.

How else can you do squats in Smith

In Smith, you can perform different types of squats.

With a neck on the chest

This exercise pumps the front side of the thigh better. At the same time, the lower back will also receive more load, so if you have back problems , it is worth performing this movement more carefully.


Go to the neck, put your feet shoulder-width apart or a little narrower. Grasp the neck, turn your elbows forward or fold your arms on your chest, as in the video.

Remove the barbell from the racks, straighten your back and tighten your abs. Drop into a full—range squat-as deep as you can. Make sure that the lower back is not rounded, and the heels do not come off the floor. Straighten up and repeat.

On one leg

This movement helps to load the hips and buttocks better than squatting on two legs. At the same time, due to the fixed rod in the Smith, it is much easier to perform.

Place the support — bench or step platform — in 1-1.5 steps from the frame. Dive under the barbell, put the neck on your shoulders and put the toe of one foot on the elevation. Remove the neck from the simulator and hold it with your hands.

Lower yourself into a squat until your knee touches the floor from behind your standing leg. Make sure that the second knee does not wrap inside. Straighten up and repeat.

How to add squats in Smith to your program

Pick up the weight in such a way that you can perform 8-12 repetitions while maintaining the correct technique. At the same time, keep in mind that for a good load on the muscles, the last repetitions in the approach should be heavy.

Don't forget about the warm-up. To begin with, perform squats in a Smith with an empty neck, then add 5-10 kg and perform 3-5 repetitions with each weight until you reach the desired one. Do 4-5 approaches with it.

In order to properly pump your hips and buttocks, do not limit yourself to working in Smith. Also add squats with free weights — with a barbell, dumbbells or a kettlebell, use lunges and strides to the elevation.

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