Squat Rack vs. Smith Machine

My company has just asked me for feedback on our corporate gym. As far as corporate gyms go, it's pretty good. My biggest complaint is there is no squat rack. Space is tight and there is, however, a Smitn machine. My suggestion is going to be replace the Smith machine with a squat rack. I could use some help explaining why a squat rack is better. Thanks in advance.
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Replies

  • DBoone85
    DBoone85 Posts: 916 Member
    If you don't KNOW why its better, then why do you want to replace it?
  • Capt_Apollo
    Capt_Apollo Posts: 9,026 Member
    honestly, it might be a hard sell for a corporate gym. the barbell squat rack engages more of your core and forces you to concentrate on form.

    however a smith machine is "safer" because it is on rails and doesn't move side to side. do you have the straight up and down smith machine, or is it the one that goes back and forth as well?
  • cranshinibon
    cranshinibon Posts: 129 Member
    smith machines don't have the natural range of movement that a squat rack allows. Since the bar is on a sled, it can sometimes cause lower back issues for those who do it with wrong form, especially with heavier weights. It also limits the angle you should be going to do a good form squat

    if you do a body weight squat, notice how much different it is from using the smith machine.

    http://www.liftbigeatbig.com/2012/09/squats-barbell-vs-smith-machine.html
    http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/avoid_lifting_injuries/The_Smith_Machine.php

    Quoted from Menshealth:

    "The Smith Machine

    The myth: This machine—which looks like a squat rack with a built-in bar that runs on guides—gives you all the benefits of squats, but none of the risk that comes from holding a heavy barbell across your back. That’s because the bar can easily be secured at any point during the movement.

    The truth: Because the bar runs on guides, you can only move straight up and down as you squat—instead of down and back, as you would in a free-weight squat. The result: An unnatural movement that puts extra stress on your knees and lower back. Need another reason to skip the Smith? Canadian researchers found that traditional squats produced almost 50 percent more muscle activity in the quadriceps than squats done on a Smith machine.

    The alternative: If you’re not comfortable with barbell squats, simply do the exercise while holding dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. You won’t need a spotter, and your body will be free to move through the natural motion of the squat. "
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.
  • martinel2099
    martinel2099 Posts: 899 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.

    this++
  • Thanks to all for your input and @Doug, I wish my company was laid back enough where sending the BroScience video would be cool.
  • MG_Fit
    MG_Fit Posts: 1,143 Member
  • _errata_
    _errata_ Posts: 1,653 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.

    this++

    (this++)++
  • jimmmer
    jimmmer Posts: 3,515 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.

    this++

    (this++)++

    Not this...




    Just kidding!

    ((This++)++)++
  • DjinnMarie
    DjinnMarie Posts: 1,297 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.

    Don't forget that curling in a squat rack is the bees knees. Everybody should try it.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
    Not only that- you can do more things in a squat rack- so more options.

    OHP
    Rows
    DL off pins (assuming it has pins)

    I mean if you could get a power cage that would be even better- but- well - you might be reaching.

    it's a more flexible piece of equipment.

    Don't forget that curling in a squat rack is the bees knees. Everybody should try it.

    OMGHERRRRD

    How could I have missed that.

    I only give it a this++

    instead of this++++++++ since I clearly missed the most vital aspect of the squat rack's nature.
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 902 Member
    The Smith Machine goes up and it goes down in a 2d plane. It is pretty much a waste of everyone's time. At no point in your life are you going to replicate the motions done on a Smith Machine. Your body needs to learn how to use stabilizer muscles. The Smith Machine is just going to help you over develop a specific muscle group and then jack up (in a bad way) something else due the the imbalances it causes.
  • Old_Man_McGucket
    Old_Man_McGucket Posts: 310 Member
    Update: Walked into the gym today and did a double take at the new power cage. So happy; although I'm not sure if my suggestion had anything to do with it (they didn't remove the Smith machine). Of course I went and did some curls in it!
  • JeffseekingV
    JeffseekingV Posts: 3,165 Member
    Depends on WHICH machine. I think a dual axis smith machine is perfectly fine
    fw_111_dual_sliding_smith_machine.jpg
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,951 Member
    Love the smith machine.

    Great place to do aussie pull ups, and leave my towel.
  • Wronkletoad
    Wronkletoad Posts: 368 Member
    why? how does that sally machine make up for any of the other shortcomings of the sally? or since it's double axle, is this the shirley machine?
  • JeffseekingV
    JeffseekingV Posts: 3,165 Member
    In general, the smith machine provides a little bit more safety for the lifter vs a free weight rack. In GENERAL, I'd recommend a smith machine dual axis if the company feels more comfortable with a smith vs free weight.

    This unit is a dual axis or dual plane vs single plane. So it does not restrict your range of motion during the squat motion. But it does restrict on the 3rd axis which is not really the concern being discussed here. I've used all three. Single plane units are a waste of space for the most part.
  • yopeeps025
    yopeeps025 Posts: 8,680 Member
    why? how does that sally machine make up for any of the other shortcomings of the sally? or since it's double axle, is this the shirley machine?

    LOL I see what you did there. :star:

  • mustgetmuscles1
    mustgetmuscles1 Posts: 3,346 Member
    edited October 2014
    Power cage over a squat rack. Sometimes the name is interchangeable but they are two different pieces of equipment.

    Squat rack
    precor-squat-rack-14.jpg

    Power Cage
    cybex%20power%20cage.jpg


    The cage is much more versatile IMO. Pull ups, bench press with safety rails as well as the other lifts JoRocka mentioned and more.