Reviews Gym Equipment Racks

10 Best Smith Machines in 2024

Most gym-goers underestimate the value of this equipment and don’t realize its full advantages. Moreover, they’re lost when it comes to picking up a worthy Smith machine for their home gyms.

Choose the best Smith machine from our review list: get the maximum from this tool to perform full-body training safely and effectively. Arrange a complete gym at home, so no personal trainer is needed.

Get to know what impressive features, construction quality and weight limits are available with this gym machine to breathe fresh air into your routine workouts. With a Smith machine, you’ll make every typical bar exercise easier to perform due to additional support and stability.

So, check out our profound observation of the best Smith machines and decide which one resembles your fitness goals.

Our team of expert professional athletes tried and tested 21 Smith machines from various brands and relied on their extensive experience and skills to determine which ones are the best.

All 21 Smith machines were tested over a period of 150+ hours and were ranked based on quality, comfort, safety, durability, adjustability, multifunctionality, and value for money. After the rating has been concluded, our team of experts has delivered this list of the 10 best Smith machines currently available on the market. The list will be kept up-to-date!

best smith machines review

Top 10 Best Smith Machines Reviewed

  1. Titan Fitness Smith Machine – Top Pick
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness Smith Machine – Runner-Up
  3. Marcy Pro Smith Machine – Best Smith Machine Training Station
  4. Marcy Smith Machine Cage System
  5. Major Lutie Smith Machine
  6. Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer – Premium Pick
  7. RitFit Home & Garage Smith Machine
  8. Marcy Combo Smith Machine
  9. Mikolo Smith Machine
  10. Valor Fitness Smith Machine
Titan Fitness69.5109.51010101010
Marcy Pro Smith6910109.59.5101010
Marcy Cage System68109.59.5109.5109.5
Inspire Fitness679.
Marcy Combo66.59.599.59.59.5109.5

1. Titan Fitness Smith Machine

Titan Fitness Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 67” L x 54” W x 86” H
  • Product weight: 260 lb
  • Exercise attachments: no
  • Barbell shaft diameter: 32 mm
  • Barbell sleeve diameter: 49 mm
  • Knurl and knurl marks: knurled bar
  • Max weight capacity: 600 lb
  • Floor protectors: 4 rubber feet pads
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty
  • Accessories included: knurled barbell, 2 J-hooks

Do you want to bulk up without getting occasional strains? Then have a look at this exceptional-quality piece of equipment. Our top-pick choice is the Titan Fitness Smith machine which has various features a sports starter and advanced athlete can benefit from training on this equipment.

The tool comes with two 8-position safety catches that ensure additional support throughout the workout. These hooks act as a spotter and assist athletes to avoid injuries in case of occasional bar drops.

The knurled barbell is included in the package: it has 12.5” loadable sleeves and band pegs on each side to add more resistance while lifting weights, as well as you get a firm grip. Also, there’re 2 adjustable J-hooks you can easily attach to the bar.

The machine’s frame comes with 8″ Olympic-weight storage posts. It also consists of a counter-balance function to promote your training and help you to lift more weight.

Overally, this is the best Smith machine for home gym that provides a great training experience, despite the fact that there’s no option to add an extra pulley system to this machine.

The weight storage pegs make it easy to grab a plate to add on during the workout; you get smooth bar motion on linear ball bearings, while the rack itself is heavy and wide which allows for a wide stance for tall athletes.

The Titan Smith machine is very sturdy and durable with wide foot pads, so you can move it on a rubberized floor without worrying you’ll scratch the surface.


The Titan Fitness Smith machine offers a comprehensive training experience with its knurled barbell, adjustable J-hooks, and 8″ Olympic-weight storage posts, providing stability and convenience for weightlifting workouts at home.



  • The package includes a knurled barbell and two J-hooks
  • Equipped with a counter-balance mechanism
  • Has a great safety rack with 8 catches on each side

Could be better:

  • Compared to other trainers, the bar doesn't go down enough to do exercises from the floor, i.e., deadlift, bent-over rows, and hip thrusts

2. Sunny Health & Fitness Smith Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 74.3” L x 43.1”W x 88.6” H
  • Product weight: 125.4 lb
  • Exercise attachments: pull-up bar, 2 resistance band posts, 15 lb barbell compatible with 1"- 2" weight plates, glide guide rails
  • Barbell shaft diameter: 1”
  • Barbell sleeve diameter: 1”- 2”
  • Knurl and knurl marks: no knurling
  • Max weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Max user height: 6’4”
  • Floor protectors: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year for the structural frame, 180 days for parts and components
  • Accessories included: 15 lb barbell with 2 safety weight clips, 2 interchangeable 1"- 2" weight plate sleeves

Improve your technique, become stronger, gain your goals, and push your limits with the help of this highly compatible home gym Smith machine that offers the users the possibility to expand the workout routine with different attachments to open up their potential.

You can make your workout as personalized as possible by adding particular rack accessories from Sunny Health & Fitness such as lat pulldown pulley system and attachment, Olympic bar holder attachment, landmine attachment, U-ring attachment, and extra J-hook attachment.

The machine is equipped with a 15 lb barbell with safety clips that hold your weight plates securely. The squat bar is suitable for 1” diameter barbells only.

Additionally, the machine has resistance band handles for adding extra tension while weight training, a built-in multi-grip pull-up bar, 2 weight plate posts that fit 1”- 2” diameter weight plates, an external J-hook, and safety clips. The equipment features 21 height settings that make it fit for a wide range of athletes of various heights.

This Smith machine has a sturdy construction, although for safer usage it’s possible to bolt it to the ground with the help of built-in connecting pieces. Despite quite a good attachment diversity that can be applied to the tool, this is a cheap Smith machine compared to other models in the list.


Sunny Health & Fitness Smith Machine offers the opportunity to improve your technique, build strength, and achieve your goals with its compatibility, versatile attachments, and sturdy construction, making it an excellent choice.



  • Compatible with a wide range of Sunny Health&Fitness accessories
  • Has two interchangeable weight plate sleeves
  • Comes with 21 height settings

Could be better:

  • The bar doesn’t have knurling and knurl marks
Best Smith Machine Training Station

3. Marcy Pro Smith Machine

Marcy Pro Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 73” L x 86” W x 85” H
  • Bench assembled dimensions: 48" L x 27" W x 49" H
  • Product weight: 389 lb
  • Exercise attachments: dual cross-swivel lower and upper pulleys, pull-up bar, squat rack, landmine exercise attachment, resistance band anchor
  • Knurl and knurl marks: no knurling
  • Max weight capacity: 600 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Accessories included: squat bar, adjustable weight bench, plate rack, dip bars, safety bar catchers, 2 anchors, 2 single handles

Here’s another great gym machine that combines several units in one, so there’s no need to use various workout stations at the gym. This unique Smith machine with cables from Marcy unites different strength-building machines such as a power tower, utility bench, squat rack, pull-up bar, and a landmine exercise attachment.

This all-in-one gym machine will bring you the ultimate full-body training to get fit in a short time, develop your strength capabilities, and learn proper technique.

It also comes with an upper and lower cable-routed dual pulley system, making this tool a true lat pull-down trainer. The pulley ratio is 2:1. Additionally, you can utilize a multi-grip pull-up bar, adjustable high dip station, adjustable bar holder, and resistance band anchor to perform numerous resistance-training exercises.

Speaking about the seat, it can be adjusted up and down and has a 2" thick high-density foam back cushion. So, you’ll feel ultimate comfort when doing dumbbell presses, triceps extension, biceps curls, bench dips, or sit-ups.

marcy pro smith machine instagram
photo by @marcyfitness

There’re numerous weight pegs to store your weight plates, so you can organize your home gym space in one unit. The machine comes with transport wheels placed on the bench. Another perk is adjustable dip handles for lower and higher bar position to meet your training preferences.

Hence, you’ll develop strong shoulders and triceps by performing dips or deficit push-ups.

Concerning the maximum weight, you can lift the following:

  • Maximum weight on a sliding weight trolley is 300 lbs (150 lbs on each side).
  • Maximum weight on safety bar catch brace and bar catches is 300 lbs.
  • Maximum weight on the weight bar is 300 lbs.
  • Maximum weight on the bench is 600 lbs (including user weights).

As a result, by choosing this versatile all-in-one Smith machine, you’ll get a weight plate storage rack, a squat bar with 2” Olympic weight plate posts, a 2000 lb tensile strength pulley system, and 2” Olympic weight plate posts at the bottom.


The Marcy All-in-One Smith Machine is a comprehensive home gym equipment that combines a power tower, utility bench, squat rack, pull-up bar, and landmine exercise attachment, allowing you to achieve your fitness goals.



  • Is an all-in-one gym machine that combines several training units
  • The pulleys are very smooth with the linear bearings
  • Comes with 2000 lb tensile strength aircraft cable

Could be better:

  • Needs modifications if you’re taller than 5’5” since the maximum height you can set the squat rack bars is 52”
  • There’s no knurling on the barbell

4. Marcy Smith Machine Cage System

Marcy Smith Machine Cage System
  • Item dimensions: 70” L x 84” W x 86” H (cage size), 62” L x 26” W x 55” H (bench size)
  • Product weight: 300 lb
  • Exercise attachments: pull-up bars, dual pulleys, butterfly press arms, preacher curl pad, a landmine attachment
  • Knurl and knurl marks: knurled bar
  • Max weight capacity: 300 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Accessories included: Olympic weight bar, rowing cable, adjustable/removable dip bars, cable handles, triceps rope, plate posts, lat bar, shiver bar, ankle strap, 2 single handles, footplate, landmine

Our next Smith machine model is a 3-in-1 multi-gym with Smith machine trainer that combines a power tower, utility bench, and squat rack. The tool is equipped with a landmine exercise attachment, and a multi-grab pull-up bar to perform exercises for the upper body like pull-ups, chin-ups, and hanging leg raises.

It’s also possible to use the bar to attach the resistance bands. The bar is knurled for better grip.

Let’s enumerate what attachments this Smith machine has and which exercises you can perform by utilizing them:

  • a rowing cable for seated rows to develop the back, forearm, and upper arm muscles
  • triceps rope together with the adjustable pulleys for lat push-downs, overhead triceps extensions
  • the padded butterfly press arms to target your chest muscles
  • the preacher curl pad
  • the lower pulley cable for one-arm curls, it’s also can be used with the foot plate for seated rows, which makes it a great substitution to a rowing machine

The dual pulleys allow for cable crossovers and other strength training exercises. Adjust them at any height of the unit to target different muscles and exercises. You also can train with the Olympic weight bar attached to the Smith track for squats, presses, and other training.

What about the weights, the maximum capacity of the Smith machine bar is 300 lbs, the maximum capacity on safety catches is 300 lbs, and the max capacity on the bench is 600 lbs. The resistance ratio for low pulley and butterfly stations is 1:1, while for left/right crossover is 2:1.


The Marcy 3-in-1 multi-gym Smith machine is a versatile fitness equipment that combines a power tower, utility bench, and squat rack, offering a variety of exercise options to enhance your strength and fitness.



  • Is an extremely versatile 3-in-1 multipurpose machine for a variety of exercises
  • Comes with numerous attachments that target different muscles
  • Sturdy and durable rack

Could be better:

  • The seat doesn’t provide the opportunity to do leg extension or calf raises (or anything leg-related)
  • The assembly can take almost the whole day
  • There are no weight plates stacks

5. MAJOR LUTIE Smith Machine SML07 Home Gym Package-R

MAJOR LUTIE Smith Machine SML07 Home Gym Package-R
  • Item dimensions: 56.6” L x 65.8” W x 84.8” H 
  • Handle type: fixed, strap
  • Exercise attachments: multi-grip pull-up bars, Olympic weight bar, dual pulleys, dip bars, foot board, 360-degree landmine attachment, J-hooks, cable crossovers
  • Barbell sleeve diameter: 2”
  • Knurl and knurl marks: no knurling
  • Max weight capacity: 1400 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Warranty: 8 months after-sale warranty service
  • Accessories included: Olympic weight plates(10lbs *2, 25lbs *2, 35lbs *2, 45lbs *2), weight bench

If buying this Smith machine for your home gym, you don’t have to supplement it with other extra attachments since it already comes with a wide range of additional functional accessories to benefit from this tool to the maximum.

You can perform a great number of exercises with the help of this all-in-one gym monster machine: pull-ups, chin-ups, TRX, hanging leg raises, conventional squats, deadlifts, presses, landmine press, deadlift, etc.

The machine has a unique triangular structure frame and is made of heavy-duty 2mm thickness commercial quality steel. The backrest support rod adopts a double-track design that improves the stability of different positions. You can adjust the back and seat to any position since there are 8 unique back positions and 4 seat positions totally.

It has 6 training parts included to exercise most muscles, two non-interfering pulley systems, two crossbars on the back of the power cage for extreme stability. It’s compatible with standard and Olympic weight plates (2”) of the following weight range: two of 10lbs, two of 25lbs, two of 35lbs, and two of 45lbs.


The Smith machine is a versatile and robust fitness tool that offers a wide range of exercise options, eliminating the need for additional attachments, and providing exceptional stability and adjustability for an effective workout.



  • The cage is sturdy and doesn't shake
  • The pulley system is very versatile, you can place pulleys to do many types of exercises
  • Features dual weight holders that fit 1” and 2” weight plates

Could be better:

  • The quality of the attachments included could be better
premium PICK

6. Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer

Inspire Fitness FT2 Functional Trainer
  • Item dimensions: 58” L x x 61” W x 88” H
  • Product weight: 731 lb
  • Exercise attachments: pull-up bar, Smith bar, upper and lower pulleys
  • Max weight capacity: 430 lb
  • Max user height: 7’3”
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Warranty: limited lifetime for the frame and parts (residential warranty), limited 10 years for the frame and parts (light commercial warranty)
  • Accessories included: tricep rope, 2 rubber D handles, dual hook straight bar, EZ curl bar, ankle strap, multi-function belt, sport handle, two 5 lb add-on weights, 2 water bottles

This machine can be referred to the grade of the commercial Smith machines because of its weight and quite a hefty construction that may require more space than other above-mentioned Smith machine models.

It’s equipped with two 165Ib weight stacks, 2 sliding pulleys, 2 upper pulleys, 4 lower pulleys, a selectorized Smith bar, a pull-up bar, and a full accessory kit. By the way, the dual pulley system has 32 positions you can adjust to perform multiple strength-training workouts.

This Smith machine doesn’t offer users to work with weight plates since it comes with a pin system to change the lifting weight.

Tricep rope, 2 rubber D handles, dual hook straight bar, EZ curl bar, ankle strap, multi-function belt, sport handle, two 5 lb add-on weights, 2 water bottles, and exercise guide are included in the package.

Moreover, you can upgrade your gym trainer and equip it with an optional SCS bench and the preacher curl attachment to focus on your upper body, and the leg extension attachment that can be hooked up to the weight stacks.

Additionally, there’s a chance to get the Centr’s digital platform subscription with training from Chris Hemsworth’s team of experts for an additional price. You’ll enjoy more than 1900 workouts, nutrition advice and planning, and getting effective ways for total well-being.


The Inspire Fitness FT2 Smith machine offers a commercial-grade construction and impressive weight capacity, making it a reliable and durable choice for your home gym.



  • The cable system is smooth and responsive, it’s easy to make adjustments to the height and position of the handles
  • Comes with multiple attachments to have a more versatile workout
  • It’s possible to double the weight capability

Could be better:

  • Is a pricey all-in-one gym machine

7. RitFit Home & Garage Smith Machine

RitFit Home & Garage Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 52″ L x 44″ W x 85″ H
  • Exercise attachments: J-cups, dip handles, lat pull-down attachment, T-bar row landmine, pull-up bar attachment
  • Knurl and knurl marks: knurled bar
  • Max weight capacity: 1000 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Accessories included: weight bench, Olympic barbell, Olympic bumper plates, safety bars, weight holder pegs, pull-up bar, T-bars for rowing, landmine attachment, leg hold-down

The RitFit compact Smith machine offers unlimited opportunities to customize your training and create a fully-functioning fitness space at home.

The package includes numerous attachments and accessories for different exercises: lat pulldown system, adjustable weight bench, 2” Olympic barbell, 230 lb Olympic bumper plates set (10lbs *2, 25lbs *2, 35lbs *2, 45lbs *2), free collars.

You can adjust the weight bench that features a high weight capacity of 1000 lbs. The 7’ Olympic barbell bars with 500 lbs weight capacity and the bumper plates are of the highest standards and quality by offering a safe weight-lifting workout.

The machine comes with a lat pull-down system, both high and low pulleys, and 13 extra accessories for free: safety bars, weight holder pegs, pull-up bar, T-bars for rowing, landmine attachment, and leg hold-down.


The RitFit Smith machine provides a versatile and comprehensive home gym solution, including a lat pulldown system, adjustable weight bench, Olympic barbell, bumper plates, and a range of attachments and accessories for various exercises.



  • Availability of adjustable 5 back and 2 seat positions for the weight bench
  • The cage features 12 variable height positions
  • Available other training accessories from the RitFit store to upgrade your workout for additional payment

Could be better:

  • The footplate at the bottom is very narrow, can’t put your feet shoulder-width
  • Vould improve the bench stability

8. Marcy Combo Smith Machine

Marcy Combo Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 63” L x 80” W x 85” H (bench size: 27” L x 70” W x 46” H)
  • Product weight: 288 lb
  • Exercise attachments: upper pulleys, pull-up bar
  • Knurl and knurl marks: knurled bar
  • Max weight capacity: 600 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Accessories included: Olympic bar, adjustable single handles, tricep rope, V-handle, wrist/ ankle strap

The third model from the Marcy company combines a Smith machine, pull-up bar, cable crossovers, and a leg developer to tone and strengthen the core, thigh, arm, and leg muscles. Like other multifunctional machines, it comes with different attachments to target the entire body:

  • with the help of the cable system, pull-up bars, and cross pulleys you can train chest and shoulders area, as well as for cable crossovers and overhead triceps extensions
  • the bottom pulley and leg developer will be useful for thighs and legs training, targeting the hamstrings, quads, and glutes
  • butterfly press arms to thoroughly work out your chest
  • the leg developer to leg curls and leg extensions to target your leg muscles, namely quadriceps

The machine has several bar and safety catches to bring an athlete better support while working out, especially when performing bench presses and squats with heavy loads. Speaking about the bench, it can be removed or adjusted vertically depending on the exercise set you plan to perform.

The all-in-one Smith trainer has also a foot plate at the bottom of the machine, which you can use together with the low pulley for performing seated rows to work out your back and forearms.

What about the weight capacity, the maximum weight on a sliding weight post is 300 lbs (150 lbs on each side). The maximum weight on the storage weight post is 100 lbs. The maximum weight on the bar holder and safety catch is 300 lbs.

Maximum weight on the weight bar is 300 lbs, and the maximum weight on the utility bench is 600 lbs (including user weights).


The Marcy multifunctional Smith machine combines a variety of workout stations, including a Smith machine, pull-up bar, cable crossovers, and leg developer, along with various attachments, allowing for comprehensive strength training.



  • Can be used for Olympic plates
  • The glide mechanism operates well with no bar stops
  • You can use a 7ft Olympic free-weight bar

Could be better:

  • The weight pegs are plastic and a bit cheap looking
  • Would be better if it had a lat pulldown bar
  • Knurling could be more aggressive for better grip

9. Mikolo Smith Machine

Mikolo Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 70.7” L x 70.8” W x 86.9” H
  • Exercise attachments: pull-up bar, pulleys, J-hooks, dip bar, leg hold down, landmine attachment, Smith bar, footboard, battle rope ring, cable bar, cable handles, T-bar
  • Barbell sleeve diameter: 28 mm
  • Knurl and knurl marks: no knurling
  • Max weight capacity: 2200 lb
  • Floor protectors: no
  • Accessories included: Smith bar, cable handles, tricep rope

This multi-purpose training machine combines a power cage, Smith machine, cable crossover machine, cable station, and pull-up station in one unit. You can perform unlimited exercises on this machine with limited space.

With the resistant band holes, you can do more weight training and resistance exercises, i.e., pull-ups, barbell squats, shoulder presses, cable chest fly, rows, chin-ups, etc.

According to the weight the machine components can withstand: for the safety bar, it’s 700 lbs, the Smith bar - is 500 lbs, and the J-hooks are 1000 lbs. Each side of the machine can hold around 450 lbs of weight.

The machine features 4 hooks, so you can put bars and handles on it. With the help of a leg hold-down attachment, you can also perform lat pull-downs. To perform this exercise, you need to attach the holder to the M4 Smith machine, sit on the bench, and place your feet on it.

It has a durable and sturdy 50mm x 50mm commercial steel tube with a triangle frame structure for extra stability and stronger construction. Besides, there are 8 weight plate pins for storing plates.

An additional attachment is a battle rope ring that will fit individuals who want to improve their general fitness condition, build muscle mass, and increase overall stamina.


The Mikolo Smith Machine is a versatile multi-purpose training machine that combines a power cage, Smith machine, cable crossover machine, cable station, and pull-up station, allowing for a wide range of exercises in limited space.



  • Superb adjustable features for a variety of workouts for maximum benefit
  • Features 4 storage hooks to keep the training attachments there
  • Has a great weight capacity

Could be better:

  • Need to add longer cable to secure to attachments
  • Feet attachment for row/lat pulls needs lengthening by 6”
  • The cable crossover pulleys don’t go high enough for lat pulldowns while sitting on the bench

10. Valor Fitness Smith Machine

Valor Fitness Smith Machine
  • Item dimensions: 53” L x 85” W x 80” H
  • Product weight: 264 lb
  • Exercise attachments: no (need to buy separately)
  • Barbell sleeve diameter: 2”
  • Knurl and knurl marks: knurled bar
  • Max weight capacity: 500 lb
  • Floor protectors: yes
  • Warranty: 60-day return policy
  • Accessories included: 36 lb knurled bar

Compared to the previous Smith machines, this gym cross-trainer provides fewer attachments and options to diversify your training. Being constructed from a 4” x 2” frame, 12-gauge steel, it has four Olympic weight plate storage posts, case-hardened rods, and linear bearings that guarantee smooth performance and bar rotation at any weight.

You can get full-body training by performing bench presses and squats, rows, upright rows, shrugs, and calf raises, military presses, lunges, and curls.

The machine comes with a knurled bar with a weight of 36 lb for optimal grip on the bar, with no center knurl. 4 Olympic plate storage pegs allow easy accessibility for 2” weight plates.

Despite the following items not being included in the package, you can add them to the Smith machine to enhance your workout: counterbalance, bumper plates, and steel chains.


The Valor Fitness Smith Machine is a sturdy and versatile gym cross-trainer that allows for a variety of full-body exercises, including bench presses, squats, rows, shrugs, and more.



  • The machine is sturdy, the bar glides smoothly and the ball-bearing sleeves are smooth and fluid
  • Has springs on the rail that absorbs shock from the weight load
  • Accommodates Olympic style plates

Could be better:

  • No accessories included, need to buy them separately
  • Not for low ceilings


The latest reviews of must-have home gym training equipment, apparel, and supplements that will enhance your performance and bring you new results.

What is a Smith Machine: Its History, General Characteristics, Muscles Worked

The Smith Machine is a training tool that enables athletes to perform different exercises, like squat and press variations with a fixed range of motion. It's equipped with a barbell that runs along a steel rail, allowing you to train without a spotter.

A minor angle of the Smith machine can bring an additional challenge for muscles. There's no difference in what your fitness level is, the Smith machine is the perfect equipment to work out and isolate specific muscles. That's why experienced lifters use this tool to exhaust particular muscle groups.

The major goal of this gym machine is to bring an athlete additional support, control, and stability when exercising, especially with heavier loads. Some Smith machines include multiple workout stations being all-in-one trainers, while others are basic Smith machine units.

The Origin of the Smith Machine

Let's dive into the Smith's machine history that starts in the 1950s when a sports and nutrition expert Jack LaLanne decided to create equipment that will help people to squat safely without anyone's support.

He told bodybuilder and gym owner Rudy Smith about his intention, who finally crafted a machine by changing the initial design, with the help of Vic Tanny and Paul Martin who made the proper design for the future Smith machine that appeared in the fitness gyms.

Nowadays, the Smith machine is a popular gym tool for various lifts without a spotter. This equipment is a great option both for commercial and home gyms to perform exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, rows, lunges, etc.

athlete smith machine workout

What Muscles Are Worked Out During the Smith Machine Training?

Smith machine is a highly versatile equipment that can become an effective tool to build lean muscle mass and boost your strength. You can perform numerous exercises on it, almost the same way as with a standard bar.

That makes it possible to target all major muscle groups, i.e., quadriceps, glutes, back muscles, as well as the supporting such as hamstrings and spinal erectors, and stabilizing muscles that are abdominals and calves.

The Smith machine targets the following muscles:

  • Back muscles. Lower back muscles (lumbar region) will be strengthened while squatting with a proper form. Spinal erectors will be activated to keep your back straight and engaged in the movement. For instance, performing a Romanian deadlift targets the entire posterior chain muscles. Smith machines shrugs work out well your trapezius, while bent-over rows are appropriate for isolating your traps, lats, and rhomboids. Upright rows will be good for your traps too.
  • Chest. Bench presses are highly effective for building up a group of muscles such as chest, front delts, and triceps. Incline bench presses are also effective in developing defined chest muscles.
  • Arms. Deadlifts can be useful for strengthening your forearms, while a shoulder press is good for your triceps. Bicep curls are perfect for biceps, brachioradialis, and forearm flexors.
  • Core. Your core works to stabilize your movements. Your abs will work at a much less rate (approximately 40-50% less). Smith machine crunches, sit-ups target rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and oblique side bends are good for obliques.
  • Legs. Your quads, especially your front thighs, will be more activated with a narrower and deeper position. The glute muscles will receive a greater load the wider you place your feet. Hip adductors (inside of your thighs) will be involved the lower you squat. The hamstrings are involved in knee flexion and hip extension. You can perform such conventional yet effective exercises like back squats, split squats, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, etc.
athlete smith machine

Why Buy the Smith Machine?

If you want to pump up your muscle size and strength capabilities safely, a Smith machine will allow you to do it. This tool brings more pros compared to free-weight training and other resistance machines such as lat pulldown, leg press, or shoulder press machines.

Although, don't prioritize training just with the Smith machine over other equipment and free weights. Keep your training regime diverse and balanced in focus on all muscles, by using various gym tools and machines to provide your body with a universal workout that targets the whole body.

✅ Building Muscle Mass Gradually

No matter whether you're a novice or a seasoned lifter, this gym machine will come in handy to build and enhance muscle tissue's gradual growth without injuries. Additionally, you'll be able to learn proper weightlifting movement techniques: you'll know how to execute squats, presses, and lunges correctly.

By working out on the Smith machine you'll be able to train the key lower and upper body muscles, but with a fixed vertical range of motion without falling backward and forward.

✅ Deloading the Stabilizing Muscles

Since the Smith machine comes with a fixed-path resistance mechanism, the bar is locked in a fixed position, namely, it moves just in a straight line. So, you don't have to activate your muscles-stabilizers just like with a free-weight workout. All the load comes to the primary muscles without involving smaller supporting ones.

smith machine in gym

✅ Lifting Greater Weights for a Longer Time

With a Smith machine, you can work out with heavier loads because this tool has a barbell fixed in a one-motion line and slides up and down and you don't have to activate small stabilizing muscles to perform barbell back squats or barbell bench presses.

The weight is fixed in one position which eliminates the need to involve all your strength and power to do these exercises, unlike with free-weight ones.

✅ More Focus on the Exercise Itself

Thanks to the fact that the barbell is located securely on the slide rail and moves up and down, an athlete can concentrate on the proper exercise technique. There's no need to worry about maintaining balance while holding the weights since the bar is totally fixed, which also brings you better stability, especially if you're a starter at lifting weights.

✅ Maintaining Proper Posture

As a barbell is fixed and you don't have to involve stabilizing muscles to lift the weight, you can focus on your technique and keep your back straight with a slight incline. Hence, you can control your posture with each rep and form through all the possible ranges of motion. It enables you to move naturally and reduces the possibility of injury.

✅ High Rate of Safety

The Smith machine is equipped with multiple hooks at different heights to rack a barbell securely if an athlete can't lift the loads anymore and wants to quit the exercise. This is a good safety mechanism for those who train on their own or don't want a spotter to look at their performance technique.

Also, it's an opportunity for them to push themselves harder to increase strength and avoid getting the weights back.

male smith machine exercise

How to Pick a Smith Machine?

Professional lifters and avid bodybuilders know the essence of the Smith machine and adore it for its versatility. What’s more, even beginners and intermediate gym attendees learn new exercises eagerly on this gym equipment.

Let's shed light on this gym machine and outline the key features you should know when looking for a high-quality Smith machine, or if not buying it, simply what points to focus on when choosing it at the local gym to work out.

1. Dimensions

If you want to complement your home gym with such a functional machine, the first thing you should pay attention to is its size. The Smith machine shouldn't be too hefty, but more compact not to take the spare place in your gym room and the living space left.

Mind the footprint especially if you find a Smith machine that unites several trainers in one piece of equipment, becoming a multipurpose workout station.

2. Functionality

Many of the Smith machine models are equipped with benches, power rack stations, various attachments for low rows, pull-ups, dips, suspension trainers, etc. These options make the machine a universal all-in-one trainer for working out different muscles. So, apparently, there's no need to join the gym.

3. Weight Ratio

Generally, all Smith machines come with pulley systems with varying weight ratios - 1:1 and 2:1. The first option means that the loaded weight is the exact weight you will feel while lifting. A 2:1 ratio is when you'll lift half of the real weight. For example, with a 2:1 ratio, if you load 200 pounds, you will lift 100 pounds.

smith machine review

4. Good-Quality Linear Bearing

The majority of Smith machines move in a vertical line, so linear bearings are highly important because they ensure that the steel bar won't vibrate or get stuck during lifting weights. In general, you can find linear bearing sleeves on both sides of the tool which are attached to the bar.

This point greatly affects bar smooth motion since this mechanism assists athletes to pull heavier weights.

5. Safety Mechanism

The Smith machine is a perfect tool for those who just started training with weights. It can help in resistance and free weight training by enabling inexperienced athletes to rack the bar at any moment during the set.

Such a safety mechanism can look like locking pins that prevent the bar move below a specific depth; spring clamps to secure the weight plates during the workout; catch rods fastened inside the frame at the bar glide pathway to ensure you can stop doing lifts when you're enough; hooks and bar catches.

All these attachments are important since they can prevent injuries and add some confidence to an athlete while exercising with greater loads.

6. Availability of Counterbalance System

The fact is that not all Smith machines come with a counterbalance system. What is it? A counterbalance system may come with diverse attachments, i.e., pulleys, cables, rods, extra bushings, and counterweights that can be placed within the frame/ rack situated to the bar.

So, when pulling the bar during the exercise, it decreases its weight. The key target of this system is to reduce the bar weight and get a lighter weight at the start. This option is useful for working out small or weak muscles.

man stance on smith machine

Top Exercises to Perform Using the Smith Machine

Imagine this bulky piece of equipment that looks like a rack with a fixed barbell on the steel rails gliding up and down. It can be quite a hefty and daunting gym machine, but actually, it's elementary to work out and get benefits from it.

If you’re using this gym machine for the first time, you should adjust it to your height and choose the proper weights according to your capabilities to reap the benefits of training. The first thing you should do is place a barbell at an appropriate height that will be convenient for performing particular exercises.

Also, if you need to use a bench, you should fix it right, i.e., adjust the seat height and change the backrest position - set it angled for doing a chest press or chest fly exercises, or leave the back pad flat for bench press training. The rest of the Smith machine’s accessories can’t be adjusted manually since this is a single construction with built-in components.

So, to get a Smith machine that fits your height and room space, consider its dimensions before the purchase.

You can use the Smith machine for dozens of exercises to challenge your whole body with any weight, yet get extra support and balance. These exercises are common ones that you can make a good thing of:

1. For legs:

Back squats

First, you'll succeed to target the quadriceps, glutes, and also engage the core muscles. Secondly, being a conventional exercise, you'll improve your squatting technique by keeping your back straight and being able to control the squat depth. Also, you'll get extra stability.

How to perform: place the bar on your shoulders and traps, keep your feet 3 inches in front of the bar hip-width apart. Keep your back straight and core tight, slowly hinge your hips back until your thighs become parallel to the floor.

Keep your feet flat and push yourself back through the heels up to the start position. Don’t round the back, avoid knee inward collapse, don’t lift the heels off the floor, and look too high.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Here you'll work out your glutes and quadriceps well. The Smith machine will help you not to wobble occasionally if losing your balance, so you'll manage to lean on a bent leg securely.

How to perform: place a bench behind the bar. Put the bar on your traps and shoulders, elevate one leg behind you on the bench, with a standing leg 3-4 inches in front of the bar. Lower your back knee to the floor slowly, with the front knee bent to 90 degrees.

Push yourself back by involving your glutes and front leg and return to the start position. Keep your back straight and core tight. Bring the load to the front leg and push it with your strong glute muscles.

2. For Arms and Chest:

Close Grip Bench Press

You'll train mainly pectoral muscles and triceps. If you're a beginner at lifting weights and have weak chest muscles or arms, the Smith machine will be useful in this case.

How to perform: lay on a bench, hook the bar with a close grip with your arms fully lengthened. Lower the bar toward your chest slowly and stop it 1 inch from your chest. Then press the bar back to the initial position.

Keep your elbows tucked to your trunk while lowering and pressing the bar back. Don't overextend the arms at the top point, keep elbows slightly bent.

3. For Back and Shoulders:

Upright Row

During this exercise, the deltoids and trapezius muscles are targeted most.

How to perform: stand with your feet at shoulder width, and the bar is hooked on the rack at the waist height. Using an overhand grip and leading with your elbows, pull the bar to your chin.

When the bar reaches the clavicle line, stop for several seconds and return the bar back down to waist height, with your arms fully straight. When lifting the bar, keep your elbows higher than your wrists.

4. For the Core:


You’ll train your upper rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.

How to perform: lie on a bench with your feet together. Place the bar over your upper abs and hook it with a shoulder-width grip. Draw your belly button towards your spine. Crunch up with the bar by activating your abs. Your shoulder blades should come off the bench. Keep your abs tight for a second and then lower the bar under control by stretching your abs.


Is the Smith Machine Good for the Home Gym?

Yes, the Smith machine can become useful equipment for your home gym since it brings the opportunity even for an athlete beginner to perform safe lifts due to the availability of multiple hooks and rods located on the steel frame for placing the bar at any moment during the workout.

Although, when selecting the Smith machine for the home gym, consider its dimensions and footprint, as well as adjustability, to meet your needs.

Are Smith Machines Worth Using?

The Smith machine can become handy for everyone at any fitness level to improve their physical condition, strength, resistance, and performance technique of such exercises as deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, lunges, presses, etc. You'll improve your general condition, tone up muscle form and power.

Is It Ok to Squat on the Smith Machine?

Yes, this gym machine is widely used for squatting, however, compared to free-weight squats, Smith squats differ a bit. The thing is that a Smith machine brings your support and it helps you to control the depth of squats and also helps to pull out more weights than a standard squat.


Having described the best Smith machines, and researched key characteristics, pros and cons of this equipment, we concluded that there was no folding Smith machine, just a full-fledged all-in-one combo machine that can substitute the real gym.

Hence, we offer you the best Smith machine according to our research - Titan Fitness Smith machine. This Smith machine is perfect to increase your general strength and build muscle while increasing the safety and balance of weight training workouts thanks to its high-level functionality and workout versatility.

Overally, you get an all-in-one gym machine to work out the major muscles, become stronger, and stay active without wasting time on a gym membership.

Are you curious about what are other ways to use the Smith machine and which exercises to perform to gain lean muscle mass and generally become fitter? Leave your comments below and we'll answer your questions as soon as possible by explaining the slightest details of proper usage of this type of gym machine.

Also read:


  1. Comparison of Muscle Force Production Using the Smith Machine and Free Weights for Bench Press and Squat Exercises // Researchgate: /publication/8027999 _Comparison_of_Muscle_ Force_Production_ Using_the_Smith_Machine _and_Free_Weights_ for_Bench_Press_and_ Squat_Exercises
  2. Back and abdominal muscle function during stabilization exercises // Researchgate: publication/223081770 _Back_and_abdominal_ muscle_function_ during_stabilization _exercises
  3. A Comparison of Free Weight Squat to Smith Machine Squat Using Electromyography // LWW: /12000/A_Comparison _of_Free_Weight_ Squat_to_Smith_ Machine.23.aspx
  4. Effects of Training With Free Weights Versus Machines on Muscle Mass, Strength, Free Testosterone, and Free Cortisol Levels // LWW: /07000/Effects_of_ Training_With_Free _Weights_Versus. 6.aspx
  5. Trunk Muscle Activity Increases With Unstable Squat Movements // Researchgate: /publication/7881749_Trunk _Muscle_Activity_Increases _With_Unstable_Squa t_Movements
  6. Maximal Strength, Muscle Activation, and Bar Velocity Comparisons Between Squatting With a Traditional or Safety Squat Bar // Researchgate: /publication/339082795_ Maximal_Strength_Muscle_ Activation_and_Bar_ Velocity_Comparisons_ Between_Squatting_With _a_Traditional_or_ Safety_Squat_Bar
  7. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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