35 Best Smith Machine Exercises for Building Muscle with PDF

The Smith machine is one of the gym’s most beneficial pieces of equipment. It allows you to do myriad exercises for each muscle and helps increase strength, endurance, and mass. In this article, I’ll share various Smith machine exercises for every muscle group.

If you want to fully and effectively utilize the Smith machine in your gym, this blog can be extremely helpful.

You can also use these exercises to design your own Smith Machine full-body workout routine that fits your fitness level.

List of Smith Machine Exercises by Muscle Group

Smit Machine Leg Exercises:

  1. Back Squat
  2. Front Squat
  3. Front Lunges
  4. Machine Leg Press
  5. Bulgarian Split Squat
  6. Romanian Deadlift
  7. Good Morning
  8. Reverse Lunge
  9. Machine Hip Thrust
  10. Standing Calf Raises
  11. Glute Kickback

Smit Machine Back Exercises:

  1. Inverted Row
  2. Bent-over Row
  3. Conventional Deadlift
  4. Single Arm Row

Smit Machine Chest Exercises:

  1. Flat Bench Press
  2. Incline Bench Press
  3. Decline Bench Press
  4. Reverse Grip Bench Press
  5. Landmine Press

Smith Machine Arm Workout:

  1. Close Grip Bench Press
  2. Skull Crusher
  3. Machine Dip
  4. Bicep Curl
  5. Drag Curl
  6. Behind the Back Wrist Curl

Smit Machine Shoulder Exercises:

  1. Overhead Press
  2. Lateral Raises
  3. Upright Row
  4. Shrug
  5. 45-Degree Incline Row

Smith Machine Core Exercises:

  1. Standing Side Bend
  2. Crunches
  3. Hanging Knee Raises
  4. Decline Crunches

Smith Machine Leg Exercises

Training each muscle becomes crucial to building a solid lower body. The Smith machine is one of the best gym equipment for effectively strengthening quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

You can do the Smith machine exercises below to build defined legs and glutes.

1. Smith Machine Back Squat

Smith Machine Leg Exercises

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Quadriceps and Glutes
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The back squat is a compound workout that bolsters quads and glutes and helps stimulate strength and hypertrophy. It also allows you to use more load than other squat variations, which leads to more gain.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the desired weight into the rack and set it at an appropriate height.
  2. Then, get under the machine and place the bar on the back of your shoulders.
  3. Bring your feet slightly forward, stand upright in the shoulder-width stance, and make sure your knees won’t cross your toes when you squat down. Keep your core and glutes tight. That’s the start.
  4. Pushing your hips back, slightly bend your knees to squat down until your glutes are parallel to the floor.
  5. Pressing through your feet, return to the standing position. That’s one rep!

2. Smith Front Squat

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Anterior Thigh
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The front squat primarily engages the quadriceps and helps build a strong and beefy thigh.

Steps to Perform

It is slightly more challenging than the back squat because it involves placing the bar on the front of your shoulder.

The front squat requires you to bend your hips and knees entirely so your back stays straight throughout the movement.

  1. Get under the bar and place it over your front shoulder.
  2. Stand in the shoulder-width position with your toes turned slightly out.
  3. Keeping your back straight and chest, lower into a squat as deep as possible.
  4. Push through your heels and return to the upright position.

3. Front Lunges

Smith Machine Lunge, a leg workout for building strength and muscle.

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Thighs and Glutes
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine lunge is a lower-body unilateral exercise that allows you to work one leg at a time. This unilateral movement pattern helps improve balance and stability, addresses potential muscle imbalances between the legs, and enhances functional and athletic fitness.

Steps to Perform

  1. Get under the machine and place the bar on your shoulder.
  2. Take one step forward so you can stand in the staggered stance.
  3. Keep your back upright and brace your core and glutes. That’s the start.
  4. Bend your knees to go into the lunge position and ensure your knee doesn’t pass your toe.

4. Smith Machine Leg Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Quadriceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Easy
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine leg press involves pressing the weight along using a fixed bar on the machine.

It is suitable for beginners or those who want to focus solely on the leg press movement without worrying about balance or stabilization as much.

The Smith machine leg press also helps progress for compound leg exercises, such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the desired weight into the bar and set it at an appropriate height.
  2. Lie under the machine and keep your feet on the bar, hip-width apart. To perform efficiently, it would be best to put a footed platter on the bar.
  3. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and press the bar until your hips and knees are extended. But avoid locking out your knees at the top.
  4. Now, slowly return to the start. Repeat for the desired number of times.

5. Bulgarian Split Squat

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Hamstrings, Glutes, and Quads
  • Exercise Difficulty: Advanced
  • Mechanics: Compound Movement

Exercise Benefits

The Bulgarian split squat simultaneously works on various muscles, such as the quads, glutes, and hams, and helps improve strength, balance, and muscle coordination.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the bar on your shoulder and stand upright in the split stance with your feet 2-3 feet apart.
  2. Extend your rear leg behind you and place your toe on the bench, heel facing up.
  3. Keep your back straight and core tight; that’s the start.
  4. Lower into a squat position until your knees are bent to 90 degrees.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  6. Try not to shift your weight too forward during the movement.

6. Smith Machine Romanian Deadlift

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Hamstrings, Lower Back, and Glutes
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Movement

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine RDL is an effective way to strengthen posterior chain muscles, especially the hamstrings and lower back.

It also makes the lower body flexible and reduces the risk of ham and spinal injuries.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the suitable weight into the bar, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, and set the bar to your chin level. That’s the start.
  2. Pushing your hips back, lower yourself to grab the bar, and maintain a soft bend in your knees.
  3. Pressing through your heels, extend your hips until you return to the upright position.
  4. You’ll feel the work in your hams and glutes as you stand back.

7. Smith Machine Good Morning

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Hamstrings and Lower Back
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Good Morning is a strength and conditioning exercise that enhances strength, mobility, and coordination. It mostly reinforces the lower back and hamstring and makes your lower body flexible.

Steps to Perform

  1. Stand upright under the machine with your feet two times wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Place the bar on the back of your shoulder, brace your core, and hinge forward at your hips until your chest is parallel to the floor.
  3. Squeezing your hams and glutes, slowly extending your hips to return to an upright position. Perform as many sets and reps as you like.

8. Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Quadriceps, Ham, and Glutes
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Movement

Exercise Benefits

The reverse lunge is an excellent way to employ lower body muscles and helps increase mobility, strength, and muscle mass.

Steps to Perform

  1. Place the bar on your shoulder, take your one leg backward, and stand in the split stance with your feet 2-3 feet apart.
  2. Lower into a lunge position until your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Do the desired sets and reps.

9. Smith Machine Hip Thrust

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Glutes and Lower Back
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The hip thrust engages the glutes maximus and glutes medius and helps build a solid and defined backside.

It also enhances performance where lower-body strength is required, such as in soccer, rugby, sprinting, and jumping.

You can do hip thrust in several ways, but the Smith machine helps you perform efficiently and effectively.

Steps to Perform

  1. Place your back on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground to align your chest and hips.
  2. Put the rubber pad on the bar and hold it on your hips.
  3. Keep your core and glute tight.
  4. Now, thrust your hips upward, as high as possible.
  5. Squeezing your glutes, pause for a moment and relax your hips to return to the start.

10. Standing Calf Raises

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Calves
  • Exercise Difficulty: Easy
  • Mechanics: Isolation Movement

Exercise Benefits

When it comes to building defined legs, training calves is equally important. Calves are the smallest muscles of the lower body, and you can build them up with various calf raise exercises.

Out of many, the Smith machine calf raise is an excellent exercise for developing sturdy and beefy calves. It allows you to use more weight and perform each rep efficiently with more control.

Steps to Perform

  1. Stand on your toes on a foot platform and place the bar on your shoulder.
  2. Raise your heels as high as possible to feel the work in your calves.
  3. Lower your heels to the start and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

11. Glute Kickback

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Glutes
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Movement

Exercise Benefits

The glute kickback isolates the gluteal muscles from a different angle and improves strength and mobility.

It also allows you to focus more on the weaker part of the glute, helping you build strong and symmetrical buttocks.

Steps to Perform

  1. Set the weight and bar appropriately and sit into a tabletop position (on all fours) with your hands under your shoulders and knees below your hips. Make sure you’re sitting close to the machine so your feet can press the bar upward.
  2. Brace your core and keep your back flat.
  3. Lift one leg off the floor with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, feet under the bar.
  4. Drive your foot toward the ceiling until your glutes contract.
  5. Feel the squeeze at the top for a few moments, then lower your leg back down with control. Repeat on the opposite side.

Smith Machine Back Exercises

12. Inverted Row

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Upper Back and Posterior Delt
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The inverted row is a super effective bodyweight exercise that helps build solid traps and rear delts.

It also activates the biceps and core muscles and increases upper body strength overall.

Steps to Perform

  1. Get under the machine and grab the bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Walk your feet forward and lean back until your arms are straight and your chest is hanging below the middle of the bar. Make sure your heels are on the ground, your toes pointing up, and your body straight from top to bottom. That’s the starting position.
  4. Pull your torso up until your chest is close to the bar.
  5. Pause for a moment; you’ll feel your lats contracted and then return to the start.

13. Bent-over Row

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Latissimus Dorsi and Trapezius
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The bent-over row strengthens and grows back muscles. It also engages several other muscles, such as the core, rear deltoid, and biceps, and helps build a muscular upper body.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the suitable weight into the bar, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and position the bar in a rack to about knee height, slightly below.
  2. Bend forward at your hips and knees until your chest is almost parallel to the floor.
  3. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart, and make sure that your head is up. That’s the start.
  4. Pull the bar toward your chest until you feel the full contraction in your back muscles.
  5. Pause for a moment and lower the bar until your arms are entirely extended.
  6. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement.

14. Smith Machine Deadlift

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Legs and Back
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The deadlift is regarded as the king of exercise because it works on various muscles throughout the body, such as hamstrings, lats, shoulders, and core.

The deadlift shoots up your strength, increases testosterone, and helps build a sizable and muscular physique.

There are various types of deadlifts you can do, like the sumo deadlift and stiff-leg deadlift, but the conventional deadlift works more on the lats.

Steps to Perform

  1. Put the suitable weight into the bar and set it in the lowest section of the rack.
  2. Stand in the hip-width stance with your shin close to the bar.
  3. Pushing your hips back, softly bend your knees and low down enough to grab a bar.
  4. Grab the bar with an alternate grip with your hands just outside your knees.
  5. Maintain a neutral spine position. Your chest should be up and your core tight. That’s the start.
  6. Engaging your lats, lift the weight off the machine until your hips are entirely extended.
  7. Do not bend your elbows and let your shoulders down while lifting the weight.

15. Single Arm Row

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Lats and Traps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

You don’t always need dumbbells to perform one-arm rowing; the Smith machine also helps you do that.

Single-arm rowing is a unilateral muscle-building exercise that allows you to work on one side of your back individually and helps you build a proportional back.

Steps to Perform

  1. Position the bar around your knee height and stand right to it.
  2. Slightly lean forward at your hips and grip the bar with your right hand.
  3. Row the bar to your side until your lats are engaged.
  4. Pause for a moment and then return to the start.
  5. Do an equal number of sets and reps on each side.

Best Smith Machine Exercises for Chest

16. Flat Bench Press

chest workout on smith machine

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Pectoralis Major and Triceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Compound Movement

Exercise Benefits

The bench press is one of the three biggest lifts in bodybuilding. It is a compound movement that mainly strengthens and develops the pectoralis muscles and achieves a muscular torso.

Steps to Perform

  1. Load the desired weight into the bar.
  2. Lie on a flat bench with your chest beneath the middle of the bar.
  3. Grab the bar with your hands two times wider than hip-width apart, unrack it, and hold it just over your pecs with your elbows bent.
  4. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, inhale, and press the bar until your arms are straight.
  5. Stay for a moment and then lower the bar to the start. That’s one rep!

17. Incline Smith Bench Press

smith machine chest exercises

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Upper Chest and Anterior Delt
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The incline bench press primarily works on the upper chest, helping you build strong and defined pectorals.

Steps to Perform

The incline press will be done as the flat bench press. You’ll only need to change a couple of things: set the bench to a 30-45 degree incline and hold the bar on your upper chest.

18. Decline Smith Bench Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Lower Chest
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The decline bench press bolsters the lower region of the pectoral muscles and makes your chest more aesthetic and firm.

Steps to Perform

To perform the decline bench press, position the bench to a 30-degree decline and press the bar upward until your lower chest is engaged. Also, adjust your feet properly under the pad for more stability.

19. Reverse Grip Bench Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Upper Chest
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The reverse grip bench press is a modified version of the bench press. It involves gripping the bar with an underhand (supinated/palms under the bar) grip. This unique grip position bolster the upper pecs and helps bring out best shape.

However, make sure you lift lightweight weights during reverse grip bench press, as this exercise’s primary goal is to build muscle, not strength.

Steps to Perform

To perform the reverse grip bench press, get under the machine, grab the bar with an underhand grip, palms facing in, and follow the same steps as other bench presses.

20. Smith Machine Landmine Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Upper Chest and Shoulders
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The landmine press is another highly beneficial upper body exercise that forges the shoulder and chest. It squeezes the upper part of the chest, creating maximum contraction.

Steps to Perform

  1. Sit on your knees, grab the bar with one bend, and keep your chest up and head slightly leaning back.
  2. Press the bar up until your chest is engaged. Try not to extend your arms entirely overhead.

Smith Machine Exercises for Arms

21. Close Grip Bench Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Triceps and Chest
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Single-joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The narrow grip bench press is a strength and muscle-building upper body exercise that primarily reinforces tricep muscles and helps build burly arms.

Steps to Perform

  1. Load the desired weight in the machine and lie on the bench beneath the bar.
  2. Grab the bar firmly with an underhand grip, palms facing up and hands hip-width apart. Keep your elbows close to your body. The more you flare them outwards, the less your triceps engage.
  3. Press the bar over your chest until your arms are entirely straight.
  4. Squeezing your triceps, pause for a moment at the top, and then return to the start. That’s one rep!

22. Skull Crusher

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Triceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The skull crusher is an isolation exercise that primarily reinforces the triceps’ long head and makes your rear upper arms look sturdy and athletic.

Steps to Perform

  1. Position the bar to a proper height and lie on the bench.
  2. Grip the bar firmly, unrack it, and hold it above your forehead with your elbows bent and facing forward. That’s the start.
  3. Extend your arms until your triceps are entirely engaged.

23. Smith Machine Dips

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Triceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine is a bodyweight arms workout that strengthens and tones tricep muscles. It is easy to perform and can fit into anyone’s training program.

Steps to Perform

  1. Rack the bar at a suitable height and sit on the floor close to it, facing away from the machine.
  2. Grab the bar with an underhand grip with your elbows close to your body.
  3. Lift your glutes on your floor and extend your feet against you with your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Press through your palms until your arms are extended and your triceps are entirely activated.
  5. Feel the contraction for two seconds, then return to the start and repeat.

24. Inverted Biceps Curl

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Biceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Easy
  • Mechanics: Single-joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

It is not easy to perform bicep exercises with a Smith machine. Because the Smith machine limits the range of motion, and the bar of the machine provides poor grip. However, you can still try a couple of exercises to beef up your biceps. One example is bodyweight curl.

The bodyweight curl involves getting under the bar and lifting your body using your arms. It engages the biceps’ long head and helps grow size and improve your biceps appearance.

Steps to Perform

  1. Rack the bar at a suitable height and get underneath it.
  2. Extend your legs and grip the bar with an underhand grip, with your hands hip-width apart.
  3. Curl your arm until your biceps are fully engaged.
  4. Squeezing your biceps, pause for a moment, then uncurl your arm.

25. Drag Curl

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Biceps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The drag curl keeps your muscles under constant tension and helps build bigger biceps.

Steps to Perform

  1. Grab the bar with an underhand grip with your hands just outside your hips.
  2. Curl your arms, and as you curl, your elbows will move slightly backward simultaneously.
  3. Once your arms are fully flexed, return to the starting position. That’s one rep!

26. Behind the Back Wrist Curl

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Forearms
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine wrist curl strengthens forearms, increases wrist mobility, and sculpts the lower arms.

Steps to Perform

  1. Stand against the bar, ensuring your glutes/hamstrings are close to it.
  2. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip with your arms straight and elbows tucked to your sides.
  3. Curl your wrist until your forearms are fully engaged.
  4. Return to the start, and repeat for the desired times.

Smith Machine Shoulder Workouts

27. Seated Overhead Press

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Anterior Deltoid
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The overhead press activates the front delt, enhances your pushing strength, and helps build broad shoulders.

Steps to Perform

  1. Place a bench under the middle of the machine, insert the weight plates into the bar, and set it at an appropriate height.
  2. Grip the bar with an underhand grip, palms facing up, and unrack the bar.
  3. Maintain a neutral spine position, brace your core, and press the bar overhead until your arms are straight.
  4. Return to the starting position to complete the first repetition.

28. Single-arm Lateral Raises

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Lateral Delts
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The lateral raise isolates the side deltoid and develops burly shoulders.

Steps to Perform

  1. Set the bar to your stomach height and stand beside it.
  2. Bend your right elbow to 90 degrees, unrack the bar, and hold it on your forearm.
  3. Raise your upper arm until you feel the contraction in your side delts.
  4. Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the bar to the start.

29. Smith Upright Row

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Traps and Shoulders
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Multi-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The upright row is a pull exercise that bolsters shoulder and upper back muscles and makes your torso look more aesthetic.

Steps to Perform

  1. Stand in front of the machine and position the bar to your hip level, close to your body.
  2. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing in. Make sure your back is straight.
  3. Pull the bar toward your neck until you feel a good contraction in your upper traps and rear delts.
  4. Hold there for a second before you lower the bar to the start.

30. Smith Machine Shrugs

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Shoulders and Traps
  • Exercise Difficulty: Beginner
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The Smith machine shrugs work around your neck, shoulders, and upper traps and add definition to your shoulder muscles.

Steps to Perform

  1. Position the bar around your thigh height and stand upright with your feet together.
  2. Grip the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing your body, and hands are about hip-width apart.
  3. Unlatch the bar and raise your shoulder blades toward your ears as high as possible.
  4. Squeezing your working muscles, pause for a moment, and then relax your shoulders.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of times.

31. 45-Degree Incline Row

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Rear Delt and Upper Back
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Compound Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The 45-degree incline rowing strengthens the upper back and posterior deltoid. A study published by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) has shown that the 45-degree incline row provides the greatest muscle activation in the medial and rear deltoid and helps build defined shoulders.1 Dynamite Delts: ACE Research Identifies Top Shoulder Exercises by Samantha Sweeney, M.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Clayton Camic, Ph.D., Attila Kovacs, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D.

Steps to Perform

  1. Place the bench over the bar and set it to a 45-degree incline height.
  2. Lie on the bench on your stomach, chest on its edge, and face down.
  3. Extend your arms to hold the bar with an overhand grip, palms facing in, and arms underneath your shoulders.
  4. Slightly lift your shoulder blades and pull the bar up until your rear del and traps are engaged.
  5. Pause at the top, and then relax your arms to return to the start.

Smith Machine Core Exercises

32. Unilateral Side Bend

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Obliques
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The standing side bend is a core-strengthening exercise. It reinforces the external and internal oblique and helps thicken six-pack abs.

Steps to Perform

  1. Position the bar at your thigh height and stand beside it.
  2. Hold the bar with your right hand and bend to the opposite side until you feel the work in your oblique.
  3. Squeezing your love handle, pause for a moment, and then extend your torso.
  4. Do an equal number of sets and reps on each side.

33. Smith Crunches

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Abdominals
  • Exercise Difficulty: Advanced
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

Crunches are an essential core workout that strengthens and tones the rectus abdominis. It works on the upper abs and helps forge the midsection.

Steps to Perform

  1. Lie on the floor under the bar.
  2. Extend your arms up and grip the bar.
  3. Lift your torso off the floor, raising the bar over you.
  4. Return your torso to the floor and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

34. Smith Machine Hanging Knee Raises

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Lower Abs
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Single-Joint Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The hanging knee raise is a pull-up bar abs exercise, but you can also do it on a Smith machine. The knee raises engage the lower part of abs and helps make your abs burlier.

Steps to Perform

  1. Position the bar to your upper chest level, put a rubber pad in the middle of the bar, place your upper arm on the pad, and hang it onto the bar.
  2. Brace your core and glutes, and bring your knees toward your chest until you feel the full contraction in your abs.
  3. Squeezing your core, pause for a moment, and lower your knees to the start.

If you want to challenge your strength, you can also clamp a dumbbell between your feet to perform a weighted knee raise.

35. Decline Smith Machine Crunch

About Exercise

  • Target Muscles: Midsection
  • Exercise Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Mechanics: Isolation Exercise

Exercise Benefits

The decline crunch is an advanced ab workout that builds up entire core muscle groups, including the abs and oblique, and helps beef up the rectus abdominis.

Steps to Perform

  1. Place the bench underneath the bar and set it to a 30-degree decline.
  2. Extend your arms, grab the bar, and brace your core. That’s the start.
  3. Lift your torso off the bench until you feel the work in your core.
  4. Squeezing your core, pause for a moment, and lower your torso on the bench.
  5. Do as many sets and reps as you like.

Weekly Smith Machine Workout Plan Sample

Smith Machine Workout
  • Exercise Frequency: 4 Days a Week
  • Split Type: Combined Body Part Split
  • Duration: 60-75 minutes
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Target Gender: Male and Female
  • Workout Goal: Build Strength and Mass
  • Rest Between Sets: 1-2 minute
  • Wed, Sat, and Sun – OFF

Monday – Chest, Quads, and Arms:

ExerciseSetsReps
Back Squat315, 12, 10
Flat Bench Press315, 12, 10
Incline Bench Press315, 12, 10
Lunges310/leg
Skull Crusher315, 12, 10
Inverted Biceps Curl315, 12, 10

Tuesday – Back, Shoulder, and Legs

ExerciseSetsReps
Bent-over Row315, 12, 10
Single Arm Row310/side
Seated Overhead Press315, 12, 10
One-arm Lateral Raises310/side
Smith Machine Shrugs312-15
Romanian Deadlift310, 8, 6
Standing Calf Raises315-20

Thursday – Chest, Quads, and Arms:

ExerciseSetsReps
Smith Front Squat315, 12, 10
Smith Leg Press315, 12, 10
Incline Bench Press315, 12, 10
Decline Bench Press315, 12, 10
Smith Machine Dips315, 12, 10
Drag Curl315, 12, 10
Behind the Back Wrist Curl315, 12, 10

Friday – Back, Shoulder and Legs

ExerciseSetsReps
Inverted Row315-20
Bent-over Row310-12
Behind The Nech Overhead Press310-12
Smith Upright Row310-12
45-Degree Incline Row310-12
Hip Thrust310-12
Glute Kickback310/side

Download The Smith Machine Workout PDF

Wrapping it Up

The Smith machine is one of the safest pieces of equipment in the gym. It provides excellent balance, prevents unnecessary movements, and reduces the risk of injuries.

In this blog, I’ve outlined the best Smith machine exercises for every muscle group.

When your gym is packed with people, and you have access to the Smith machine only, these exercises can be extremely helpful in that situation.

Training with the Smith machine will increase your strength, lean mass, and mobility and help you shape your physique.

References

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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