Working with Weights and Smith Machines

Strength and bodybuilding are now more widely accepted as a healthy lifestyle commitment. It has evolved to more than just vanity and people actually work on these things just because it is healthy and recommended for endurance. There are a lot of ways to work out the muscles but the Smith machine is probably one of the most common and important equipment to use for bodybuilding.

Smith machine, named after someone who discovered it and improved it to what it is today - Rudy Smith - in the 1950s, is a weightlifting device that has a piece of barbell anchored at two parallel steel rails. There is a seat located underneath the barbell which could either be used for bench presses or removed for squats with weights.

In working with weights, smith machines are actually a great gateway machine before you dive head first to the real heavyweights. They offer support on their own, eliminating the need for a spotter. Plus, with its safety and hooks, the user can sort of slowly try out different weight groups and help figure out which one they can work with best.

Smith machines can either do bench presses or squats. Bench presses are when the user lies down on the seat and lifts the barbell. This movement engages both the arms and your chest. A small change in the user's grip also creates variety in the intensity of the workout. A close grip wherein your elbows become tucked in works out the triceps. Since triceps are one of the most important muscles when performing bench presses, focusing on them means you can move on to heavier weights or do faster sets. An open grip on the other hand, where your arms are more spread apart, helps distribute the weight which decreases the effort needed. This is good for when you are only starting out and still unsure about doing bench presses. All in all, doing bench presses is good for when you want to build your pecs, considered to be one of the glamour muscles in the body (meaning they provide appeal aside from its real purpose). There are other types of fitness equipment which you can use to achieve similar results, even home gym equipment is available if you visit a fitness store they will be able to help you make a purchase. However when purchasing bulky equipment, it is recommended that you order online or have it delivered to save you the trouble.

Now moving on to squats, this is when you stand underneath the machine, hip-width stance, with the barbell sitting across your shoulders. Then you bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor as if you would be sitting down in a chair but changed your mind. To complete a set, you simply need to get back up to the first position. Unlike the bench press, this focuses more on the legs and the arms. In addition, there are also a variety of squat movements that you could use depending on which muscle you would exercise today. The spacing between your legs dictates which parts of the legs your workout would focus on. If your legs are farther apart, your workout would focus on the hamstrings and glutes. The closer the knees are to each other, the more your quads are getting the workout. As simple as it seems, squats are actually very easy to wrongly do. A lot of people do not aim for the parallel thighs and thus, they are depriving themselves of all the proper benefits the Smith machine can provide.