Smith Machines

Top 5 Best Smith Machines in 2019

If you want gym equipment that you can use for weight training without a spotter and on your own, a smith machine is the real deal. The machine is exclusively designed for vertical movements. Unlike lifting free weights which engages your entire body, a smith machine only works on specific groups of body muscles. As such, it is the ideal weight trainer for rehab patients as they require a specific muscle workout.

A Smith machine latter is designed to enable you to use it safely by yourself. It is far much safer to use the machine than using free weights for heavy lifting, especially at home, because the former adds an extra layer of safety when there’s no one nearby to intervene in case of anything.

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Top 5 Best Smith Machines

Although initially Smith machines were commonly found in gymnasiums, their usage now extends to the household level. In case you want to buy a Smith machine, it’s important to bear in mind that you are going to encounter a variety of them with some different features and benefits. From the research we’ve conducted, we’ve been able to identify the best 5 and here they are:

1. Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X Smith Machine

Although it is not as fancy as some of its counterparts, Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X Smith Machine has nearly anything you require for an effective full-body workout. It is so strong that a user can easily and safely squat with up to 300 pounds. If your legs are fairly long in relation to your torso. Measuring 45″L x 80″H x 76″W, the machine is suitable for home gymnasium because doesn’t occupy much space.

Body-Solid Powerline PSM144X Smith Machine

Safety

Although it is not pricey, you don’t have to worry about the possibility of it crumbling down if your weight doesn’t exceed 300lbs or malfunctioning due to low quality. That won’t happen with this smith machine even for the most rigorous sets.

The machine’s full length, heavy-duty four 2″ x2″ 12-gauge steel square pillars and crossmember Lock-Out Points on the ladder-type mainframe offer a strong foundation to Super-Glide carriage for your safety during your intensive sets. The 14 lockout positions plus adjustable safeties also enhance your security as you use the machine.

Besides, the machine has dual-lock Safety Spotter Catch System which turns the pivot sleeve by up to 15°, thus preventing the bar from pinning a user in a max-out state. You are safe even when you need to make an abrupt stop because jumbo pop pins are easy and quick to adjust. This helps you to stop safely and with increased straight-line stability.

 Smooth movement

The Super-Glide nylon bushings which are patented for high durability on the ultra-long twin carriages of the smith machine reduces friction for smooth movements over the chrome guide bars. Therefore, if you want a smooth smith machine, you can’t go wrong with this one. Otherwise, in case you notice friction, you can apply the lubricant which comes with the machine out of the box.

Versatility

There are lots of exercises you can perform with this smith machine. Without accessories like multi-bench, you can use Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine to do squats, calf raises, shrugs, upright rows, lat rows and barbell, among other exercises. It is one of the go-to smith machines for users who want to build up their front thighs, particularly the outer quads, because it allows squatting with the back straight and with the feet closer together and pointing straight forward.

However, it feels somehow awkward for regular squats because you have to lean too much forward for you to balance the barbell.

With a good adjustable utility bench attached to it, Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine becomes more versatile and you can use it for any upper body pressing movement including bench presses, behind the head presses, front presses and close grip tricep presses.

Price

Currently retailing at about $400 on Amazon, Body-Solid Powerline Smith Machine is among the best budget but quality smith machines.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Suitable for a wide range of exercises such as squats, calf raises, shrugs, upright rows, lat rows and barbell
  • Compact size
  • Solid construction
  • Smooth movement
  • Safe to use

Cons

  • The machine feels somehow awkward for regular squats

 2. Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

 Marcy Smith Cage is a durable and sturdy work out machine that’s suitable for a wide range of body exercises. It comes out of the box with a multi-function weight bench featuring bicep preacher curl as well as total leg developer. It is also accompanied by a cable routed pectoral fly station which is suitable for chest muscle workouts and safety Olympic bar catches for your security during muscle strength training sessions.

Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine

Versatility

With an innovative structure which incorporates arm and leg stations, this smith machine is an all-in-one workout station for comprehensive workout execution. You can use it to strengthen your diverse muscle groups. As such, with it, you won’t have to use any other gym equipment for intense weightlifting or strength training. The Cable Cross dual pulley system which is uniquely designed allows you to do functional-type exercises. You can use the machine to perform more than 100 club-quality exercises.

Strength and durability

The frame of Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine is made of heavy-duty steel and is armored with tough powder coated finish for extended years of use. Better still; the machine features a very strong aircraft cable with 2,000lb tensile strength for improved durability.

Smooth movements

The linear bearing is uniquely designed for smooth movement, preventing snags thus a great experience.

Safety

With adjustable safety bar catches and stoppers, this smith machine was designed with your safety in mind.

Price

This machine is at the high-price end, but you can get this awesome smith machine for gym or home use.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • User safety features like safety bar catches and stoppers
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Suitable for a wide range of exercises
  • Smooth sliding

Cons

  • Quite expensive for some people

3. Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine

Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine is a heavy duty, durable and safe smith machine 5-degree pitch and operates smoothly for various workout exercises.

Valor Fitness BE-11

Safety

The steel knurled bar helps a user to maintain excellent grip on the bar.

Durability and sturdiness

The machine is made of 4” x 2”, 12-gauge steel, thus very strong and durable. With it, you can even do the most challenging lifts, thanks to linear bearings, steel bar latch support as well as the bar rotation. As for sturdiness, the machine is so strong that it can support heavy weights up to up to 1,000 lbs.

Versatility

This smith machine doesn’t need a custom weight stack like a cable weight machine. As such, you at liberty to use your regular or Olympic weight plates. It is ideal for a wide range of exercises including calf raises, upright rows, shrugs, squats, deep squats, front squats, lunges, biceps curls, bent-over rows, deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, hanging knee raises, around the world pull-ups, pull-ups, muscle pull-ups, close grip chin-ups, one hand chin-ups, leg presses, donkey kicks and much more for comprehensive body workout.

Movement

The high-quality bearings and the rods with hardened cases help the bar to slide down carriage smoothly irrespective of the amount of weight being lifted.

Price

HoValor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine currently retails at about $900 on Amazon. This price is quite fair, considering the high value that the machine offers.

However, it doesn’t come out of the box with a fitness bench or weight plates. In case you don’t have them, you’ll have to purchase them separately.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Ideal for a wide range of exercises for full-body workouts
  • It is compatible with regular and Olympic plates
  • Reasonably priced
  • Suitable for a wide range of exercises

Cons

  • You need to buy a fitness bench and weight plates separately

4. Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine

Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine is a completely vertical smith machine which offers great commercial strength and quality. It has heavy-duty roller bearings plus weight plate storage in the back.

Deltech Fitness Linear

Durability and sturdiness

The machine features a heavy gauge steel tubing frame covered with a solid powdercoat finish., it is welded in accordance with the American Welding Society for high durability and sturdiness. The heavy-duty rubber feet make the machine very stable. Besides

Versatility

With a capacity of 700lbs and ergonomic design, the machine can handle nearly any workout including, squats, calf rises, bench press, incline press, chin-ups, military press, leg extensions, exercise dips, leg curl and shoulder shrug.

Smooth ride

The smith bar slides smoothly on 4 linear ball bearings, offering an experience similar to that of a free weight workout. The smooth feel offered by the bearing is far much better as compared to the movement of a smith machine that used bushings.

Safety

The machine’s catch rods, which are positioned at intervals of six inches, respond swiftly upon your wrist’s twist and unlock into place. This allows you to work out safely on your own.

The machine has a few drawbacks. First, its assembly can be challenging. Then, it doesn’t come with weight plates.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Strong and durable construction
  • Smooth smith bar movement
  • Very responsive catch rods for improved safety
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with weight plates
  • Can be challenging to assemble

5. Body-Solid Powerline PSM1442XS Smith Machine Package

Body-Solid Powerline PSM1442XS

Versatility

With super-smooth sliding carriages, adjustable bench, lat row station, pec station plus preacher curl station, Body-Solid Powerline PSM1442XS is ideal for upper and lower body workouts. It comes with various accessories such as workout bench, pec station; leg developer station, lat row station and preacher curl station to enable you work out your different muscle groups.

Durability

It features a heavy duty steel construction and heavy gauge reinforcement plates as well as hardware for lasting value.

Safety

The heavy-duty adjustable safeties and the 14 lockout points which are spaced 4-1/2 inches apart ensure that your sessions are injury-free.

Smooth movement

The carriages slide smoothly along the linear shaft for a seamless workout experience.

Price

This smith machine package currently comes at a retail price of more than $1000.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Heavy-duty adjustable safeties and the 14 lockout points for your safety
  • Durable and strong construction
  • Supports a wide range of lower and upper body exercises
  • Smoothly sliding carriages

Cons

  • Quite expensive for some people

 Things to consider when buying a smith machine

There are a few things that you need to consider while buying a smith machine and here are a few of them:

·       Stacks or plates

While some smith machines are loaded with stacked weights, others feature weight plates. Stacks are safer (they are unlikely to drop on your toes) than plates and so, are more suitable for beginners. However, their maintenance requirements are higher.  On the other hand, plates have lower maintenance and are more versatile. If you are experienced and looking for versatility, a plate smith machine is the better option. Otherwise, a stack one got you covered.

·       Size and Storage

You don’t want to buy a smith machine only to find that it’s too big for the space in which you intend to place. Therefore, before you pay for it, it’s important to checkout its measurement and ascertain that it’ll fit in the allocated space.

·       Your budget

Considering that smith machines are priced differently, you should make sure that the price of the one you intend to buy is within your budget.

Smith Machine Safety Concerns

Here are some of the safety concerns related to smith machines:

Insufficient support

Some experts argue that a smith machine may not provide enough support that a person needs when performing body exercises to avoid problems like injuries. However, smith proponents oppose this argument, saying that if used properly (especially with the help of a fitness expert) the machine offers sufficient support.

Excess stress on muscles

When you are performing upper body exercises with a smith machine, you should ensure that you don’t lift very heavy weights. This is because excessive weight can exert too much stress and strain on your muscles and joints, leading to injuries.

Smith Machine Maintenance tips

Some of the things that you should do to a smith machine to keep in tip-top shape and extend its longevity include:

  1. Wiping it after every use using a high-quality metal cleaning solution and a towel
  2. Weekly or monthly lubrication of the moving parts, including weight tracks and bearings.
  3. Inspecting it regularly and thoroughly to spot and address issues like loose screws, rusting parts, cracks, and extensive wear and tear
  4. Storing it in a safe area when not in use