Today I got in my first smith machine squatting session since rejoining Planet Fitness. If you want to squat this is pretty much your only option since there are no squat racks at the gym since only Lunks use them. Although doing squats on a smith machine obviously is not as productive as using a barbell in a rack, I do find one big advantage to this type of squat, depth.
When I do a squat on the smith I move my feet at least a foot in front of the bar. This backwards lean makes it much easier to hit full depth on the squat which in turn allows me to work the muscles in that low position better. If I am doing conventional squats I can’t go as low because of some physical issues as well as just being concerned about getting stuck at the bottom. Even if I would get stuck on the SM, a quick turn of the bar engages the hooks and allows me to slide out without major difficulty. To me the best measure of the effectiveness of a movement is how I feel a day or two afterward. If I am hobbling around like an 80 year old on Thursday that means the smith squats went exactly as planned.
5 minutes cardio/stretching
Smith machine barbell squat – 135lbs x 10, 185lbs x 6, 225lbs x 2, 135lbs x 10
Seated leg extension – 110lbs x 10, 130lbs x 10, 150lbs x 10
Seated leg curl – 100lbs x 10, 120lbs x 10, 140lbs x 8
Leg press calf extensions – 201lbs x 10, 250lbs x 10, 290lbs x 10