65_1[1]My right knee is feeling pretty cranky after Sunday’s 5.5 mile run.  I still wanted to get some leg work in.  I decided to start off with something I haven’t done in eons, squats on the smith machine.  Generally speaking, any exercise you do on a smith machine is viewed as the ugly step child of the free weight equivalent.  Bench, squats, shoulder press all have the rap of being less effective when performed on the smith machine.  There is no disputing that having the bar on a fixed track where you do not have to control/balance the weight equals less recruitment of muscle.

All of this is the reason that I was surprised just how tough my squats felt today.  To get effective depth on a smith machine squat you need to position your feet in front of the bar, allowing you to get deep into the squat while maintaining a near vertical upper body position.  Well I was getting near ass to grass depth and it felt hard as hell.  I struggled to just get 10 slow, deep, and controlled reps with just 45’s on each side.  When I added another 25 pounds I strained to get out 3 reps for 3 sets.  I could hardly believe how difficult it felt.  Well difficult is good when it comes to exercise routines, meaning smith machine squats have just been added to the regular movement rotation.

Seated leg curls did not feel good at all, aggravating the pain I was already feeling in the back of the right knee.

Today’s Workout

5 minutes cardio/stretching

Smith machine squat – 135lbs (actually less) x 10, 185lbs x, 185lbs x 3, 185lbs x 3

Seated leg extension – 90lbs x 10, 110lbs x 10, 150lbs x 8

Seated leg curl – 80lbs x 10, 80lbs x 10

Seated rotary calf extension – 170lbs x 10, 170lbs x 8, 170lbs x 8

15 pull ups

5 minutes A2G hold