How To Do Smith Machine Lunge Properly

The smith machine lunge is a great exercise to strengthen, tone, and grow your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and upper legs. The exercise is an advanced variation of simple lunges.

Compared to simple lunges, it gives more emphasis on your lower body muscles, particularly the glutes. You need a smith machine to perform this routine.

How to do the smith machine lunge:

  • Start by adjusting the bar of the smith machine to your chin level. Proceed to position yourself under the bar. The bar should rest on your shoulders. You can place a pad on your shoulders for comfort.
  • Using an overhand grip, position your hands on the bar. The distance between your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulder width. Position your feet in a split stance. Start with your right foot backward and left foot forwards. Use the toes of your right leg for support by planting them firmly on the floor. This marks your starting position.
  • While inhaling, begin by bending both legs at 90 degrees while securing the bar on your shoulders. While doing this, ensure that your front knee is aligned with your ankle.
  • Pause briefly then slowly return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 5 times then switch to the opposite leg for the same number of reps. Perform 3 sets.

WHAT MUSCLES DO SMITH MACHINE LUNGE WORK?

GLUTEAL MUSCLES 

The glutes are composed of three main muscles. They include gluteus minimus, maximus, and medius. Fortunately, the smith machine lunge works all the muscles of the glutes. As a result, you develop a bigger, stronger, and well-sculpted butt. Moreover, your hip flexibility improves since the workout promotes internal and external rotation of the hip joint.

HAMSTRINGS AND QUADRICEPS

The smith machine lunge mainly targets your quads and hamstrings. The action of bending and extending the knees grow and strengthen the thigh muscles. This plays a significant role in promoting lower body strength.   

SHOULDER MUSCLES

Your shoulders are very beneficial since they support the weight while executing the exercise. Therefore, the smith machine lunge isolates your shoulder muscles and promotes upper body strength. Furthermore, the exercise strengthens your shoulder muscles hence preventing shoulder pain. However, wrong positioning and balance of the bar can cause shoulder strain and injury. Ensure that you get the right form before commencing the exercise.

CORE

The smith machine lunge engages your core. Your core plays a vital role in promoting stability while performing the exercise.

SMITH MACHINE LUNGE BENEFITS

STRENGTHENS YOUR QUADS

While performing the smith machine lunge, you maintain an upright torso while engaging your quads. As a result, you experience muscle growth. Besides, you develop stronger legs.

IMPROVES YOUR SQUATS

Performing the smith machine lunge correctly and consistently can enhance your performance at the gym. For instance, the quality of your squats significantly improves. This is because the strength needed for performing both lunges and squats is correlated. Therefore, you can easily switch- up your leg day routine and develop strong and attractive legs.

REDUCES LOWER BACK STRAIN

While conducting the workout, you develop an upright torso. This enables you to exert more tension on your quads rather than your lower back. Consequently, you do not experience cases of lower back strain, pain, or injury.

PROMOTES KNEE STABILITY

The exercise mainly engages your knees. This is evident as you bend and stretch your knees to facilitate the lunge movement. Consequently, your knee joints become stronger and more stable. This plays a significant role in minimizing knee injuries. Additionally, you experience less strain as you perform your daily movements.    

IMPROVES YOUR APPEARANCE

Executing the workout consistently significantly improves your appearance. For instance, you develop a fuller and well-sculpted butt and thighs. This gives you a more attractive youthful look, hence increasing your confidence.

ALTERNATIVES TO SMITH MACHINE LUNGE

BODYWEIGHT SQUAT

The bodyweight squat is an excellent exercise to engage your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. You do not need any equipment to perform this exercise.

How to do the bodyweight squat:

  • Start by standing with a shoulder-width stance and ensuring that your toes face slightly outwards. You can position your hands on the sides, holding your thighs, or clasping them in front of your chest. Select the position that is most comfortable for you.
  • Keep your chest up and engage your core. Start by pushing your hips back while mimicking sitting on a chair.
  • Once your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor, stop and pause briefly.
  • Stretch your legs to the starting position.
  • Perform 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets.

SMITH MACHINE LUNGE MISTAKES TO AVOID

LIFTING TOO HEAVY

Lifting too heavy does not guarantee you great results. It is counterproductive. This is because heavyweights can strain your shoulders and cause injuries. Moreover, lifting a barbell that is beyond your endurance level affects your balance and stability. You might end up collapsing or becoming extremely fatigued after performing a few reps. To avoid this, start with lighter weights.

COLLAPSING YOUR KNEES INWARD

Collapsing your knees inward is a dangerous move while performing the smith machine lunge. This is because your knees lack proper control and result in pain. If you have wobbly knees, hold off on performing this exercise. Instead, begin with exercises that promote knee control and stability. Once your knees are stronger, you can commence the smith machine lunge.

WRONG POSTURE

Leaning forward while performing the routine can hurt your back. Always ensure that you maintain an upright torso and a lifted chest. This will prevent you from staining your lower back, hence promoting ease of movement.

FAST AND UNCONTROLLED MOVEMENT  

Moving too fast exposes you to a greater risk of acquiring injuries. Furthermore, you are not able to work your targeted muscles. Instead, ensure that your movement is slow and controlled.

CONCLUSION

The smith machine lunge is a great routine to develop your lower body. The exercise tones your thighs and glutes, hence improving your appearance. Besides, you develop lower body strength and your athletic capabilities improve. Consult your fitness trainer for further guidance so that you can get the proper form. Do not overdo the exercise since it can strain your muscles.