How To Do Smith Machine Split Squat Properly

The smith machine split squat facilitates a deeper stretch to your leg muscles. It is a knee-friendly routine.

The exercise strengthens and grows your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. To execute this technique, you will need a smith machine.

How to do the smith machine split squat:

  • Start by loading the bar of the smith machine with weight plates that are in line with your fitness requirements. Beginners can start with an empty bar and then gradually add the weights. Adjust the bar to your shoulder level.
  • Grasp the bar using an overhand grip ensuring that your hands are shoulder-width apart. Stand tall and maintain a neutral spine.
  • Keep your feet together. Proceed to take a short step forward with your right leg. Then take a step back with your left leg. Ensure that the distance is equal to the original position. Keep your right foot firmly on the ground and raise your left heel from the ground. This gives you a split stance and marks your starting position.
  • While holding the bar, gently lower your body until your back knee touches the ground. Both knees should bend at 90 degrees. Maintain a straight torso while performing the movement.
  • Pause briefly then lift your body back to the starting position. Do this while squeezing your glutes and tightening your core.
  • Repeat 5 times then alternate to the opposite leg and perform the same reps. Perform 3 sets.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE SMITH MACHINE SPLIT SQUAT WORK?

QUADS

The smith machine split squat engages your quadriceps. Your quads comprise four muscles, which are located in the front area of your thighs. They include rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis.

The exercise tones and strengthens your quads. As a result, your knees become more stable and your athletic performance improves.

GLUTES

If you aim at growing your glutes, this is the best exercise to include in your workout routine. The smith machine split squat stretch your glutes, hence adding muscles mass. Consequently, you develop bigger and rounder glutes.

HAMSTRINGS

The exercise strengthens and builds your hamstrings. Your hamstrings comprise four muscles that are located at the back of your thighs. The routine activates your hamstrings, which facilitate hip and knee flexion.  

CORE

Throughout the entire routine, you engage your core. This boosts your core power. A strong core promotes body stability and balance.

ERECTORS

The technique activates and strengthens your spinal erectors. This plays a significant role in promoting good posture.

SMITH MACHINE SPLIT SQUAT BENEFITS

PROMOTES BIGGER GLUTES AND QUADS

Performing the smith machine split squat correctly and consistently promotes muscle hypertrophy in your glutes and quads. Therefore, you enjoy bigger and more defined legs.

REDUCES KNEE PAIN

The exercise plays a vital role in reducing knee pain. This is because you engage your quads, which strengthen your knees.  

REDUCES LOWER BACK STRAIN

While performing the smith machine split squat, you put less pressure on your back. This is because you maintain a neutral spine throughout the entire routine. This plays a critical role in reducing lower back pain and promoting good posture.

IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Executing the workout regularly enhances your athletic capabilities. This is because you develop strong legs. Some of the sporting activities that you can engage in with minimal strain include biking, jogging, and playing basketball. Besides, your physical performance improves since you can perform daily errands with ease. Your quality of squats also improves.

IMPROVES YOUR APPEARANCE

 One of the most conspicuous benefits of performing the smith machine split squat is improved appearance. The routine gives you a bigger, fuller, and rounder butt. Moreover, your thighs become bigger and well-toned. In general, you develop attractive and well-defined legs. This gives you a youthful appearance and makes you more attractive. Additionally, for women, you develop the confidence to wear tight pants, body-hugging dresses, and bikinis. Men are not left behind, since they develop an athletic physique.

STRONG CORE POWER

The workout enhances your core power. This also promotes good posture and balance. Additionally, you develop a strong and healthy back.

ALTERNATIVES TO SMITH MACHINE SPLIT SQUAT

BODYWEIGHT SQUAT

The bodyweight squat is a simple but equally effective alternative. The technique targets your glutes and quads. You do not need any equipment to perform this routine.

How to do bodyweight squat:

  • Start with a shoulder-width stance. Ensure that your feet slightly face outwards so that you open up your hip joint. You can place your palms together in front of your chest or you can place your hands at the back of your head. This is your starting position.
  • While engaging your core lower your body until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. On reaching your maximum movement, ensure that your knees do not go beyond your toes.
  • Pause briefly then lift your body to your starting position.
  • Perform your desired reps and sets. Do not overdo it since you can strain your muscles.

SMITH MACHINE SPLIT SQUAT MISTAKES TO AVOID

TAKING TOO LARGE STEPS

While positioning yourself to commence the exercise, avoid taking a long step. This greatly affects your stability and balance. You can easily wobble or fall while performing the technique. Moreover, the long step makes it difficult for you to balance the bar. This can shoulder injury or pain since too much tension is exerted on the shoulders. To avoid this, ensure that you take a short and equal step both forward and backward. This will provide better stability and balance.

LIFTING TOO HEAVY

Lifting too heavy is not effective. This is because it interferes with your balance. Additionally, you might find it difficult to complete a rep. You might also strain your muscles unnecessarily. Always start with lighter weights before progressing to heavier ones.

CONCLUSION

The smith machine split squat is an effective routine to build strong and well-defined legs. The exercise improves your physical performance and helps in reducing knee pain. Always consult your fitness instructor so that you get the proper form of performing the routine. Avoid executing the workout if you have back pain. Consult your physician for further guidance.