Smith machine front squats are a great way to work on strengthening your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. This exercise is also used as rehabilitation after knee surgery or injury. It’s very important to keep your knees in line with your toes while performing this movement. It can be difficult on the joint if you allow too much pressure to be placed on the inside of the knee joint. For those who have never performed this type of squat before, it may take some time to build up the strength needed for the squatting motion; however, once mastered, it will give you more benefits than traditional back squats!
The Smith machine front squat is an excellent exercise for targeting your quadriceps. It can be done with either the Smith machine or dumbbells, and it’s one of my go-to leg exercises. If you’re not familiar with this exercise, check how to do the smith machine front squat and its benefits.
How To Perform Smith Machine Front Squat
- Place the Smith machine barbell in the squat rack at shoulder height
- Step UNDER the bar and hold it with an overhand grip, your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
- Lift the bar off of the rack and take a step back
- Position your feet hip-width apart, with your toes pointed outwards
- Keep your chest up, lower down into a squat position
- Keep weight on the heels of your feet and keep knees in line with your toes
- Make sure to keep your lower back arched throughout the movement
- Press upwards through your heels until you are standing upright, squeeze glutes at the top of the motion
- Lower the bar back to the Smith machine rack
- Repeat for 3-5 sets of 6-15 reps
Smith Machine Front Squat Benefits
- Smith machine front squats help keep the spine in a neutral position, which can help reduce lower back pain.
- Due to the Smith machine keeping your body in a fixed path, you are forced to use more quadriceps muscle fibers. This makes the Smith machine front squat a great exercise to build muscle!
- Smith Machine Front Squats support and stabilize muscles more than traditional back or dumbbell squats. If you feel like your form lacks, it may be time to switch up the squatting method and try Smith machines instead of free weights.
- The Smith machine front squat lets me blast my quads without worrying about stabilizing the weight. This exercise is also used as rehabilitation after knee surgery or injury.
- Targets quad better than traditional squats – Due to the Smith machine keeping your body in a fixed path, you are forced to use more quadriceps muscle fibers.
- More stabilizing muscles used – Smith machine front squats support and stabilizes muscles more than traditional back or dumbbell squats.
I’ve been doing the Smith machine front squat for years because it lets me blast my quads without worrying about stabilizing the weight. It also allows you to use a lot more weight than squats on your back, so if you can find yourself in a gym with one of these machines, give this exercise a try! Check out our post above for instructions and some benefits that may help sell you on giving this workout idea a shot.