What are some of the best Smith machine exercises for beginners ? Here is our Commentary and exercises explained

  • Smith machines are weight training machines with steel rail fixed barbells that allow vertical movements.
  • Smith machines workouts are suitable for beginners.
  • Smith machines are ideal for the upper body, lower body, and even full-body workouts.
  • One can do multiple exercises with smith machines like bench press, leg press, deadlift, etc.
  • Smith Machines are safer and comes with a spotter that indicates when the weight gets too much.
  • For someone who wants to have a home gym must have a smith machine installed. 

If you are a beginner looking to get into shape in the gym, then learning which machines to use can be difficult at first.

Many people often mistake doing exercises that are too difficult before they learn the proper technique.

One of the biggest causes of injuries amongst newcomers to the gym is due to improper technique.

This may put you off, and you may decide that it’s not worth the effort after all.

In some cases, the clearly understood proper form might not be an in some cases issue, especially if you’ve learned the basics from a qualified trainer.

However, you still have to build up enough strength to do specific exercises.

For example, free squats with heavy weights often require enough lower body strength to execute correctly.

The same goes for many other exercises.

Simply knowing how to do an exercise is not enough.

You need to have enough strength to execute it properly.

So what should you do if you are a beginner?

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How can you build up strength while keeping yourself safe at the same time?

Fortunately, there are a few machines at the gym that are designed for beginners.

One of the best beginner-friendly machines is the Smith Machine.

It is designed to keep beginners safe while they can build up strength at the same time.

Below are some of the best smith machine exercises that you can do to build strength.

If you do them correctly, the Smith machine might be your new gym buddy for the next few months!

Smith machine full-body workout

The Smith machine is designed for all types of workouts, but it’s best to do a full-body exercise if you are pressed for time.

One of the most popular full-body exercises on the Smith machine is the overhead press.

The overhead press is a complete workout that will help strengthen your hips, back, shoulders, core, and chest.

It involves lifting the bar from chest height and extending the arms fully.

Once the elbows are straight overhead, you can lower it back to the chest position.

This exercise might seem like an upper body workout, but it is excellent for developing core muscles.

While this exercise is excellent for building strength in your whole body, you should still follow some precautions if you are a beginner.

Never lift too heavyweights as you have to extend your arms fully.

Always start with smaller weights and scale up as you get better.

This might be the most complex of Smith machine exercises, but it is also the most beneficial.

Smith machine upper body workout

Most people want to develop their upper body muscles in the gym.

You will probably dedicate most of your time to upper body workouts, so it’s best to make the most of it.

The traditional bench press can be done with a Smith machine to develop arm and chest muscles.

All you need to do is place a bench under the machine and position the bar in place.

Engage your core before lifting the weight and lower it down to your chest.

When it is just above your chest, you can lift it back to its original position.

Doing a smith machine bench press is often safer, and you can also experiment with different weights.

Another great smith machine upper body workout involves the bent-over row.

This exercise will help develop your back muscles, which is key to developing power for other workouts.

In this exercise, you will be lifting the bar from below knee height to hip height.

Keep your back and arms straight when lifting the weight, and slowly bend your elbows when lifting it.

Lower the weight back down in a controlled manner to prevent injury.

This exercise is excellent for developing the back and core muscles.

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Smith machine leg exercises

Smith machine leg exercises are designed to develop strength in your lower body.

Two of the best leg workouts include the single-leg dead-lift and the squat.

The single-leg dead-lift is designed to develop balance along with leg strength.

It is also much safer to do it on a Smith machine as there is no danger of dropping the weight on your foot.

Just as with a regular dead-lift, make sure to keep your back straight when going down.

Kick your leg back when going down and bring it back just above the ground when coming up. 

With the squat, you may prefer doing split squats because of the positioning of the bar on the Smith machine.

The split squat is similar to the regular squat, but it may help with flexibility as well.

It is an excellent exercise if you are trying to develop leg strength.

Combine these exercises into a Smith machine circuit session

While some people like to have a separate day for the upper body, lower body, back, etc., it is not always feasible.

Some trainers may recommend doing a complete circuit to develop multiple muscle groups.

Circuit training also helps develop stamina and will give you a balanced physique.

You can combine a few reps of the exercises mentioned above and can even include some body-weight activities.

For example, you can do a few reps of pull-ups along with the weight exercises.

Doing circuit training on a Smith machine is all you need for a balanced and complete gym workout.

Why should you use the Smith Machine as a beginner?

There are several advantages to the smith machine for beginners.

Before looking into these, it is essential to know what makes the Smith machine different.

The Smith Machine is designed with pegs after every few inches for adjusting the barbell at different weights.

It is also designed with a bar attached to the frame of the machine.

The bar can move in a vertical position; horizontal movement is limited.

Here are two main reasons why you should use the Smith machine as a beginner:

– It is safer

When attempting many gym exercises, many beginners may feel too much pressure and drop the weight.

Many beginners have also not clearly understood how much weight they can handle in different exercises.

The peg system of the Smith machine allows you to rack the weight whenever you feel like you won’t be able to lift it completely.

This prevents many common injuries that occur in the gym.

– It can be used without a spotter

Many of the exercises mentioned above will need a spotter if performed in the open.

The spotter will help you if the weight is too much or you can’t complete the exercise.

With a Smith machine, you can do these workouts without a spotter because of the attached bar system.


If you are a beginner looking to get into shape, you should consider doing Smith machine exercises.

The Smith machine is designed for beginners, and it helps reduce the risk of injury.

Once you develop strength from these workouts, then you can start free weight exercises.


Can Smith machine exercises be used for bodybuilding?

Yes. You can do many smith machine exercises bodybuilding, including squats, bench press, etc.

Are Smith machine exercises suitable for your arms?

Smith machine exercises for arms often include the overhead press and other similar workouts.

How can I get the most out of my Smith machine workout?

The best way to make the most of any Smith Machine workout is to plan it properly. You can use a smith machine exercise chart to list the exercises that you do with this machine. You can also download the Smith machine workout app to manage your workouts in a better way. 

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