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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 10-29-2006, 10:56 AM   #1
Sean Manseau
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i mean, *i* know they are, but if someone could provide me with an accurate reason, it would be super helpful as i'm mentally cursing out some guy for doing his decline bench presses on my only option when the pull-up station is crowded with people doing cable curls.
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:58 AM   #2
Jesse Woody
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The force your body into an unnatural line of movement, as you are essentially trapped into the linear motion dictated by the tracks. This can lead to a whole host of problems related to performing resistance exercises through distorted ranges of motion.
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Old 10-29-2006, 11:08 AM   #3
Mike ODonnell
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You do not work your stabilizers and muscles in a real range of motion over all 3 planes of motion. Machines are bad....unless you want sub par athletic performance and increased risk of injury due to muscle imbalances and weaknesses. People do squats on a smith because they can't do them free form...so instead of working on their weakness, they make the exercise easier. Short cuts in fitness...will lead to short cuts in sub-par results.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:02 PM   #4
Justin Algera
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Because when you get up in weight, they hurt!!! I almost ripped my wrists off trying to squat and do presses on a smith machine about 2 months ago (it was the only places I could lift at my gym :-( ).
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:50 PM   #5
Elliot Royce
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I'm no exercise physiologist but I think machines have a role when someone is injured or has muscular imbalances. Some of the machines are now designed with excellent ROM. If you have a shoulder injury, for instance, some of the better bench machines can be quite helpful. Or if you have tennis elbow, the pec deck is another way to work your pecs.

Smith machines, however, are another matter. The ROM is completely artificial. A recipe for injury, in my mind. Unfortunately in many hotel gyms, they're the substitute for free weights, probably due to liability concerns.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:06 PM   #6
John Tuitele
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An illustration by Landers (Landers JE. Biomechanics of squat exercise. Med Sci Sports 1986) of the squat viewed from the side shows the bar trajectory not remaining in a perfectly vertical line. Instead, it sways (for lack of a better word) in the frontal plane.

The Smith machine does not permit that movement, so if Lander's illustration of 20 years ago reflects reality, I am left to wonder about what kind of loading occurs at the spine when that movement is restricted.

Lander's illustration is at this link: http://connection.lww.com/products/h...ents/smch1.pdf on page 8, figure 1-5. (I can't figger out how to attach it).

That aside, the stability from the smith machine's limitations on motion doesn't help me with the regular demands of life that require me to stablize across combinations of movement in 3 planes, not just one.

I don't like the dang thing.

(Message edited by jt57dpt05 on October 29, 2006)
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:39 PM   #7
Charles Steven Ossenheimer
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i think machines are geared towards more individuals who are beginners....Or even the older generation....and by older i mean ppl in there 70's and 80's (i've had clients in this age range). Personally i had a guy that was 29, never lifted a day in his life, so i started him on machines the first week.. (however i never did use the smith machine).

So for people who use the graviton (the assistor for pull ups and dips), do you consider that as a "machine"??
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:31 PM   #8
Nick Cummings
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The answer to your question has to consider how you frame the question. Bad for what? Or conversely what are they good for? Smith Machines are looked down upon because they have less transference to athletic endevors than the comparable exercise done with a barbell or other implement. If a tree falls on something you need to retrieve than deadlifts with a barbell will have a lot more carryover to lifting the tree than deadlifts on a smith. You have to consider what you are training for. If your only goal is to move an object through a fixed plane, say lifting a garage door, than maybe the Smith Machine would be useful in your training. I would still rather do other exercises.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:54 AM   #9
Mike ODonnell
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I hear they are great for HSPU assistance! Plus I have clients who cant do regular pushups use the bar locked on a smith for elevated bar pushups instead. So I guess it does have it's uses. :banana:
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:02 AM   #10
John Tuitele
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Nick - great post/explanation - smith machine is not bad, it is a specific tool to develop strength for more effective garage door openings - and not much else. I'll be quoting you as one more reason to use free weights when the same question comes up again in the gym where I work.

Unless.....:g: announcing the newest gym craze to rival Strip-Fit, spinning and the other specialty programs: GarageDoorSmith workouts, featuring Smith machine deadlifts when the door is fully closed, Smith push presses to get it up that last phase, One arm presses when you've got a "prop it open" stick in the other hand, And eccentric bench press on the smith as a way to prevent crush injuries when the repairman is on his back and the door unexpectedly comes crashing down. I see a line of smith machines stations set up with exercise bikes between them for interval training (you might have to run next door for help with your garage door).

Now if I can just get my hands on incidence of injuries among garage door repairmen and market the smith machine training program for injury prevention at the next USGDR annual conference. :biggrin:
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