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  1. Raining_Blood is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 1:45am


     Style: Wrestling, MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Smith Machine

    I am about to begin writing a letter to my school outlining the arguments for replacing the school gyms current smith machine with a power cage. School fees are ridiculously expensive so its not like the school cant afford to get a power cage.


    My argument is going to be centred around two key points. One, the various disadvantages or using a smith machine and two, the smith machine is shocking condition. The machine is actually dangerous, I know of two people who have had incidents where the j hooks didnt hook and I have also had a similar experience aswell. The hooks cant level with each other and the bar isnt parrell to the ground. I am thinking about also mentioning that many people dont perform squats and other lower body movements on the smith machine becuase many consider it to be unsafe and this leads to muscular imbalancements etc. I want to push the idea that the gym is there to help athletes improve their conditioning and the most import muscles to athletes are their legs so they need a safe way to train them.


    What I ask of you is for studies that help to verify that the smith machine is evil. I need something to back up my anacedotal evidence. Any other ideas for why satan must be replaced would also be great.
  2. ironlurker is offline
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    How do Chameleon Circuit?

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 1:52am


     Style: jkd

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't have any studies right now, I'll look, but I have heard the smith machine can be bad for you, both from making the bar follow an unnatural track, and from putting shear force on your joints. I think the negative factors are compounded because people often use it to lift much more weight then they could with good form on a bar.
  3. spirez is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 12:35pm


     Style: BJJ/no-gi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Is this of any use?

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/henkin6ttt.htm

    I typed in Smith machine disadvantages in google
  4. spirez is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 12:42pm


     Style: BJJ/no-gi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Found this too

    Why You Should Avoid The Smith Machine


    Machines are never superior to free weights. Never. Ever. I’ll say it again….Never. And the Smith machine is the worst of the worst. Yes, I know your trainer or your best friend told you that the Smith is a wonderful thing, and one of the most functional and safest pieces of equipment in the gym. They may have even told you to stop using free weights and to use the Smith because it's safer. They’re dead wrong, and I'm going to tell you why.

    1. Pattern Overload Syndrome: The Smith machine locks you into a fixed plane of motion, which can lead to what is known as 'pattern overload syndrome'. The more fixed the object, the more likely you are to develop a pattern overload, and the Smith follows an extremely fixed pathway. This fixed pathway repetitively loads the same muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints in the same pattern, encouraging micro-trauma that eventually leads to injury. If you always uses a Smith machine for your bench presses, you end up working the same fibers of the prime movers in the bench press all of the time: triceps brachii, pectoralis major, long-head of the biceps brachii, anterior deltoids, and serratus anterior. You can't change the pathway; the bar will always be in the same position. This commonly leads to chronic injury over time.

    2. Reduced Stabilizer Training: The weight is stabilized for you. However, joints normally operate in multiple planes, and recruit a myriad of other muscles to help stabilize load. Use of the Smith machine greatly decreases this stabilizer activity. This creates a problem when translating your strength and muscle gains back to real life. If you have not trained the stabilizing muscles, you create size and strength imbalances in these muscles that would normally be assisting in the lift. In addition, having weak stabilizers will serve to shut down the prime movers before the prime movers are ready to shut down. If the stabilizers cannot maintain joint integrity there is a feedback mechanism that will cause the prime movers to shut down, or “fail.” When you’re helping your buddy lift that heavy piece of furniture, or pulling that heavy sack of groceries from the back seat of your car, it won’t be attached to a bar that assists your move and travels in a straight up and down plane of motion.

    3. Compromised Center of Gravity: When you squat with your knees out in front there is added pressure on the spine. When you free bar squat, the path of the bar is traveling over the instep of your foot and you are driving through your natural center of gravity (COG), the COG you create by moving your hips back and bending your knees on the decent of the squat. When you are on a smith machine with your feet positioned out in front, you are causing your body to drive through a false center of gravity. Now, instead of the weight being over your feet, it is directly in-line with your spine and your feet are out front, placing your new (false) COG somewhere about mid thigh. The problem this poses is that your spine is not in a healthy position to stabilize force. Your hips are there not only to move the lower body, but also, to stabilize forces being placed on the body. If you put them out front you take that ability away from them causing all of the weight to be compressed on the spine without anything to absorb the shock. NOT GOOD!

    These principles clearly apply to any exercise you might want to do on the Smith. Take, for example, the squat. Because of the mechanics of the knee joint, the body will alter the natural bar pathway during a free-weight squat to accommodate efficient movement at the knee. A fixed bar pathway doesn't allow alteration of the plane of motion for efficient movement of the joint, thereby predisposing the knee to harmful overload via lack of accommodation. And, for all of you that like to put your feet out in front of you, in addition to the COG problems outlined above, if your feet are out in front of you, you tend to push back against the bar. Doing so changes the function of the hamstrings role in the move, removing it’s stabilizing, protective effects on the knee joint. The result is an increased sheering force on the knee. Again, over time, chronic injury, and even possible traumatic knee injury.

    So. Now that you’re armed with the facts, you know to stay away from the Smith (actually any machine that locks you into one plane or arc of movement, but we’re taking about the Smith here). Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with the barbells and dumbbells this fine establishment has to offer.
    And

    Haven't read that though but exrx is a good site. It's in favour of Smith squats but i call bulshit

    http://www.exrx.net/Kinesiology/SmithSquat2.html
  5. kwoww is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 2:22pm


     Style: punching bag / crew jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by spirez
    Found this too


    And

    Haven't read that though but exrx is a good site. It's in favour of Smith squats but i call bulshit

    http://www.exrx.net/Kinesiology/SmithSquat2.html
    The essay doesn't really cite much, goes against standard lifting convention, and is written by an anonymous author that isn't affiliated with exrx.net, so I'd leave it out of any reports.
  6. PirateJon is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/12/2007 2:23pm

    supporting member
     Style: MT/BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The book "starting strength" has exactly what you'd need.
    You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
  7. nerveasian is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/13/2007 1:36am


     Style: Getting mounted

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    that book actually answers like half the questions asked in this forum
  8. death pig is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/13/2007 5:02am


     Style: Boxing & Submissions

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm going to go against received internet wisdom and state that if you use the smith machine from time to time in conjunction with normal exercises you will in fact not burst into flames or die from chronic joint problems. There are loads of exercises commonly performed by bodybuilders and strength trainees that force the body to move in one plane of motion (sled squats, leg presses, many machine exercises) and are useful for completely fatiguing whatever your target muscle is. I haven't used the smith machine in about five years but this old THE SMITH MACHINE WILL MAKE YOU DIE chestnut is wildly overexaggerated and probably not supported by clinical studies.
  9. PirateJon is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/13/2007 6:43am

    supporting member
     Style: MT/BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I like how you said "probably" not supported by clinical studies.
    You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
  10. Raining_Blood is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/13/2007 7:24am


     Style: Wrestling, MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The problem I have is that at the school gym there is ONLY a smith machine. Even though I dont agree with your statement about machine exercises you suggestion is irrelevant because I cannot compliment a regular squat routine with smith machine squats because I only have the facilities to do smith squats, thats the problem. Also the smith machine is damaged beyond major repair so it comes down to either replacing the machine of getting a power rack.

    Thanks for the suggestions but I am having trouble getting a copy of Starting Strength. My local bookstore, borders or library doesnt have it. Looks like the only option left is amazon but the postage to Australia is ridiculously high.
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