Best Smith Machines to Develop Iron Muscles

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 16, 2017
Are you dreaming about shredded body but don’t have time to visit a gym? Why not giving a Smith machine a try? Designed for personal use, this exercise equipment will make your dream come true in the comfort of your home. We’ve reviewed 5 best machines to help you make the right choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Best For
Exercises
Weight Capacity
Material
Dimensions
Warranty
 
PROS

The cables of this machine are covered with PVC that makes them super strong allowing to withstand even extreme loads.

CONS

The machine is quite bulky. 

OUR VERDICT

Taking into account high quality of materials and variety of attachments included, the Marcy Diamond Machine will become a perfect choice for home use as well as for gym use. 

detailed parameters
Best For

All muscle groups

Exercises

Bench press, Squats, Split Squats (Bulgarian Lunges), Curves, Shoulder shrugs, Chest machine exercises, Crossover exercises, etc.

Weight Capacity

Maximum weights on the rack: 600 lbs
Maximum weights on Leg Developer: 100 lbs
Maximum weights on Cross-over, Lat Pull: 200 lbs

Material

Steel frame, Leather seat, Some parts are diamond plated

Dimensions

 95" x 86" x 79" 

Warranty

2 years

PROS

A convenient bar lock system allows you to lock and secure the bar by a single turn of your wrists.

CONS

The users who are over 6'5" tall might find it inconvenient to do some exercises on the machine.

OUR VERDICT

If you're a professional weightlifter and do intensive and high volume workouts, the Valor Athletics Machine will help you stick to your training routine. 

detailed parameters
Best For

Shoulders, Back, Chest, Legs

Exercises

Bench press, Shoulder press, Squats, Split Squats (Bulgarian Lunges), Curls, Behind the back shrugs, etc. 

Weight Capacity

1000 lbs

Material

Steel frame

Dimensions

80.5” x 73.25” x 53”

Warranty

3 years (frame)
2 years (cable)
1 year (popper pin)

PROS

The machine is a bit smaller than its rivals, so it'll be easier for you to find space for its installation. 

CONS

No weight plate storage posts. 

OUR VERDICT

Looking for a reliable Smith machine at an affordable price? If so, you'll hardly find a better model than the Yukon Caribou III Power Rack.

detailed parameters
Best For

Shoulders, Back, Chest, Legs

Exercises

Squats, Split Squats (Bulgarian Lunges), Curves, Behind the back shrugs, Pull-ups

Weight Capacity

800 lbs

Material

Steel frame

Dimensions

82" x 48" x 68"

Warranty

Lifetime

PROS

The wide base of this machine provides great structure steadiness even without using additional accessories. 

CONS

The paint finish is prone to scratches. 

OUR VERDICT

Doing basic weight lifting exercises on the Deltech Fitness Machine will soon help you develop the skills needed for a professional weightlifter. 

detailed parameters
Best For

Shoulders, Back, Chest, Legs

Exercises

Squats, Curves, Split Squats (Bulgarian Lunges), Behind the back shrugs, Pull-ups

Weight Capacity

700 lbs

Material

Steel frame

Dimensions

81" x 86" x 49"

Warranty

Lifetime
1 year (all upholstered parts)

PROS

98-inch height of this exercise equipment makes it comfortable to use for even tall athletes. 

CONS

Assembly will take you much time. 

OUR VERDICT

The Marcy SM-4008 is an ideal choice for those who need all-in-one exercise equipment for home workouts. 

detailed parameters
Best For

All muscle groups

Exercises

Bench press, Squats, Split Squats (Bulgarian Lunges), Curves, Shoulder shrugs, Chest machine exercises, Crossover exercises, Pull-ups, etc.

Weight Capacity

Maximum weights on the Weight Bar: 300 lbs
Maximum weights on Leg Developer: 100 lbs
Maximum weights on Cross-over, Lat Pull: 200 lbs

Material

Steel frame, Boxed upholstery seat

Dimensions

98" x 82" x 59"

Warranty

2 years

What is a Smith Machine

Modern sports industry offers us a lot of opportunities to keep fit. You can visit yoga studios, go to the gym with your friends, or work out with dumbbells at home. However, if you prefer weight training to keep your body fit, a Smith machine may become a real catch for you. The simplest models of such machines are made as vertically standing steel frames. Such steel frame usually has a barbell with rollers on both ends allowing it to move up and down inside slide rails along the frame. Owing to special fixtures on both sides, the barbell can be secured in one of the predefined positions by simply rotating the barbell around its central axis. You can put various weight plates on the barbell to help tone up your shoulder, upper back, and leg muscles. More complicated machines are equipped with additional attachments and moving parts that allow you to develop all muscle groups. The beauty of Smith exercise equipment is that it is equally suitable for inexperienced users and professional athletes due to its well-thought-out safety features and no need for a spotter.

What Features to Compare

Depending on the goal of your training and muscle groups you want to develop, you’ll need to pay attention to exercises that can be performed on a certain Smith machine. Although most people associate this piece of equipment with barbell workouts, it actually can provide you with much more training possibilities. Some models are equipped with a chest machine, cable cross-overs, pull-up bars, and other attachments to allow you to train all body muscles. If the machine comes with a bench, you’ll be able to use the machine for doing exercises with your body in both vertical and horizontal positions. 

Weight capacity determines the weight, which the bar of your exercise equipment can endure. To make the right choice, it’s important to be aware of your fitness level. As a rule, inexperienced users don’t need a machine with great weight capacity. However, if strength development is your priority or you have a big workout experience and are able to lift heavy weights, Smith machines with the weight capacity of 600 pounds and more will suit you better. 

The last but not the least set of features to take into account includes assembled dimensions and materialsThe assembled machine size is usually determined by the number of attachments included, thus, it varies from model to model. For this reason, determining the place where the machine is going to stand beforehand is prudent and practical. As for materials, they should be of high quality in order to provide high reliability of the machine on par with its long service life.

Marcy Diamond Elite

All-In-One Exercise Equipment

The Marcy company is one of the world-renowned manufacturers of sports equipment, and if build quality and reliability are the most important areas you want your Smith machine to excel in, the MD-9010G model is just what you need. Although it’s difficult to believe, this machine can replace several sports tools owing to a whole range of exercises it allows you to perform. First of all, it enables you to do the bench press thanks to a removable bench included in the supply package. Secondly, you can strengthen your leg muscles and glutes by performing squats and so-called Bulgarian lunges or split squats with a barbell on your shoulders or chest. Moreover, the model offers cable cross-overs, which help you make your biceps, triceps, and chest muscles stronger. Why the manufacturer has even equipped the machine with a leg developer attachment! So, if you’re dreaming about having a body with all the muscle groups well developed, your aspiration coupled with the Marcy MD-9010G machine can make your dream come true.

Review of Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage with Linear Bearings

Worth Every Cent

Although the Marcy MD-9010G isn’t among the cheapest models on the market, it is worth every cent you pay for it. By choosing this item, you get not only a Smith machine but a whole equipment set for your home weight training, the purchase also allows you to save some money since buying all attachments separately (if they weren’t included in the box) will cost you more. Taking into account the 300-pound weight limit of the bench, the Marcy MD-9010G machine can easily meet both home use requirements as well as serve as a substitute for a big set of training equipment at any gym.

Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage with Linear Bearings in the use

Some Words About Design

It is also very important to pay attention to materials and design of the Smith machine you are considering since these features ensure aesthetics of the machine look together with its durability and usability. Most of the MD-9010G elements are made of thick steel but some its parts, such as guide rods and the foot plate, are covered with chrome to provide a better protection from rust and other negative impacts. The bench itself is also worth your attention as not all manufacturers ship benches their Smith machines, thus making this model a pleasant exception. With its steel frame covered with soft padding and leather, the bench backrest can be secured even at reflex angles to the horizontal, i.e. more than 180° to the bench seat, so you can work out with your body set at many angles. Finally, don’t overlook the advantage that a heavy weight (237 pounds) of the assembled machine provides as it saves you the trouble of using additional tools (for example, screws) to secure the Marcy MD-9010G machine in one place.

Detailed review of Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage with Linear Bearings

Pleasant Additions

If you want to develop all muscle groups using a single machine, you’ll hardly find a better option than the Marcy MD-9010G. With a straight bar, lat bar, tricep rope, V-bar, ankle strap, and 2 single D-handles included, you’ll be able to build your shoulder muscles, back muscles, arms, legs, and abs, to put it simply, build your whole body up.

Marcy Diamond Elite Smith Cage with Linear Bearings application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Marcy Diamond Elite
Marcy Diamond Elite
 

Valor Athletics

Endures Incredible Loads

If you’re an experienced powerlifter and want to stay in a good shape or even improve your results, it’s time to consider Valor Fitness Machine. Boasting the 1000 weight capacity, this fitness equipment is both convenient and safe to use. Its good usability is ensured by four linear bearings that allow you to move the barbell smoothly during your workouts. The model also provides you with a comfort of positioning the barbell on one of 14 steel supports for storage after your training session. Speaking of training safety, it is maintained by an elaborate machine design. If you feel the barbell slipping from your hands, worry not! Even if you drop the barbell it will fall on safety catches with springs that will dampen the impact. Moreover, you can adjust the height of safety catches according to your preferences.

Review of Valor Athletics Smith Machine

Train to the Fullest

If you are still unsure whether a single exercise machine can help you efficiently develop several muscle groups, try the Valor Fitness model out. Using only this device, you’ll be able to perform the following exercises:

  • Deadlifts that involve extensor muscles, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, laterals, biceps, and shoulders.
  • Bent-over barbell row is also possible to perform with the Valor Athletics model. Doing this exercise regularly, you’ll soon notice that your shoulder, rhomboid and trapezius muscles become stronger. Plus, doing this very exercise can help you achieve better results in boxing, swimming or rowing.
  • If you additionally place an order for the bench, you’ll also be able to perform bench presses on this machine.
Valor Athletics Smith Machine in the use

Durable and Stable

We think that it wouldn't go amiss to note that this piece of equipment is made of thick high-quality steel with a powder coating that prevents rust, thus ensuring its durability. And rubber feet of the frame base offer an enhanced stability of the machine even when you lift maximum allowed weights on the Valor.

Detailed review of Valor Athletics Smith Machine

Extras

The Valor Fitness Machine is equipped with four weight plate storage posts that greatly add to its usability.

Valor Athletics Smith Machine application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Valor Athletics
Valor Athletics
 

Yukon Caribou III

For Small Premises

Are you dreaming about having a personal Smith machine at home but don’t have much free space? Then, the Yukon Caribou III Power Rack is worth your attention. Of course, exercise equipment of this type can’t be lightweight and small but in comparison to its rivals, it’s much less bulky. On the other hand, its dimensions of 82” x 48” x 68” allow the majority of people to use the machine for their workouts while experiencing maximum convenience. The elaborate design of this machine also adds to its usability. Self-oiling bushings provide a smooth bar movement up and down the frame enabling you to gain full control over your workout process. Also, the manufacturer has equipped the frame with holes and the bar with latches so to give you a freedom of stopping to perform an exercise when you want by simply turning and securing the barbell with your wrists. One more detail that makes the Yukon Caribou III Power Rack even more convenient is an additional holder, which can be used for storing one more barbell or other items you might need during your workouts, for example, towels.

Review of Yukon Caribou III Power Rack

It is Affordable

We believe you want your exercise equipment to be effective as well as durable, and the Yukon Caribou III Power Rack meets both these requirements. The sturdy metal base consists of three tubes that ensure the stability of the equipment while two safety catches with springs prevent you from getting injured and damaging the machine if you accidentally drop the bar. And let us not forget that all these benefits come at a very affordable price. Offering a very good price-quality ratio, the Yukon model will become a perfect choice for those who want to get high-quality exercise equipment at affordable price.

Yukon Caribou III Power Rack in the use

Train with No Limits

The Yukon Caribou III Power Rack isn’t cumbersome and doesn’t have additional attachments, however, it gives you an opportunity to perform the whole range of exercises with your body in an upright position, including squats, split squats, curves, and behind the back shrugs. Even more, it’s possible to do pull-ups thanks to integrated dip station mount. If you don’t want to settle for upright position exercises only, you can buy a bench additionally and do more with the Yukon Caribou III machine.

Detailed review of Yukon Caribou III Power Rack

Created to Serve You a Lifetime

The lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer is another convincing reason to consider the Yukon Caribou III Power Rack. Choosing this model you can be sure it won’t let you down even after decades of use.

Yukon Caribou III Power Rack application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Yukon Caribou III
Yukon Caribou III
 

Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing

Great Choice for Beginners

If you’re at the start of your long path to a professional weightlifting, we recommend you to consider the Deltech Fitness Machine. This piece of equipment is all about quality, durability, and comfort. Made of high-quality steel, the Deltech Fitness model can endure up to 700-pound weight while the wide base ensures its stability during your workouts. In spite of simplistic design of this model, you do not have to worry about the floor covering of your apartment since the manufacturer has provided for rubber feet for the machine base to avoid any damage to the surface it will stand on. Finally, the simplicity of the machine design offers certain benefits. Simple yet practical, with a white finish on, the Deltech Fitness model will blend in almost any interior. However, it turns out that the paint is prone to scratches, so it’s important to take care of it properly if you want the machine to be good as new even after years of regular use.

Review of Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine

Safe and Comfortable

One of the reasons that convinced us this model will perfectly fit novice athletes is its usability. With the user in mind, the manufacturer has equipped the machine with linear bearings that allow the barbell to move smoothly along the frame. Plus, there are 11 hooks on each side of the frame providing you with eleven slots for securing the barbell at various height any time if need be. Another advantage of the Deltech Fitness Machine is the four weight plate storage posts that allow you to have the plates at hand whenever you need them. Last but not the least, the safety features the equipment has. The adjustable safety catches with springs make it possible for you to work out without a spotter. The catches are designed for dampening the barbell fall so even beginners can work out without the fear of getting injured.

Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine in the use

Benefits of a Smith Machine

Starting your weightlifting training with workouts on a Smith machine is a sensible decision. The practicality of this exercise equipment is in its ability to save you the trouble of being constantly concentrated on keeping your balance (which is the case for standard barbell training), thus, enabling you to pay more attention to exercise technique improvement. One more benefit of this machine is that it prevents big loads on your joints, which is very useful both for people who have injuries and problems with joints and for preventing such injuries.

Detailed review of Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine

Small but Useful

The Deltech Fitness Machine features Olympic bar that is compatible with Olympic weight plates. However, the manufacturer has included a special adaptor in the supply package, by using which you’ll be able to use either Olympic or standard weight plates.

Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing
Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing
 

Marcy Combo

Tone up All Muscle Groups

If you want to cover the most of your training needs using only one Smith machine, the Marcy SM-4008 is just what you need. What makes this model stand from the majority of competing training solutions are definitely its multifunctionality and versatility. As the type of this machine implies, it allows you to work out using the barbell either with or without weight plates, but the equipment offers some additional features that deserve your attention. The item comes with a bench that enables you to perform exercises with your body not only in an upright position but also at some angle to the vertical position, for example, bench press. You’ll also be pleased with the great number of accessories included, such as V-bar, shiver bar, triceps rope, chain link, ankle strap, and two handles using which you can develop different muscle groups. So if you want to work out to the fullest comfortably at home, don’t hesitate to choose the Marcy SM-4008.

Review of Marcy Combo Smith Machine

Usability Comes First

It is common knowledge that any workout should be both effective and safe, and the Marcy SM-4008 features ensure just that combination. Taking into account the barbell-oriented nature of exercises that Smith machines are designed for, the manufacturer has done its best to ensure the maximum convenience and safety of performing these exercises on the SM-4008. To ensure these parameters, the Marcy company equipped the barbell of this model with safety latches so you can stop performing your exercises as soon as you start losing control over the barbell. The bench included has a convenient design and is very good for certain types of exercises. Thanks to its adjustability, the bench allows you to do sit-ups, bench press, and train your leg muscles in the most convenient way. There are two advantages of this model, namely the chest machine and pull-up bar, using which you’ll be able to tone up arm, shoulder muscles, and muscles of your back.

Marcy Combo Smith Machine in the use

Before You Start Exercising

As a rule, Smith machines are shipped disassembled, with their parts packed in two or three boxes, and the Marcy SM-4008 isn’t an exception. So before you start working on perfecting your body, you’ll need to spend some time to set the whole unit up. To do it properly, you need to read the assembly instructions you’ll find in the guide provided by the manufacturer. As soon as the assembly is finished, you’ll get a sturdy and reliable piece of equipment that will help you have the body you dream of.

Detailed review of Marcy Combo Smith Machine

Attachments

As it was already mentioned, the Marcy SM-4008 machine has a wide range of attachments included in the supply package to help you develop all muscle groups. Each attachment targets allows performing different exercises and targets different muscle groups. With that, you can use separate attachments or combine them to perform supersets of different exercises.

Marcy Combo Smith Machine application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Marcy Combo
Marcy Combo
 

FAQ:

Q: Is it possible to assemble a Smith machine on my own? Is it difficult to do single-handedly?

A: The answer to both questions is yes. Actually, user guides provided by manufacturers usually include assembly instructions that allow you to set your new exercise equipment up single-handedly. However, be ready to spend some time to check the corresponding instructions and even more time to assemble your machine for workouts. In general, the installation procedure can take you up to 6 hours. Please note, although you can assemble a Smith machine alone, it is still recommended that at least two people are engaged in assembling it as to avoid accidental injuries.
Q: Are weight plates usually included in the box?
A: Although weight plates are essential items for your weight training, they are often not included in the supply package. On the one hand, some people might find their unavailability inconvenient but, on the other hand, it gives you a chance to choose weight plates that meet your requirements best.
Q: Where should I set my Smith machine – indoors or outdoors?
A: Of course, a Smith machine is designed to be used indoors but if you don’t have much space in your apartment, setting it up in a garage or basement is ok. Before deciding on the place of its installation, make sure you have enough space near the machine to move around and access all its elements freely. One more feature to keep in mind is temperature conditions - it isn’t recommended to set your machine up in very cold/hot air conditions or in premises with high moisture levels. 
Q: Are barbells of Smith machines detachable? Can they be used separately?
A: Barbells are usually integrated and can differ in weight and design from standard barbells. So even if some machines feature detachable barbells, using them separately is not recommended. 
Q: How do I maintain proper condition of my machine?
A: It’s easy to take care of your Smith machine by following the simple rules:
  • Wipe the frame, bars, weight plates, and bench with soft dry cloth to remove dust.
  • If needed, you can use mild detergents to clean the machine surface.
  • Lubricate moving parts of the machine using the WD-40 or another similar solution.
  • Avoid using solvents when cleaning the machine.

Q: I’ve never used a Smith machine before. What exercises are better to start with?

A: A Smith machine is designed to make it possible for you to perform dozens of exercises that target different muscle groups and improve various physical abilities. Choosing the exercises to start with depends on muscles you want to develop. If you have no previous experience of using exercise equipment of this type, it’s recommended to consult your personal trainer to make sure you observe all the safety rules and train effectively.

Sources:

1. Josh Henkin What's Wrong With Using The Smith Machine For Squats? Bodybuilding. April 12, 2016.

2. George Platt What’s The Best Squat For Muscle Growth? | Barbell vs Smith MachineMyprotein. May 9, 2016.

3. Robin Marcel Gillespie 10 Dangerous Exercises to Avoid on a Smith MachineLIVESTRONG. February 13, 2014.

4. John Meadows Why I Love the Smith MachineT Nation. September 1, 2012.

5. Smith Machine, Wikipedia. March 22, 2017.

6. Strength Training 101: How To Squat Properly, Nerd Fitness. 

7. Kevin Marcoux Top 5 Benefits of Using a Smith Machine for a Total Body Workout, IdeaFit. September 1, 2015. 

8. Jeff Bayer Free Weights vs. Machines, askmen. 



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Publish Date: 2017-05-17 07:03:25