What’s Your Muscle Work Out? Smith Machine or Barbell

Training in the gym provides the body with a testosterone buzz: for men it means lower body fat, for women it means more strength and flexibility. More specifically, weight training is a great way to preserve youth, vigour, muscle strength and bone density.

It is an immensely useful exercise to protect heart and lower blood sugar. Weight training simply means resistance to induce muscle contraction. It stimulates the muscle growth and therefore increases the fat burning capacity of the body.

Weight training using gym equipment ensures that you don’t get injured and can train at a weight that is higher or lower than your body weight. There are numbers of equipments available in gym for you to weight train like dumbbells, barbells, smith machine and others.

smith machine

Difference Between Barbell and Smith Machine

What is Barbell?

A barbell is made up of a long bar adjusted with weights attached on each end. Barbells are varied in length, starting from 4 feet to above 8 feet. Dumbbells are barbells with short rods. Mostly, Fixed Barbells are seen as vital equipment in gyms. They are usually much shorter length bars with weights that are attached and firmly welded into the bar. A plastic or rubber is securely covered around the plates. These are handy and can be used by novice bodybuilders and they do not take much space.

What is Smith Machine?

On the other hand, the smith machine is weight training equipment that consists of a barbell which is fixed within steel rails. It allows only vertical or near vertical movement. Smith machine can be secured at any point as it needs not to be re-racked, after any set of repetitions. In the event often the weight becomes too heavy, thus it is safer to lift it without a spotter, as you only need to twist the wrist in order to lock the barbell in place.

Comparisons Drawn Between Barbell and Smith Machine:

Amount of Weight

You can lift more weight on a Smith machine than on a Barbell as it requires less stabilization.

Muscle Building Factor

Traditional squats done on Barbell produce more muscle activity in quadriceps as compared to squats done on Smith machine. The straight motion on a Smith Machine is an unnatural movement that stresses the knees and the lower back.

Safety Measures

It has been argued that the smith machine locks up the user in a specific space, unlike the barbells. This increases the chances of injuries but this criticism is more for squats than bench presses. Barbells are safer than smith machines.

Convenience Factor

The dumbbells are an easier option for those who prefer to exercise at home. You can also choose a full set of barbells if you are comfortable to them. But in a gym, the smith machine is a more convenient option for you.

No matter what you decide to go with – smith machine or barbell, pay attention to proper form and techniques and discover what gives you the best results without injuring the muscles.