Yes, working out at the gym can step up your fitness journey. But on days when you don’t feel like going out, a home workout is the way to go.
If you want effective equipment for your fitness journey, a Smith Machine might be for you.
Smith machines can get a lot of hate from the fitness community because of the limitations they pose in strength and weight training. But Smith machines can be a useful addition to your workout sessions.
Smith machines are versatile and can provide an intense workout routine in the comfort of your own home. With the Smith Machine, you can perform various exercises such as squats, bench press, and hip thrusts.
What is a Smith machine?
If you have seen those big bulky gym equipment that has a barbell attached to it, you are looking at a Smith machine.
Smith machines have a barbell attached to two steel frames making it easy for the user to control and stabilize the barbell. The bar has a fixed vertical bar path, but not all Smith Machines have that.
Some Smith machines you will see in commercial gyms have an inclined angle which allows you to feel the natural movement of lifting. Since the bar is fixed on a Smith machine, you can lift the barbell more easily than you would when you do free weight exercises. This is why most of the fitness community does not like using Smith machines.
While the bar is stabilized by the Smith machine, you are still using your strength to lift the barbell, just with a little bit of help.
Why consider buying the right Smith Machine
While going to the gym has its merit, it can sometimes be tiring to go to the gym after a long day of work.
A Smith Machine is best for people who:
1. Have remote jobs but still like to get their workout done
2. Does not want to wait in line just to be able to use a Smith Machine
3. Likes to workout in private
4. Wants to avoid membership fees
By having a Smith Machine at home, it lets you go from your couch to a full-on body workout without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Aside from that, it will save you a ton of money. You won’t have to worry about gas prices and membership fees.
Let’s face it, sometimes things come up and we might not have time to go to the gym. And there goes your monthly membership fee out the window.
Sure, Smith Machines can be a little pricey. But the convenience of having a home gym may be better than having to sit in traffic only to find out that your gym is full for the day.
In this article, we have gathered reviews from people who like to work out and have experience using Smith Machines. We also provided its features and the pros and cons of using a Smith Machine.
All you need to know before purchasing your needed equipment is all here.
Our top 5 picks will help you decide on the best Smith Machine for you. Read and find out more!
Our Top 5 Best Smith Machines For Home Gym
- Force USA G3 All-in-One Trainer
- Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine
- Fitness Reality Squat Rack Power Cage
- Marcy Pro Smith Machine
- Valor Fitness BE-11
What we like about this equipment is that the name speaks for itself.
The Force USA G3 All-in-One Trainer is a solid Smith machine that can give you a full-body workout without having to jump from one machine to another.
The G3’s Smith Machine has a fixed barbel and can carry Olympic weight plates up to 772lbs. It also has a safety lock and release mechanism so you can safely train without a spotter.
There are 18 attachments included and it has a complete storage solution. You do not have to worry about keeping your training space tidy and organized.
• Perfect for limited space
• Good value for money
• Over 75 cable exercises
• 5-in-1 Strength Training System
• Assembly time can be long
• Bench and weights are not included
Like most Smith Machines, the Marcy Smith Cage Workout Machine is an all-in-one training equipment.
This 373lbs Smith machine has a weight capacity of 300lbs on the weight bar and can carry up to 600lbs (including your body weight) on the bench. You won’t have to be concerned about the machine giving up on you while you do your routine.
The Marcy Smith Cage allows for variety in exercises. It combines 3 types of strength building machine making it a compact piece of equipment. You won’t get stuck doing the same exercises because you can perform a variety of training regimes.
The multi-functional smith machine lets you perform several arm and chest exercises. It also has a leg developer that has pivot points which allows for proper body positioning.
There are several accessories you can use with the weight machine: lat bar, shiver bar, ankle strap, v-bar, triceps rope, and pulley cable handle.
• Very sturdy durable
• Bench isn’t attached, you can move it when not in use
• Barbell included in the unit
• Machine does not have to be anchored down
• Weights plates are also not included
• Instruction manual is not user-friendly
• Can take more space than other Smith Machines
• Benches are shallow and does not offer a deep decline
• No pull-up bar included
If you want a Smith machine that is not taking up too much space in your room, you might want to take a look at the Fitness Reality Squat Rack Power Cage.
You can order this Smith machine as a stand alone squat rack or add the weight bench for more variety. And do it without breaking the bank!
This heavy-duty Smith machine has 800lbs barbell weight capacity and has 19 adjustable height levels. It is compatible with olympic-sized barbells, but it also has 1-inch holes if you want to add on standard sized attachments.
The elevated rear support bar allows the bench to slide back, allowing for maximum space if you are getting the power rack and weight bench combo.
The adjustable bench has an upgraded seat that is 12″ wide and 33″ long. It provides more support for the head and the neck when doing a bench press.
• Foldable bench
• Great price for an excellent build quality
• Easy to set up and is sturdy
• Barbells and weight plates sold separately
• Adjustable pull-up bar only has 2 maximum height changes
• Cables to be purchased separately
Another heavy equipment on our list is the Marcy Pro Smith Machine.
Unlike the Marcy Smith Cage , a multi-grip pull-up bar is included in the Marcy Pro Smith Machine. That might be a factor in deciding on which Marcy Smith Machine to choose.
This equipment can hold up to 600lbs of weight with its heavy-duty alloy steel frame.
This equipment is great if you want a full-body workout without going to the gym. Aside from the bar, this unit includes a power tower, utility bench, squat rack, and weight holder.
Its adjustable seat is good for dumbbell presses, triceps extension, bicep curls, and more.
This unit also has a dual overhead pulley machine. The pull on the cables runs smooth making it easy to work on your lats.
Further research of the unit showed that the maximum height of the squat rack is 52″. The height of the J-hooks for the squat rack might be a concern for people over 5’5″. You might need to drill holes on the rack if you find that it is too low for you.
• Comes with the bench
• Heavy duty all-in-one training machine
• The unit has transport wheels on the bench making it easier to move
• Storage for you weight plates
• Cable machine
• No weights included
The Valor Fitness BE-11 is a heavy-duty machine constructed from 12-gauge steel. It is compact and perfect for small spaces.
This machine can hold itself with most of the challenging lifts. It has a solid steel bar latch for support, bar rotation, and linear bearings. The linear bearings make it easy for the barbells to slide across the vertical bars. The most weight it can bear is 500lbs.
Usage of the bar is safe and secure. You do not need any spotter when working out because the bar is attached to the equipment.
The unit comes with 4 olympic storage pegs and gives easy access for 2″ weight plates. The knurled bar (no center knurl) makes for an optimal grip and it weighs 36lbs.
There are no cables in this machine but you can still perform several workouts such as bench press and squats.
• Solid piece of equipment
• Reasonable price
• Good for daily workouts
• Spring steel acts as shock absorption for the bar
• Standard weight plates cannot be used
• Barbells, bench and weight plates not included
• Non cables included
• Olympic plate pegs are built-in
Buyer’s Guide: What to consider when buying the best Smith machine for you
A lot of factors can be the deciding point when purchasing a Smith Machine. The list below can help you decide the best machine that works for you and your fitness journey.
If budget is of no concern, the Force USA G3 might be the best Smith machine for you. It is an all-in-one Smith machine with a lot of features. You will definitely get your money’s worth. If you are only starting your fitness journey, the Fitness Reality Squat Rack is the cheapest SMith machine on the list. It can still give you a full workout without shelling a lot of money. It can be a good investment if it is your first Smith Machine.
All our top picks have safety features so you can focus on your training without worrying about the equipment. The machines are heavy-duty and can bear heavy weight plates and barbells depending on your needs.
The machines we have reviewed have different weight capacities. You can choose the equipment based on your training needs.
If you are more focused on heavy lifting, the Fitness Reality Squat Rack Power Cage is perfect. It can hold up to 800lbs weight capacity. While the Valor Fitness Machine can bear only up to 500lbs.
Available Training Space
From what we have reviewed, all machines are good for home use. If you have more space to spare, the more bulky machines such as the Force USA G3 and Marcy Smith Machines can be a good buy.
But also keep in mind that the height of the machines go up to 85″ in height. The Marcy Smith Machines being the largest with a dimension of 75″L x 28.5″W x 47″H.
All the machines have at least 1-year warranty.
The Force USA G3 has a 1-year warranty on the upholstery and attachments as well as a 10-year warranty for the cables and pulleys. This warranty only applies to Force USA machines used in a private home setting.
The Marcy machines have a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
The Valor Fitness Machine has different warranty depending on what items you purchased from them. The Fitness Machines have a 3-year frame, 2-year pad, 2-year cable, 1-year pulley, 1-year popper pin, 1-year hardware.
The Fitness Reality Machine has a 1-year limited warranty, but if you purchase from their website, you get an additional 5-year warranty for the machine.
All units have additional attachments that you can buy to make the most out of your training regime. Barbells, bench and weight plates are not included in the units that we have reviewed.
Be particular about the attachments as some units are only accessible to olympic weighted plates and can’t be used for standard ones.
Why buy a Smith Machine when you can just go to the gym?
With a Smith Machine, you can workout in the comfort of your own home. You can skip the drive or commute and the long lines at the gym to get your daily exercises.
A Smith Machine is also a total body workout equipment. No need to jump to other workout stations.
What exercises can you do on a Smith Machine?
You can do a variety of exercises on a Smith Machine. Here are some of them:
• Bench Press
• Hip Thrust
• Front squat
• Single deadlift
Is a Smith Machine safe to use alone?
Yes. There are safety features on Smith Machines that make it easier for you to do the exercises without having a spotter. If you are a little uneasy, have someone spot you for the first few uses until you are comfortable enough to do the exercises by yourself.
Are free weights better than Smith machines?
Both free weights and Smith machines are good in weight training.
But, we think a Smith machine is a good option if you are planning to work out at home. With the Smith machine, you will be more at ease to lift without a spotter because you can easily lock the bar in place. This is helpful when you have no one to spot you at home while you train.
Smith machines are also good if you are a beginner or are coming from an injury. It will help you get your strength back when you are ready to lift with free weights.
You can also focus more on proper form in Smith machines if it is your first time lifting.
Can you build muscle with a Smith machine?
You can definitely build muscle using Smith machines.
But of course it will depend on the type of workout you do. More intense and progressive weight training can help strengthen and build your muscles.
Having reviewed our top 5 picks, the Force USA G3 would be our favorite Smith Machine. It is an all-in-one trainer with a lot of features for your training needs. If you are someone who uses the cables and pulley frequently, the 10-year warranty for those two might be the deciding factor to buy the G3.
If you are on a tight budget but still want to get that intense workout, the Fitness Reality Squat Rack could be for you. The compact machine might not have other features but the weight capacity alone is a factor to consider.
Overall, a Smith Machine is a good investment wherever you are on your fitness journey. Don’t forget to check out the links included in this review to find out more about the prices of the machines. We hope we helped you decide on a machine to be the centerpiece of your home gym!