Smith Machine Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group: Pectoral
Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps, Deltoids
Equipment Needed: Smith Machine, Weight Bench
The Benefits of Smith Machine Bench Press
The Smith machine bench press is a machine-based movement targeting the pectoral muscles. The smith machine bench press is a safe and secure way to progress your max lift. This exercise mimics the traditional movement of a barbell chest press but provides more stability, making it safer if you don’t have a spotter. This movement can be programmed in low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance. It is often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of a chest or upper-body focused workout.
Some key benefits are;
Adds size and strength to the chest and triceps.
Many lifters find they feel the movement more in their chest and less in their shoulders than the traditional bench press.
The bar moves on a track making it easier to control.
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Smith Machine Bench Press
When performing the smith machine bench press you are not using your stabilising muscles which can cause muscle imbalances. This can cause injuries when you change to the barbell or dumbbell chest press because those muscle are put under huge strain, that they aren’t used to. We suggest that you add this into your workout along with a healthy mix of free weight movements.
How To Do Smith Machine Bench Press
1. Start off by placing a flat bench in the middle of a smith machine so that the bar is in line with the middle of your chest.
2. Lie down with your back flat on the bench and grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip as this will be your starting position.
3. Unlatch the bar, then slowly lower it down towards your chest until it barely touches and you feel a stretch in your muscles.
4. Hold this position for a count then return back up to the start
For Perfect Technique
Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight throughout the set.
Do not "bounce" the bar off your chest.
Don't lock your elbows out at the top of the movement.
Use a wider than shoulder width grip so that the emphasis is placed on your chest and not front shoulder muscles.
Once you have mastered the Flat Smith Machine Chest Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Flat Dumbbell Flys
1. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on a flat bench.
2. To get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath, then press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
3. Slightly retract your shoulder blades, unlock your elbows, and slowly lower the dumbbells laterally while maintaining the angle at your elbow.
4. Once the dumbbells reach chest level, reverse the movement by squeezing your pecs together and bringing the dumbbells back to their starting position.
5. Without allowing the dumbbells to touch, start the next repetition, and continue until the set is completed.
How To Do Incline Barbell Chest Press
1. Lie flat on an incline bench and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
2. Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
3. Take a deep breath and allow your spotter to help you with the lift off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
4. Let the weight settle and ensure your upper back remains tight after lift off.
5. Inhale and allow the bar to descend slowly by unlocking the elbows.
6. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
7. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor for leg drive, and extending the elbows.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.