Smith Machine Squats For Glutes: How To Squat On A Smith Machine

Have you been looking for a piece of equipment to train your glutes? The standard smith machine is the correct answer and the proper equipment for your trainer.

In modern commercial gyms, the smith machine is a popular device among weightlifters transitioning to free weight from a machine base.

So far, you could compare the smith machine squat to a barbell squat, where a bar moves on the guide rails as the immovable path, enhancing the development of your balance and coordination.

Although, the exciting aspect of the smith machine is that it allows beginners and professional lifters alike to train the glutes directly without being limited by other muscles getting fatigued.

In the same vein, the smith machine could get a bad rap sometimes for not being “free weight,” though people could assume that it is an improper method of developing the glutes.

Frankly, that is far from the truth because adding to your glute size and strength, the smith machine is very effective in doing just that!

Nevertheless, this informative post will elaborate and bring to lamplight some critical content such as; an overview on smith machine squats for glutes, tips on how to squat on a smith machine, how to do front squats on a smith machine, how to do sissy squats the on the smith machine and more.

Be patient. Let’s get started!

Overview On Smith Machine Squats For Glutes

The smith machine squats for glutes are variations of the squat and other exercises designed to make the glutes the strongest, most significant, and possibly the most powerful muscle in your body system. These need more attention than they receive in a regular training session. It is important to note that the more comprehensive your stance on the smith machine, the more your hip abductors and glutes become effective. Though with a traditional view, your glutes are also active, mainly if you have a complete range of motion.

The Smith Machine Squat Instructions

Utilizing the smith machine will enhance the bar remaining in a fixed position as you carry out your squats. Hence, the following instructions are necessary for squats on a smith machine.

  • Make the bar below your shoulder level as you adjust the safety stops above your knees.
  • Make your pinkies to be on the smooth ring of the barbell.
  • It would be best to go under the bar to position your traps at the base as you look straight.
  • Adjust the bar and remove the safety stops as you rotate your wrists.
  • Have your elbows align with your torso as you take a deep breath.
  • Simultaneously descend as you push your hip back and bend your knees.
  • If your thighs parallel the floor, reverse the movement by driving your feet into the floor as you flex your quads.
  • Exhale as you finish by extending the hips and knees.

Mistakes To Avoid While Squatting On A Smith Machine

When you intend to perform squats on the smith machine, you must avoid the following mistakes to make your workouts progressive. Here are the common errors up the smith machine as if it is a free-weight barbell squat.

  • Making your movements too fast.
  • Rounding your spine (curving your spine).
  • Come up with your toes.
  • Lowering the motion of your deep squats or having a shortcut to its range of motion.

Related Article:6 Supplements High In Protein & Vitamins for Bigger Buttocks and Hips

Benefits Of Smith Machine Squats 

The importance of the smith machine squats is below;

  • Performing squat on the smith machine enables you to change your foot placement.
  • Reduce the chance of injury
  • Experienced lifters can lift more weights
  • You can squat without falling over as in free-weight squats.
  • Performing squats on the smith machine builds confidence.
  • Many stabilizing muscles will be required to enable the target of the intended muscle group.

Below are the pros & cons of using the smith machine for squats;


  • Easier to have a balance.
  • Perfect for isolating significant muscle groups.


  • Not perfect for overall strength and power building.

Tips On How To Squat On A Smith Machine

The tips for performing squats on the smith machine are below;

  • Due to the vertical motion of the bar, a low bar will not work well with a smith machine squat.
  • Your toe angle should feel best for you.
  • Always grip the bar on a “false grip” to help you eliminate wrist and elbow problems.
  • Make sure you drive the whole foot (big toe, little toe, and the heel).
  • Drop down the back pockets straight towards your heels.
  • Make a bold move on the knees over your toes so that the knees don’t deviate inward or outward.
  • Make the traps move into the bar. It would help if you tried to squeeze your elbows toward your body and reverse the movement out of the hole.
  • Keep the chin tucked during the lift (a neutral neck position) or look straight ahead. However, the best style can be functional for you. 
  • It would be best if you didn’t push the knees too wide.

How To Do Squats On A Smith Machine If You Have Bad Knee

This video here shows you how can do squat on a smith machine if you have knee pain.ย 

How To Do Front Squats On A Smith Machine

Are you ready to do a front squat? The following procedures are crucial for you to be outstanding;

Step 1- Lift the bar from the stops as you place it in front of the shoulders.

Step 2- Grip the weight with your cross-arm method.

Step 3- Make your shoulder-width distance apart as you stand with your feet under the bar.

Step 4- Push the hips forward as you stand back up, extending your knees.

Step 5- Have desired reps.

How To Do Sissy Squats On Smith Machine


Step 1- Make the bar in the bottom of the smith machine, that is, on the second hook.

Step 2- With your lower legs resting against the bar as you stand facing the smith.

Step 3- Squat down as you make your torso straight.

Step 4- If you make a parallel form, push yourself back up as you press through your heels midfoot.

Step 5- Have it repeated for 2-5 sets of 8 to 20 reps.


Can You Do Front Squats On A Smith Machine?

Yes, of course, you can! Though the front squat on a smith machine is a fantastic, effective, and efficient exercise for the legs, especially the quads. Although working out at Planet Fitness gym, you might not have a barbell for your training. Hence, the smith machine for the front squat becomes essential, as its variations keep the bar in position, and eventually, you might not need a complete gym setup.

Can You Do Squats On A Smith Machine?

Of course, yes, you can do squats on a smith machine. Interestingly, you can even do free-weight barbell squats on the smith machine. Nevertheless, most beginners dislike squatting on the smith machine, but the professionals and experts enjoy it a lot on the smith machine.

Doing Squats On A Smith Machine

Starting squatting on the smith machine is good, but what do you tend to achieve? How do you do that to be on the safer side averting injury as necessary? These and more are vital for your development in squatting. I recommend you ask your fitness instructor the correct steps of doing the squats or their variation smoothly.

However, squatting on the smith machine requires some training gear such as;

  • Knee Sleeves or Knee Wraps
  • Weightlifting Shoes
  • Hip Circle
  • Weightlifting Belt

Investing in the materials above with a little penny will enhance your workouts, especially doing squats on the smith machine.

Let’s look at the other muscles the smith machine squat works on

The muscles the smith machine works on are listed below;

  • Abs
  • Calves
  • Erectors
  • Hamstrings
  • Quads

Are Squats On A Smith Machine Effective

Without mixing words, doing squats on the smith machine are very effective. Although the smith machine has disadvantages or cons, the advantages/pros are much more excellent. In other words, the smith machine is an excellent alternative for the free-weight barbell squats as it is more secure and convenient to train.

Does The Smith Machine Make Squats Easier?

The smith machine makes the squat easier and safer from the perspective that it targets specific muscles, especially the glute and hamstrings, as you don’t need to do the leg session all the time, unlike the barbells or free weights that target more muscles fibers and though relies on the surrounding muscles for support.

How To Set Up Smith Machine For Squats

To set up the smith machine for squatting, the below is necessary;

Step 1- Set Up The Machine

If you intend to squat, you must ensure that the smith machine is ready. The bar should be level with your shoulder and not your neck.

Step 2- Starting Position

Get under the bar as it rests on the traps and rear belts, not your neck. Make yourself comfortable shoulder width as your position. As a beginner, starting with a bar without weights is vital to finding your foot placement. One paramount objective is to keep your knees behind your toes as you squat, and you should avoid rounding your back.

Step 3- The Descent 

In descending, you must push your hips back as you bend your knees. 

Ensure a chest up; shoulder blades retracted as you face forward to enhance safety. In line with your calves at the bottom, your buttock gives a great stretch on your quads/glutes, though necessary for building muscular strength. Mobility is essential, so don’t go too low as your knees are about your toes, and there is no arch on your back.

Step 4- The Ascent 

Do drive up your feet from your heels as you exhale. Make your spine straight, your core stable, and your elbow pointed out during this exercise. Your knees will lock as your hips reach a neutral position at the top. You could have repetitions of your choice and the best reps depending on the weights on the smith machine.

How To Do Squats On The Smith Machine


  • Adjust the bar to your shoulder level that is on the smith machine.
  • You could start with a loaded bar of about 10-pounds (if you are a beginner, start with the bar only, then gradually add weight accordingly).
  • It would help if you positioned your hands about shoulder-width apart on the bar as you gently grip the bar with an overhead grip.
  • Rest the bar on your trapezius muscles as you step in front of the rack.
  • Unlock the bar by lifting it as your feet are a hip distance apart.
  • Shift your weight back into your heels. Then brace your abs to squat lower as you keep your spine and head in a neutral position. Although, hold for a second as you should nearly make your knees 90 degrees.
  • Brace your core as you drive your heels to stand back up. Ensure that you squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat.
  • Be sure to make 3 sets of 12 reps.

Is It Ok To Squat On The Smith Machine?

Yes, it is ok to squat on the smith machine. Though I advise you to perform your techniques correctly to avoid injury of any kind, free weight and smith device can be dangerous if squats are not accordingly.


To summarize this post, the smith machine is an incredible device that aids numerous exercises for both beginners and professionals. In the same vein, the squats are effective workouts when done correctly, though you can practice squatting on the smith machine.

Although, you could also do a ton of squat variations on the smith machine if you are beginning to get into muscle training. So, the benefits of squatting on the smith machine range from reducing the chance of injury, lifting more weights, increased muscle isolation, and no spotter.

I recommend you follow the directive instructions of your fitness trainer and the above-detailed information to excel significantly in squatting, especially smith machine squats.

When next you go to the gym, try these variations; reverse squat, split squat, box squat, sumo squat, chair squat, hack squat, Zercher squat, and back squat on the smith machine. Do like and share this post with others!

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