- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredMachine
- Force TypePush (Unilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
Front Foot Elevated Smith Machine Split Squat Overview
The front foot elevated smith machine split squat is a variation of the split squat and an exercise used to target the muscles of the leg.
Elevating the front foot of the split squat, as seen in the front foot elevated smith machine split squat, increases the range of motion of the exercise and places more of an emphasis on the hamstring than the traditional variation.
The smith machine used during front foot elevated smith machine split squats provides a fixed bar path for the exercise. This aids in taking out some of the need to stabilize the body and allows one to better isolate the muscle groups being targeted.
Front Foot Elevated Smith Machine Split Squat Instructions
- Position a 1-2” riser in front of your foot and set up in a smith machine with the bar on traps in a split stance position.
- Descend by flexing both knees simultaneously and continue until the back knee touches the ground directly beneath the hip.
- Drive through the front foot and extend the knee as you return to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Front Foot Elevated Smith Machine Split Squat Tips
- Do not progress to the elevated version until you have fully mastered the bodyweight version of this movement. Adding range of motion without having the requisite motor control is a recipe for disaster. Learn to walk before you try to run.
- If you want to emphasize the quads during the split squat, focus on taking a slightly smaller split stance and drive up through the ball of the foot.
- If you want to emphasize the glutes and hamstrings during the split squat, focus on taking a slightly larger split stance and drive up through the heel of the foot.
- If you’re an overextended athlete then you may find it more beneficial to allow for slightly more torso lean throughout the drill as this will help to keep your neutral and load the front leg more effectively.
- If the front leg keeps diving in excessively as you reverse from the eccentric to concentric, attach a band to a rack, loop one end around your knee, and allow it to pull you into a valgus position (not excessively, just slightly). From here, push out against the band to engage the glute and keep yourself in a more neutral position.
- You don’t need to feel like you have to be completely upright as you complete the movement. On the contrary, you should have a slight forward lean and focus on keeping your lumbar spine neutral.