- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredMachine
- Force TypePush (Bilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Smith Machine Front Squat Overview
The Smith machine front squat is a variation of the front squat and an exercise used to build the muscles of the legs. In particular, the Smith machine front squat will place a lot of emphasis on the quads.
Utilizing a Smith machine will ensure the bar path remains in a fixed position, eliminating some of the need to stabilize during the exercise.
Smith Machine Front Squat Instructions
- Position the bar just underneath shoulder height.
- Hold your arms straight out, step underneath the bar, and allow it to sit on top of your shoulders up against your neck.
- Once the bar is in position, place one hand overtop each shoulder to stabilize the bar.
- Take a breath and unrack the bar by rotating your wrists back to move the safeties.
- Sit directly between your legs by simultaneously bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
- Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, reverse the movement by driving your feet into the floor and flexing your quads.
- Finish the lift by exhaling as you fully extend the hips and knees.
Smith Machine Front Squat Tips
- Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
- You can use the front rack position for this variation if you wish - either 2 or 3 fingers as it will take some stress off the wrist.
- To keep the torso upright, focus on driving the elbows up out of the hole.
- If you can’t get into a front rack position to front squat, then use the cross arm grip.
- Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
- Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
- Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
- Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.