- Target Muscle Group
- Exercise TypeStrength
- Equipment RequiredMachine
- Force TypePush (Unilateral)
- Experience LevelBeginner
- Secondary Muscles
Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings
Smith Machine Lunge Overview
The Smith machine lunge is a variation of the lunge and an excellent exercise choice for isolating muscles of the leg.
The primary muscle group targeted during the Smith machine lunge is the quads. However, depending on the width of the split stance you take during the Smith machine lunge, you can focus more on the hamstrings and glutes.
Smith machine lunges can be used by bodybuilders hoping to isolate a particular muscle in the leg or any other lifter whose goal is to strengthen or build their leg muscles.
The Smith machine lunge is a good substitute for other lunge variations for lifters looking to limit added volume to other muscle groups during their leg workouts.
Smith Machine Lunge Instructions
- Set up in a smith machine with the bar on your 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.
Smith Machine Lunge Tips
- If you want to emphasize the quads during the smith machine lunge, 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 smith machine lunge, 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.