Wide Smith Machine Squat Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Machine
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Intermediate
  • Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
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Glutes Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Set up for the wide smith machine squat by setting the bar to around shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use on the smith machine.
  2. Stand under the bar with your legs in a wide stance and your toes pointed slightly outward.
  3. Grasp the bar with a wide grip and position the center of the bar on top of the muscles on your back. The bar should not sit on your neck!
  4. Keeping your back straight and eyes facing forwards and take the weight off the rack. Take a slight step forward.
  5. Keeping your eyes facing forwards with a straight back, slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  6. Pushing up through the heels, raise the the bar back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  1. It's crucially important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping eyes facing forward, chest out, shoulder blades back, and back arched. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  2. Don't push from the balls of your feet. This puts unnecessary strain on joints and tendons. Always push up through your heels. Curling up your toes can help you get the technique right.
  3. Using squats to their full potential requires squatting down at least until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
  4. Don't look down. As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.

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2 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2012 - 17:47
Norma Carrillo


Thanks for those helpful videos. I recorded myself doing these squats; however, I noticed I don't land those sits where my thighs are about parallel to the floor. Once I come to this point, I can't bring it down any further. I would love to be able to land this nice sitting on the squat.

I weigh about 140lbs. I've seen guys at my gym do these nicely, and these fellows clearly have bellies hanging out. Why can't I do this squat right?

When I'm almost down perfectly, I feel an uncomfortable pull on my back so right away I go back up. What do you recommend so that I can do the form right on this squat. Please help me out.

Thanks in advance.

Norma Carrillo
Moreno Valley, CA

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Posted Tue, 08/28/2012 - 12:12
Allen Whitley

You could be using your back in the lift without realizing it. Squats are a different animal when it comes to form. If you don't have absolute perfect form all the way down and all the way back up you could pull a muscle in your back. I recommend lowering the weight you use and start light and progress slow. Keep your back arched and your chest high all the through the lift. You can also try looking at the ceiling while you're performing the lift to help keep you arched. If you still feel a pull when you lower the weight you may have a preexisting injury and you should go get it checked out.

Hope this helps. Let me know how every works out.