Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredMachine
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group

Glutes

Glutes Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Wide Smith Machine Squat 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 your eyes facing forwards, take the weight off the rack. Take a slight step forward.
  5. With your back straight and your eyes facing forward, slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  6. Push up through your heels and raise the bar back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for desired reps.

Exercise Tips:

  • It's important that you keep a straight back when you squat! You can ensure your back is straight by keeping your eyes facing forward, chest out, and shoulder blades back. Keep your core muscles tensed throughout the movement to help hold your back in place.
  • 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.
  • Using squats to their full potential requires squatting down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • Don't look down. As soon as you look down your back rounds, simple as that.
19 Comments
Terrie
Posted on: Sun, 02/11/2024 - 16:36

Is there an alternative to this exercise as I am unable to put weight on the shoulders due to a back injury

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2024 - 11:23

If you don't mind, give me a rough idea of what your gym has. I don't want to waste your time with recommendations you can't do. We do also have this page with other exercises you can swap in.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/quads

Maddie
Posted on: Wed, 11/15/2023 - 13:54

hello, I have been doing this exercise regimen for about two weeks now, and I am not understanding the difference between this squat, a sumo squat and a regular squat w free weights. They all feel exactly the same. should they feel different? Is there something I should be concentrating on for each one?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 20:14

What exercise regimen are you following, Maddie? That could help me answer your question more effectively, but in short, the Smith Machine keeps you in a fixed pattern so you can concentrate on working muscles only. Sumo squat works more of the outer thighs and glutes. The regular squat hits everything in the thighs and you have to keep the weight stable, which also stimulates the core. Hope this helped.

Raechel
Posted on: Tue, 07/04/2023 - 05:55

Hello, I have a home gym with a power rack with cable attachments, I'm guessing the alt is a sumo squat? please could I have some key things to focus on when doing this? Unless there is a better alt? Thanks so much! :)

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 07/10/2023 - 08:03

Hi, Raechel. Yep, sumo squat is it. Couple of key points to focus on.

1. Pause at the bottom of the rep before coming out of the hole. You should feel the stretch before coming up.
2. Pay attention to both the knees and hips. If you feel any pain whatsoever, find an alternative.

Hope this helps!

Jewell
Posted on: Tue, 06/27/2023 - 08:28

Is there an alternative to this exercise?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 07:47

What kind of equipment are you using? I want to make the best suggestions possible.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 07/23/2023 - 09:21

If you're using a similar foot position, that is the best swap in my opinion. Good luck.

Jewell
Posted on: Mon, 07/10/2023 - 09:59

I go to a fully equipped gym and have used the leg press in place of this equipment

Bre
Posted on: Tue, 06/13/2023 - 01:15

Just starting out snd 60 yrs young .. lol .. witch is better to do the bar then dumbbells if your knees are bad .. just can’t squat that far down .. thanks for any info

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/13/2023 - 06:58

Hi, Bre. Ultimately, this is a question for a physician, but in the meantime, I would suggest focusing more on leg machines than free weight squats. Machines keep you in the same path of travel so you can work the leg muscles with minimal toll on the knee and hip joints.

If you absolutely must use free weights, then go with dumbbells and squat down onto a box or bench so you have something underneath you for safety.

Bre
Posted on: Tue, 07/11/2023 - 00:17

Thank you very much

Yvonne Hogan
Posted on: Sun, 09/12/2021 - 03:25

Is it possible to do these with a barbell instead? What benefit does the Smith machine bring specifically? Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 12:41

Hello, Yvonne. Yes, you can do these with a barbell. That exercise is called a sumo squat. The Smith Machine serves two purposes here. It provides stability so you can focus on the legs. It also allows you to put your feet forward slightly and lean into the bar on the machine. The barbell version doesn't allow this.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 12:41

Hello, Yvonne. Yes, you can do these with a barbell. That exercise is called a sumo squat. The Smith Machine serves two purposes here. It provides stability so you can focus on the legs. It also allows you to put your feet forward slightly and lean into the bar on the machine. The barbell version doesn't allow this.

Reem
Posted on: Tue, 02/04/2020 - 02:57

I couldn’t do this one
I was too afraid to lose the weight and fall so i used a free weight and did the same exercise, is that ok?

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

Hi:

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

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

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.