Fitness Equipment

8 Best Tips & Techniques of How to Deadlift on a Smith Machine 2024 – Top Guide

How to Deadlift on a Smith Machine

The other day, I was at my local iron paradise, and I saw this poor soul struggling with the Smith machine. It was a sight to behold, like a baby giraffe learning to walk. It got me thinking, there’s a lot of you out there who might be in the same boat. So, I decided to flex my typing muscles, and share some knowledge about one of the most misunderstood pieces of gym equipment – the Smith machine.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Smith machine? Isn’t that the thing that people use when they’re too scared to lift free weights?” Well, my friend, not so fast. The Smith machine is like that quiet kid in school who turns out to be a genius. It’s got a lot to offer, especially when it comes to deadlifts.

So, buckle up, grab your lifting gloves, and let’s get down to business. We’re about to embark on a journey to master the art of deadlifting on a Smith machine. And trust me, by the end of this, you’ll be deadlifting like a pro, turning heads at the gym, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll stop skipping leg day. Let’s get to it!


Smith Machine Deadlift Benefits

smith machine deadlift


First off, let’s talk about the newbies. We’ve all been there, staring at the free weights section like a deer in headlights, not knowing where to start. That’s where our good friend Mr. Smith comes in.

The Smith machine is like training wheels for weightlifting. It helps you maintain proper form and balance, which is crucial when you’re starting out. No more wobbling around like a drunken sailor trying to do deadlifts.

It Boosts your Self-Esteem

Next up, let’s talk about confidence. There’s nothing like the feeling of hoisting a hefty amount of weight off the ground. It’s a rush, a thrill, a testament to your strength.

And the Smith machine lets you experience that, even if you’re not quite ready to go toe-to-toe with the free weights. It’s like a shot of adrenaline straight to your self-esteem.Best Smith Machine

It’s Great For Your Upper Body

Now, onto the upper body. Deadlifts aren’t just a leg exercise, oh no. They’re a full-body workout, and when done on a Smith machine, they really target your upper body.

Your back, your shoulders, your arms – they’re all getting a piece of the action. It’s like a buffet of gains for your upper body.

Bubble Butt

Let’s not forget about the glutes. If you’re chasing that bubble butt, look no further than the Smith machine. Deadlifts on this bad boy will have your glutes working harder than an intern at a start-up.

Say goodbye to pancake butt and hello to peach emoji.

You Won’t Skip Leg Day Anymore

Finally, let’s address the elephant in the room – leg day. We all know it’s tempting to skip it, but with the Smith machine, you might just start looking forward to it.

Deadlifts on the Smith machine are a killer leg workout. They hit your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes – the whole nine yards. So, say goodbye to chicken legs and hello to tree trunks.

How to Deadlift on A Smith Machine

smith machine deadlift

Before getting started, you should know a couple of tips to deadlift on a Smith machine like a pro.

Skipping these steps can lead to major injuries, so make sure to read from top to bottom to stay safe.

Safety Hooks

First things first, let’s talk safety. The Smith machine comes equipped with safety hooks for a reason, folks. These bad boys are your best friends when you’re lifting heavy. They’re like your spotter, ready to catch the weight if things go south.

So, before you start lifting, make sure those hooks are set at the right height. Remember, safety first, gains second.

Watch Out For the Direction of the Track

Next up, the direction of the track. The Smith machine isn’t like your regular free weights, it’s got a track that guides the barbell up and down. Now, this can be a blessing and a curse:

  • It’s great for maintaining form, but you’ve got to make sure you’re standing the right way.
  • You want to be facing the same direction as the track, not perpendicular to it.

Think of it like a train – you wouldn’t stand sideways on a moving train, would you?

Wear Compression Pants

Now, let’s talk gear. Specifically, compression pants. These aren’t just for making your legs look good, although they do a great job at that. Compression pants can help increase blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.

Plus, they provide a bit of protection for your legs when you’re lifting heavy. So, don your favorite pair of compression pants and get ready to lift.

Deadlift Shoes

Finally, let’s talk about footwear. Deadlift shoes, or going barefoot, can make a world of difference when you’re lifting. Regular gym shoes have a cushion that can throw off your balance and make lifting more difficult.

Deadlift shoes, on the other hand, have a flat sole that provides better stability and allows for more power transfer from your legs to the floor. If you don’t have deadlift shoes, going barefoot is a good alternative. Just make sure your gym allows it first.

Steps to Deadlift in a Smith Machine

Tips & Techniques Step machine infografic

Alright, now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here’s your step-by-step guide to executing a deadlift on a Smith machine.

1. Start with the Lightest Weight Possible

First off, let’s talk about weight. I know, I know, you want to lift heavy and impress the cute girl on the treadmill. But trust me, starting light is the way to go.

It allows you to focus on your form and get the movement down before you start piling on the plates. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are gains.

2. Achieve the Correct Form

Next up, form. This is the bread and butter of any lift, and deadlifts are no exception.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Your shoulders should be over the barbell, back straight, chest out, and eyes forward.

Think of it like you’re trying to show off your gym logo on your shirt.

3. Place Your Hands on the Barbell

Now, onto hand placement.

Reach down and grab the barbell, hands just outside your legs. Your grip should be firm like you’re trying to squeeze juice out of a lemon. Your triceps should be fully engaged to prevent your biceps from taking over.

Remember, the barbell isn’t just a piece of metal, it’s your ticket to gain city.

4. Lift the Barbell

Alright, now for the fun part – the lift. Push through your heels, straighten your legs, and lift your chest all at the same time. The barbell should stay close to your body as you lift it up.

At the top of the movement, your legs should be straight, and your shoulders should be back. You should feel like a superhero, ready to take flight.

5. Drop The Barbell (and Reset)

Finally, the drop. This isn’t just about letting go of the barbell. You want to reverse the movement you just did.

Bend at the hips, lower your chest, and let the barbell drop straight down. Then, reset your position and get ready for the next rep. Remember, every rep is a chance to get stronger.

3 Best Smith Machines for Deadlifts

Need a Smith machine but can’t find one after scrolling through countless machines on Amazon? Then check our three best picks:

01. Deltech Fitness Smith Machine

smith machine deadlift


Highlighted Features

  • Steel bar
  • Adjustable bar
  • Solid lifting bar
  • 700-pound capacity

Listen, I get it. You’re trying to pack on some serious muscle, but you can’t seem to find a Smith machine that’s up to the task. Well, my friend, your search ends here. The Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is like the superhero of Smith machines. It’s here to save your workouts and take your gains to the next level.

This beast boasts a maximum capacity of 700 pounds. Yeah, you read that right. 700 pounds. That’s like lifting a small horse. So, if you’re one of those hardcore bodybuilders who likes to push the envelope, this machine has got your back.

But don’t let that intimidate you if you’re just starting out. The Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is as beginner-friendly as they come. It’s got safety hooks that you can latch the bar onto, preventing any major mishaps during your workout. It’s like having a personal spotter who’s always there for you, even when your gym buddy bails.

And speaking of spotters, if you’re going solo and trying to lift heavy, the safety catches on this machine are a godsend. They’re there to catch the bar if you get stuck, so you can push your limits without fear.

The bar on this machine moves strictly up and down, keeping you stable whether you’re busting out squats or working your upper body. It’s like having training wheels for your lifts, helping you maintain form and prevent injuries.

Now, no machine is perfect, and the Deltech Fitness Smith Machine is no exception. It doesn’t come with a bench press, which is a bit of a bummer. You’ll have to buy that separately. But aside from that minor hiccup, this machine is a solid choice for anyone looking to step up their deadlift game.

  • Easy to use
  • Can handle up to 700 pounds
  • No need to ask for a spotter
  • Has safety hooks
  • Does not include a bench press


02. Body-Solid SCB1000 Smith Machine

Body-Solid SCB1000 Smith Machine


Highlighted Features

  • Adjustable bar
  • Safety hooks
  • Olympic-sized plates
  • Steel bars

Body-Solid is like the LeBron James of the fitness world – they’re a household name, and they’ve earned their stripes. These guys know their way around a Smith machine, and the SCB1000 is a testament to that.

Working out on this machine is like a dream. The bar moves smoothly up and down, so you can focus on your form and not worry about needing a spotter. Plus, it stays put, not moving backward or forward, keeping you stable as you pump iron.

Now, hold onto your protein shakes, folks, because this machine can handle up to a whopping 1,000 pounds. That’s right, 1,000 pounds. It’s like the Hulk of Smith machines. So, if you’re looking to go super heavy, this machine has got you covered.

But it’s not all about brute strength. The SCB1000 is also incredibly versatile. Whether you’re looking to squat like a pro or pump up your chest with a bench press, this machine can handle it all.

And despite its power, it’s surprisingly compact. It’s like the compact car that somehow fits all your friends – it’s small, but it gets the job done. This makes it a great choice if you’re looking to set up your own home gym.

Now, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The setup for this machine is a bit of a headache. It’s like trying to assemble a puzzle with no picture on the box. It’ll take a few hours before you’re up and running. But once you get past that hurdle, it’s smooth sailing. All in all, the Body-Solid SCB1000 is a solid choice for any serious lifter.

  • Makes lifting comfortable
  • Safe to use for beginners
  • Can handle up to 1,000 pounds
  • Built-in storage for weight plates
  • Hard to assemble

03. MiM USA 1001 Smith Machine

MiM USA 1001 Smith Machine


Highlighted Features

  • Storage compartment
  • Steel-bar
  • Adjustable bench
  • Vertical leg press

Ever walked into a professional gym and marveled at the top-notch equipment? Well, the MiM USA 1001 is like one of those machines. It’s a bit pricier than the previous models, but hey, you get what you pay for.

This machine is like the Rolls Royce of Smith machines. It’s designed for the perfect training session, equipped with everything you need to sculpt your body into a masterpiece.

Like the other machines, the MiM USA 1001 doesn’t require a spotter. It’s got linear bearings that allow the bar to move freely up and down. And if you find yourself in a pickle, just hook the bar onto the safety hooks, and you’re golden.

But wait, there’s more. This machine comes with an adjustable weight bench. So, after you’ve crushed your leg workout, you can switch gears and pump up your upper body. It’s like a two-for-one deal.

Now, you might be thinking that this machine looks like a nightmare to assemble. But fear not, my friend. It comes with a set of instructions that’ll guide you through the process. It’s like having your own personal handyman.

Now, for the elephant in the room. Despite its price tag, this machine doesn’t come with any free weights. It’s a bit of a letdown, like ordering a burger and not getting fries. But if you can look past that, the MiM USA 1001 is a top-tier choice for any serious lifter.

  • Professional Smith machine
  • Includes storage for barbells & weight plates
  • Easy to set up
  • Cable length can be adjusted
  • No free weight



How to Deadlift on a Smith Machine

Need more information on how to deadlift on a Smith machine? Then check this out:

Can you deadlift on a Smith Machine?

Absolutely, you can! In fact, deadlifting on a Smith machine can be a great way to maintain form and stability, especially if you’re new to the exercise or if you’re trying to push your limits.

Is Deadlifting on a Smith Machine Bad?

Not at all. While some purists might argue that free weights are the only way to go, the Smith machine can be a fantastic tool for deadlifting. It helps you maintain proper form and can be a safer option if you’re lifting heavy weights.

However, it’s important to also train with free weights to engage stabilizing muscles that the Smith machine might not target.

Are you Allowed to Deadlift at Planet Fitness?

Ah, the age-old question. Planet Fitness has a bit of a reputation for being anti-deadlift, thanks to their “Lunk Alarm” policy, which discourages behaviors like grunting and dropping weights.

This has led to a ton of memes and jokes in the fitness community. However, the actual policies can vary from location to location, so it’s best to check with your local Planet Fitness.

Is it Bad to Squat on a Smith Machine?

No, it’s not bad to squat on a Smith machine. In fact, it can be a great way to learn the movement and build strength.

However, just like with deadlifts, it’s important to also do free-weight squats to engage all the stabilizing muscles involved in the movement.

Why are Deadlifts not Allowed in Some Gyms?

Some gyms ban deadlifts because they can be noisy (especially if weights are dropped) and intimidating to other members. They can also be seen as a liability risk if done incorrectly.

However, deadlifts are a fantastic exercise, so it’s worth finding a gym that allows them.

Does deadlift reduce body fat?

Deadlifts can certainly help reduce body fat as part of a balanced exercise routine and diet.

They’re a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at once, which can lead to a higher calorie burn.

Pros and Cons of Smith Machine Deadlift

  • Stability: The fixed bar path can help maintain form, especially for beginners.
  • Safety: The safety hooks and catches can prevent accidents when lifting heavy.
  • Versatility: You can do a variety of exercises on a Smith machine, not just deadlifts.
  • Confidence: It can be less intimidating than free weights, encouraging more people to lift.
  • Limited Muscle Engagement: The fixed path of the Smith machine means some stabilizing muscles aren’t as engaged as they would be with free weights.
  • Less Functional: The movement on a Smith machine is less like movements you’d do in real life.
  • Dependence: There’s a risk of becoming too reliant on the Smith machine and not learning to lift with free weights.
  • Not Always Available: Not all gyms have Smith machines.



So, there you have it, folks. We’ve journeyed through the world of Smith machine deadlifts, from the benefits to the techniques, and even reviewed some top-notch machines. We’ve debunked myths, tackled FAQs, and hopefully, put to rest any doubts you might have had about this underrated piece of gym equipment.

Remember our friend from the local iron paradise, struggling with the Smith machine? Well, armed with this newfound knowledge, that won’t be you. You’ll be the one turning heads at the gym, deadlifting with perfect form and confidence. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned lifter, the Smith machine has something to offer. It’s not just a piece of gym equipment, it’s a tool for growth, for confidence, for strength.

So, next time you’re at the gym, don’t shy away from the Smith machine. Embrace it. Master it. And watch as it takes your deadlift game to the next level. Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about lifting heavy, it’s about lifting smart. And with the Smith machine, you can do both. Happy lifting!

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