If you have always wanted to do Smith Machine squats but weren’t sure exactly how to do them, read on. This description of squats on the Smith Machine will help you maximize recruitment of your glutes, hamstrings and quads.
Your torso should be in line with the Smith machine rack during the squat movement. A good way to check your form is by looking in the mirror from a side view to check your alignment. Tuck your tailbone in slightly but make sure to keep your back neutral. In order to keep everything in line with your upper body, you need to make sure that your feet are far enough forward. You can place your feet close together, shoulder width apart, or at a wide stance.
Keep in mind that if there is a slant to the Smith Machine apparatus that you will have a tougher time keeping your back in line with the slant, in which case you will favor keeping your upper body completely perpendicular to the floor instead. Make sure to keep your back NEUTRAL the entire time.
When you push the bar up, you will only go up halfway. Concentrate on squeezing your glutes and pushing through your HEELS. On the down phase, you will come down beyond 90 degrees (around 60 degrees at the knees). Move slowly and deliberately. If you are doing these correctly, you will feel a stretch in your hamstrings and glutes.