A home gym is one of the best things you could gift yourself, and purchasing a Smith machine is one of the most intelligent choices. This is mainly because this piece of equipment allows you to work out both your upper and lower body equally. Also, the machine is more stable, assuring your protection as the chances of an injury are minimal.
The Smith machines are often derided as being for weak newbies who can’t or won’t learn to lift using free weights.
But if you know what you’re doing, investing in one of these large racks helps you add stability throughout the exercises and safely push yourself to your limit for prolonged work periods, thanks to a wide range of weight training options they provide.
Once you’ve made up your mind to indulge in serious weightlifting without a spotter, the next big step is to choose the best Smith machine for home gym use.
In a hurry? Here are 7 of the best options:
Top 7 Best Smith Machines for Home Gym
MiM USA Hercules 1001 Smith Machine
The MiM USA Hercules 1001 Smith machine is an all-in-one machine that offers a complete package to your fitness requirements. The only missing thing is the Olympic weights. This piece of equipment is safe to use due to the smooth gliding Smith system (which helps you lift safely without the need for a spotter).
You could even list outside the Smith machine using safety spotter arms. The manufacturer has done a commendable job in including a high-quality commercial grade bench that helps you perform exercises such as bench presses.
Other integral features include a cable pulley system, a chin-up station, and a variety of attachments. Such versatility helps you achieve maximum fitness benefits without having to spend more on procuring additional attachments.
- Smooth linear bearings that glide superbly
- An assortment of attachments included with a good pulley system
- The machine offers a good-quality bench that can withstand a maximum weight capacity of up to 350 pounds
- Olympic weights are not included in the purchase and must be purchased separately
Force USA Monster G3 Smith Machine
This combination of a rack, trainer, and Smith machine is another all-in-one piece of equipment machine that has all that’s necessary to thrive as a complete home gym in your cozy apartment.
A cable pulley, Smith machine track, a bar, and a variety of attachments such as landmine, chin-up station, safety spotter arms, and more are included to help you lift outside the Smith machine too.
The surprising fact here is that all these come at a reasonable cost. If you have your eyes on this model, all you need to do is to buy it, add weights, attach the bench, and start working out.
- The machine comes with a pulley system (2:1 ratio) and a Lat bar attachment
- The bearing glides smoothly
- A spotter arm attachment is available and could be used if you want to lift using a barbell outside the smith machine
- The machine does not include weights and bench
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System
Marcy Diamond Elite Smith System is one of the most popular smith machines available in the Marcy home gym’s lineup mainly because of its range of attachments and pulleys.
Though the Marcy Elite Diamond might not be the preferred choice of heavy lifters (the max weight capacity of the model is only 300lb), the frame has a solid steel build.
The manufacturer has also provided various attachments, including an adjustable bench, preacher curl station, pec deck, leg developer, and dual upper pulleys, but there is no weight stack. Weight plates must be used for doing pulley exercises.
The smith bar is compatible with Olympic plates, and the frame is built with six built-in storage pegs.
- Linear bearings provided for the affordable price paid
- The frame doubles as a power rack
- A budget-friendly model
- A good number of attachments provided
- Not suitable for heavy lifters
- Only two years warranty on the frame
Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith Machine
The machine might seem extremely simple to look at, but that is the beauty of this model. The Valor Fitness BE-11 Smith machine is one of the best Smith machines because of its solid frame and straightforward built.
The frame and construction are admirable built with a 12-gauge steel frame and having a maximum weight capacity of 1000lb that speaks volumes about the machine’s durability.
The BE-11 does need Olympic plates and comes with 4 plate storage pegs to keep the weights organized.
The company has provided a solid-grip knurled bar. Make use of the machine to perform several workouts, including rows, upright rows, calf raises, shrugs, bench presses, and squats.
- The linear bearing system guarantees smooth workout routines
- The premium-quality steel frame that’s stable
- Optimal pricing
- Versatile performance
- The warranty period is short—only 3 years on the frame and 1 year on hardware
Deltech Fitness Linear Bearing Smith Machine
If budget is your key requirement, the Deltech Fitness Linear Smith machine might be your ultimate choice as it is aptly priced to be the best budget-friendly home gym machine.
The frame and construction are admirable—11 and 14-gauge steel tubing increasing the machine’s durability.
The linear bearing system assures butter-smooth performance, which is quite surprising given the machine’s low pricing.
Again, this model is also an Olympic size bar that requires Olympic plates. Except for the straight pull-up bar that runs across the front of the frame, there are no other attachments included with this product.
- The maximum weight capacity is 700lb
- Solid build and excellent durability
- Linear bearing system that ensures smooth performance
- Lifetime warranty offered on the frame
- No attachments offered except for the pull-up bar, but this should not be a great disadvantage considering the machine’s pricing
Inspire Fitness Ft2 Functional Trainer
We have a functional trainer from Inspire Fitness with a dual weight stack system being a complete home gym. Additionally, the Ft2 has a smith machine too built into it. Still, the machine’s functioning is quite different from most other models—the machine uses dual weight stacks to offer resistance and add variety to your workout sessions.
The single weight stack is 165 lbs, the Smith bar itself weighs 20 lbs, and it comes with 2 5 lbs add-on weights. So in total, the max resistance possible on the Smith machine is 360 lb (165 x2, + 20, + 2×5).
But you could add dual 50 lb stacks to increase resistance, thereby increasing the max resistance of the machine to 460lb.
The premium-quality frame, built-in safeties, and bar locks offer the utmost safety to anyone who uses the machine. This functional trainer arrives with a wide range of attachments and accessories such as a pair of D handles, a swing handle, ankle cuffs, a triceps rope, a curl bar, a straight bar, etc.
- A functional trainer plus a smith machine
- A very safe machine to use
- Multiple pulley systems and an assortment of attachments (more than 10) provided
- Lifetime warranty on the frame, moving parts, and hardware
- Quite expensive
Body-Solid Series 7 GS348Q Smith Machine with Linear Bearings
Here is a smith machine that is the brainchild of one of the most-reputed exercise equipment manufacturing companies—Body-Solid.
The Series 7 is built with an 11 or 12-gauge steel frame which can handle a maximum weight capacity of up to 600 lbs. Coming with a linear bearing system and using Olympic plates, the 6 storage pegs help you stack your weights easily.
The beauty of this product is that it can be used as a power rack, helping you do free barbell exercises. Though there are no free weights included with the purchase, you can use your own.
The machine has several attachments, including an adjustable bench, lat bar, pec deck station, leg developer, and preacher curl station.
- Linear bearing mechanism guarantees smooth functionality of the machine
- The maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds
- The Smith machine can also function as a power rack
- Lifetime warranty on everything when used for residential purpose
- It takes time to assemble
How to Choose the Best Smith Machine for Home Gym?
Multiple features make any Smith Machine a great machine for home gym use. These include the accessories, space occupied, bearings, angle, and maximum weight capacity of the machine. Let us look into them one by one:
While a Smith Machine is a piece of versatile home gym equipment, adding a weight bench can add more value to your overall exercising abilities. You can use the bench for performing various exercises and try all possible variations of the bench presses exercise.
Besides the bench presses, the bench comes in handy for doing exercises such as leg presses and many more. An important point to keep in mind is that most of these Smith machines don’t include a weight plate with your purchase, and you need to have Olympic-sized weight plates to do your workout in the Smith machine.
Before making a choice, go through the list of accessories that come with the product. Some of the prominent ones that will take your exercising capabilities to a new high level include:
- A pulley system included for lat pulldown
- Lat pulldown attachments
- A pull up and chin up station
- Some machines also come with a bench that offers leg extension
#2. Space Consideration
Before finalizing any given model, you should measure the available space in your room, get the measurements of the Smith machine model that you wish to purchase, and compare both numbers to check whether or not the chosen model would suit your requirements.
Any Smith machine does need some clearance space around the sides and the back and at least 7 feet in front. If you suffer from a space crunch, it is better to consider the other compact home gym models available in the market.
While looking for any Smith machine, always try to choose a piece of equipment having linear bearings. When you have a linear bearing, it becomes easier for the bar to operate smoothly without hindrances from any jerkiness or uneven surfaces.
The desired angle for any Smith machine has always been a controversial topic. Some support that a straight Smith machine is better than an angled one. Some others feel that an angled path offers a better natural course, but others find it deceptive.
Finally, all of it boils down to your choices and how you feel about using the machine. Try the machines, compare which feels more natural to you, and finally decide which is more comfortable. But both are capable of providing optimal workout experiences.
#5. Weight Capacity
Every machine offers a different weight capacity, and if you wish to do some serious weightlifting, this feature is critical for finalizing a good model.
In general, Smith machines offer weight capacities between 500 and 1000 lbs. to be frank, the durability and quality of a machine are directly proportional to the weight capacity offered by the equipment.
Hence, it is not wise to choose Smith machines that have below 300 pounds of weight capacity. Heavier weight capacity machines also generally come with heavy-duty frames (11- or 12-gauge steel frame).
Is a Smith Machine Worth It?
If you are extremely interested in strength training, a Smith machine is a versatile piece of equipment that serves your purpose to the dot.
You might be a big fan of free barbells/weights training, but if your muscles feel fatigued after using them, don’t hesitate to get hold of a good-quality Smith machine.
With a Smith machine, you can be sure of building better muscle health and becoming fitter. Any strength training exercise is a great tool for losing weight, and this way, the Smith machine is a great tool for weight loss and muscle building.
Considering all these factors, a Smith machine is worth all the money invested and the time to investigate the various models to purchase.
Is It Okay to Squat on a Smith Machine?
A Smith machine is an excellent choice of fitness equipment for squats, bench presses, leg presses, and increasing the maximum weight that you can lift.
But there is one catch here—you should understand that there are certain limitations present in doing a squat on this machine.
Quite contradictory to a free barbell squat, the Smith machine follows a guided path. Still, you feel safe working on a Smith machine as it does the stabilizing work for you but don’t expect to strengthen your vital stabilizing muscles or correct your form.
Can I Use a Smith Machine for Bench Presses?
Yes. You can use a Smith machine for doing bench presses instead of using a free barbell, a barbell rack, or a power rack.
What Exercise Can I Do with a Smith Machine?
Several exercises are possible to perform using a Smith machine. You would feel good activating your whole body, giving equal weightage to upper and lower body exercises.
Try changing bench presses, lunges, squats, deadlifts, calf raises, bent rows, curls, leg presses, and many more. In general, you can do all possible exercises with a free barbell using a Smith machine, but there are a few exceptions.