Incline Smith Machine Press vs Free Weights
Compared to free weights, the incline Smith machine press uses fewer stabilizer muscles. This is due to the fact that you don’t have to balance the bar as it moves through space.
By controlling the bar path, the Smith machine puts more of the load directly on the pectorals. And that’s what makes it great for gains in muscle strength and size.
Incline Smith Machine Press Benefits & Limitations
So far I’ve mentioned how the incline Smith machine press is a good option for beginners getting a feel for incline pressing. And how it can help even advanced lifters bust through plateaus to get new gains.
However, machine exercises are not as good for building functional strength as free weights. Also, it takes a bit of time to set up the bench and machine.
- Requires less balance and coordination
- Great for beginners
- Puts more load directly on the pectorals
- Not the best for functional strength
- More time to set up
How To Do An Incline Smith Machine Press
Before you jump into the exercise, it’s very important to properly align the incline bench inside of the Smith machine. Because if the bench is crooked, you could put unnecessary stress on your shoulder joints.
Setting Up The Incline Bench
Start by raising the Smith machine bar high enough to get an incline bench underneath it. Then adjust the bench so the back is at an angle of 30-45o.
Next, I recommend lowering the bar down so it’s almost touching the bench. This makes it easier to align the bench in the center of the bar. And to make sure the bench is perpendicular to the bar.
The last step is making sure the bar comes down to your mid-chest at the bottom of the movement. Move the bench forward or back until the bar hits your chest as shown below.