Gym Combat: Barbell Squat vs. Smith Machine Squat
Which move offers better overall strength gains and fat burning?
|BARBELL SQUAT||SMITH MACHINE SQUAT|
|Muscles Emphasized||Rectus femoris, Vastus intermedius, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Hamstrings, Gluteus maximus, Spinal erectors (lower back)||Rectus femoris, Vastus intermedius, Vastus lateralis, Vastus medialis, Hamstrings, Gluteus maximus, Spinal erectors (lower back)|
|Range of Motion||★★★★||★★★|
|Weight Used||★★★||★★★★||Pro||Recruits stabilizer muscles.
More natural movement.
|Allows for heavier loads.
Foot position can be adjusted to better isolate quads.
|Con||Risk rounding back with heavy loads.||Depth of squat restricted.
Can place stress on knees.
Winner: Barbell Squat
The Smith Machine squat allows for better isolation of the quadriceps and much-added safety. But the barbell squat calls several secondary muscles into play, as well—the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and abdominals—particularly at the bottom portion of the movement. Both have their advantages, but the barbell squat offers better overall strength gains and fat burning.