out of curiosity, why am I stronger on a free-weight squat than on the Smith Machine?
Only two leg workouts ago I switched to free weight squats (yes, I know...took a while...I was just paranoid that I'd throw out my back). Anyway, I was really shocked to find out that, not only was my form now perfect (I was never quite right on the Smith), but I'm lifting more, and feeling less fatigued after.
I found this strange because I've always thought (and found from my shift three months ago from machines to free weights) that you're generally not as strong on free weights as on machines. Might this be because the Smith Machine limits you're movement, and you can't adjust yourself naturally?
Sorry if I'm not supposed to use this forum for curiousities, but I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about weight lifting.
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I've squatted (relatively) heavy on smith machines before... it sucks. You are extremely limited within the movement, and yes, it limited the amount of weight I could use. Free weight is the way to go. If you feel you must use a smith, then you can try keeping your feet forward and cut the weight in half... it'll torch your quads.
oh no, I'm not going back to the Smith...I was just curious
no, I was just worried about doing it with free weights...I've heard so many stories of people messing themselves up on squats when they couldn't handle the amount of weight in the position...I wanted to give myself some time to get used to pushing weight in that stance....keep in mind, only three months ago I was an only-machines, didn't-know-anything type of gym member...you know the type.....anyway, some things I didn't want to jump into immediately...the Smith definitely messed with my form (mostly because I had trouble going down enough), but it allowed me to build up some strength without worrying about my back giving out under the weight.....that's the other thing..I wanted time to strengthen my back before the hitting real squats...when I started I was an undernourished long-distance runner....I've been making sure to not get ahead of myself