Whether the gym is too packed, or the weather is too cold, there are many reasons to stay at home for your workout. If you have your home gym setup, one piece of equipment that you can always count on is the Smith Cage Machine, especially if you have limited space to do your routines.
The Smith Cage Machine is relatively compact because it allows you to perform various exercises on a single piece of equipment, saving you space that you would otherwise use on other equipment. Aside from doing your exercise in the Smith Machine, you can add other routines like calisthenics exercises to add variety to your workout at home.
Calisthenics involves using your body’s weight to provide resistance, so you don’t have to worry about exercising in a relatively small space to get a solid workout. Here are the routines that you can try with your Smith Machine and some calisthenics for variety:
Smith Machine Bench Press
Positioning yourself upon the flat bench in the center of the machine, take a wider-than-shoulder-width overhand grip on the press bar. Be sure to bend at your elbows, then carefully lower the bar toward your chest directly over its lower end, as you inhale deeply. When it almost reaches your chest, exhale while you press the bar back upwards.
The Smith machine bench presses target your pectorals, front and mid-deltoids, and triceps.
Single Leg Isometric Wall Squat
First, position yourself with your back against a wall, and your feet about one foot in front of your body, both shoulder-width apart. Gradually (no fast movements) bend your knees to lower your body until your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Extend your left leg out in front of you, as you keep your shin parallel to the floor. Hold this position for two to three seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Single leg isometric wall squats work your core, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Smith Machine Hanging Knee Raise
While standing, reach upwards and take a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar (with it hooked as high as allowable). Carefully extend your legs straight downwards, or at an angle in front of you if the machine is shorter than your body’s height. Bend at your knees while lifting them upwards as high as you can toward your chest. Make sure that your movements are slow and avoid any swinging motions. Hold your knees to your chest for one or two seconds, and then gradually extend back to the starting position, repeating immediately.
Smith machine hanging knee raises are great for your hips, core, and abs.
Lie on one side with your knees straight and legs outstretched. Keep your upper body raised up on your elbow and forearm. While maintaining a steady breathing pattern, concentrate on contracting your abs as firmly as possible. Now lift your hips upwards so that your body is positioned in a straight line and your ankles are aligned with your shoulders. Hold the position for ten seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Smith Machine Biceps Curl
Position yourself directly behind Smith machine barbell and take a shoulder-width, underhand grip. While keeping your shoulders down, chest up and out, and your elbows tucked in by your sides, bend your arms at the elbows while raising the bar up towards your chest. Concentrate on contracting your biceps while exhaling. When you’ve gone as high as you can, lower the bar back downwards while inhaling to the starting position, then repeat.
Smith machine biceps curls work your biceps and forearms.
This amazing bodyweight exercise is often overlooked, but can really improve your hip and gluteal muscle strength while reducing the chance of suffering from low back and other injuries. Place your hands on the upper region of your hips, pull your shoulders back with chest out, and stand erect with back straight. Lift up one foot and take a wide step towards that foot’s direction while dropping your hips and bending the same knee. Hold the position for one or two seconds, then raise back up to the starting position and repeat with your other side.